Sunday 24 September 2017

Kingspan's boardroom independence flagged

Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh
Kingspan CEO Gene Murtagh
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Leading proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has said it "strongly believes" that construction materials company Kingspan should appoint a qualified "independent-on-appointment non-executive director" to the role of chairman.

The company is currently chaired by founder Eugene Murtagh who owns 16.9pc of the shares. His son Gene Murtagh is chief executive. Glass Lewis also raised the issue of the chair last year.

In a report ahead of the company's AGM on Thursday, which gives a view on the proposals to institutional shareholders, Glass Lewis also flagged concerns about the make-up of the board. "Six of the 11 directors, including the chair of the board, continue to be either affiliated with the company or insiders," said the report. "We generally believe that this raises concerns about the objectivity and independence of the board and its ability to perform its proper oversight role."

However, Glass Lewis recommended a vote for Eugene Murtagh as chairman.

Another proxy firm, ISS, has urged investors to vote against a resolution to approve a 10-year incentive scheme. Pay packages for Kingspan executive directors were rejected by nearly a third of shareholder votes at last year's AGM.

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