Blue Prism shareholders express discontent with board

Blue Prism shareholders express discontent with board

Shareholders used their voting power to express concerns with the board at the AGM for AIM-listed automation specialists, Blue Prism, on Tuesday 16 March.

The company reported a significant percentage of dissenting votes in relation to the re-election of Chair and CEO Jason Kingdon, deputy Chair and senior independent director Christopher Batterham, and independent non-executive Kenneth Lever, with both Kingdon and Lever receiving over one-third of the shareholder vote against them. Blue Prism acknowledged shareholder concerns in their announcement of the results, pledging to ‘continue to engage with shareholders to understand and discuss their concerns’ and promising that an update would follow within the next six months. The reasons behind the voting result are unclear, although it is rumoured that there may be continued opposition to the company’s decision to not disclose specific revenue targets in connection with its long term investment plan in advance.

As noted in our review of Voting results - the 2020 AGM season, directors’ remuneration has remained a key battleground for shareholders for the past few years. In 2020, executive pay was the resolution most voted against, accounting for 40% of all resolutions attracting significant opposition (considered to be 20% or more votes against) at the AGMs of FTSE 350 companies. Director election and re-election was a close second, accounting for 34% of all resolutions with significant no votes. The AGM season is yet to kick off in earnest, but current data indicates that director re-election will again be an area of shareholder focus, accounting for most significant no votes since September 2020.

Market Tracker will continue to track AGM voting throughout the upcoming AGM season. Data on FTSE 350 and AIM 50 AGM voting results can also be accessed directly via our transaction database (a subscription to Lexis®PSL is required).

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