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Bill Ackman loses boardroom battle with America's 'sleeping' payroll giant 

The bitter fight between billionaire activist investor Bill Ackman and American payroll giant ADP has come to a head after investors voted against Mr Ackman's plan to shake-up the board.
Mr Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in May, said it wanted to add three candidates to ADP's board after dubbing the company it has an 8pc stake in a "lethargic and inefficient sleeping giant" over the summer. 
Shareholders put an end to the row today by re-electing all ten of ADP's current directors, with Pershing Square's three nominees – including Mr Ackman himself – each receiving less than 25pc of the required votes. 
"This was an ass-whipping," ADP chief executive Carlos Rodriguez told Reuters after the votes were counted on Tuesday, months after he called the hedge fund manager a "spoiled brat" in a television interview. 
Bill Ackman loses boardroom battle with America's 'sleeping' payroll giant 

Pershing admitted earlier this year that some good investments had been overshadowed by losses in several holdings including weight-loss company Herbalife
Pershing wrote to its investors immediately after the result claiming that even though the trio had not won any board seats the proxy battle had been a "wake-up call" to the $50bn (?39bn) company and had helped lower risks. 
"The fact that ADP needs a wake-up call is no surprise to its salesforce who every day is selling against competitors with better product offerings," Mr Ackman wrote. 
He went on to slam the US proxy election system "as it leaves much to be desired" adding that the firm was greatly disadvantaged during the vote for this reason. 
"Had there been a universal proxy card [...] I would likely have been elected," he said. 
This will come as another blow to the activist investor, well known for shaking up large companies such as Wendy's, after a tough few years following bets on firms such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Herbalife. 
The group admitted earlier this year that some good investments in the first half  had been overshadowed by losses in several holdings.
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