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Meggitt suffers investor rebellion over chairman's multiple board roles

Meggitt has been given a bloody nose by investors at the aerospace and technology group’s annual meeting over the number of board roles its chairman holds.
City grandee Sir Nigel Rudd was appointed as chairman in 2014 with the task of guiding Meggitt through a falling defence spending environment, with the military a key part of FTSE 250-listed Meggitt’s business.
However, at the annual meeting on Thursday, 32pc of investors who voted went against the re-election of Sir Nigel, who currently chairs three other listed businesses.
Powerful investment adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended against backing him in the top boardroom job because of his other chairmanships at BBA Aviation, AIM-listed Destiny Pharma? which floated last year, and Johannesburg-quoted Sappi.
Sir Nigel – who has previously held top board positions at BAA, Invensys, Pilkington and Boots, as well as the deputy chairmanship of Barclays – has helped Meggitt face tough challenges including feared activist investor Elliott taking a stake in the company.
Meggitt suffers investor rebellion over chairman's multiple board roles

Meggitt makes parts for the US air force's air-to-air refuelling tankers

Credit:
Christopher Boitz/PA Wire
Meggitt said it “noted” the protest vote, which comes as strong corporate governance rises up the agenda and concerns about “overboarding” – when a director holds a significant number of positions concurrently – grow.
The Financial Reporting Council imposes no specific limit on the number of directorships that can be held, saying only that directors must be able to devote sufficient time to each one.  
Meggitt added: “Sir Nigel's knowledge of the business and extensive experience bring significant benefits to Meggitt and the board believes that he dedicates the appropriate amount of time and attention to his role.”
However, the company said Sir Nigel is currently “reviewing his portfolio of appointments”, though it is understood that he has no plans to step down from Meggitt.
Meggitt
In an update coinciding with the AGM, Meggitt reported strong trading in the first quarter, with group organic sales rising 6pc. 
Analysts at Berenberg described the company – which has trimmed down its energy arm in response to falling investment by big players in the market  as making “good progress on its strategic priorities”.
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