PIRC, the UK pension fund adviser, has called on investors to reject a number of directors at mining company Xstrata because of a lack of independence on the board.
The advisory firm recommends that shareholders vote against five directors, including Glencore’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg.
Non-executive directors Glasenberg, Aristotelis Mistakidis and Tor Peterson are not considered independent by PIRC as they are nominees for commodities trader Glencore, which owns 34 per cent of Xstrata.
The two other directors targeted – Steve Robson and senior independent director David Rough – are not considered independent because they’ve been on Xstrata’s board for more than nine years.
‘There is insufficient independent representation on the board, in our view,’ notes PIRC in a circular.
Sources close to Xstrata say those who sit on Glencore’s board were never supposed to be independent, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.
The row comes amid speculation that Glencore, which is set to launch an IPO in London and Hong Kong in the coming weeks, will merge with Xstrata after it goes public.