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What to expect at today’s Westpac AGM

James Mickleboro

It looks set to be an eventful day for the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price and its shareholders on Thursday.

Later today the banking giant is likely to feel the backlash of angry shareholders when it holds its annual general meeting in Sydney.

What should you expect?

At last year’s annual general meeting Westpac received a first strike against its remuneration report when 64% of votes were cast against it.

With many proxy advisers suggesting that shareholders vote against this year’s remuneration report, it looks likely that Westpac will receive a second strike.

When a second strike occurs, it triggers an automatic vote on whether the entire board should be spilled.

However, as angry as many shareholders are, most believe this will just be a symbolic gesture and it is very unlikely that a spill resolution will then pass.

What else is happening?

One of Westpac’s directors may be feeling very nervous ahead of today’s meeting.

Director Peter Marriott has been tipped as one that could face the chop. According to the Guardian, some proxy advisers want Mr Marriott to follow chairman Lindsay Maxsted, chief executive Brian Hartzer, and director Ewen Crouch out of the door.

Australian Shareholders Association have recommended members vote against Marriott’s re-election due to his role as chair of the board’s audit committee and a member of its risk committee.

The AFR notes that Australian Shareholders Association has concerns over potential complicity in the systemic failures alleged by AUSTRAC.

ASA’s Carol Limmer said: “Given awareness of the potential anti-money laundering issues, especially given CBA’s settling on a $700 million fine two years ago, it seems strange that a complete deep dive and probing questions from board members did not disclose the extent and ramifications of their breaches earlier.”

“Risk management areas, as well as internal and external auditing, could have been utilised to identify this. Given Marriott’s time in office and roles on relevant committees, ASA intends voting against his re-election,” she added.

Whatever happens, it certainly will be one of the more eventful annual general meetings this month.

The post What to expect at today’s Westpac AGM appeared first on Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. 2019