Monday, April 27, 2009


Key vote at BofA stirs up hostility

Angry shareholders want Lewis ousted this week, but the rules make it unlikely he will be removed.

...Bank of America chief executive Ken Lewis and his board of directors face significant opposition heading into Wednesday's shareholder meeting, but experts and activists say the bank officials have one major advantage: The rules of the game are in their favor.

Lewis and all his directors must stand for re-election at the meeting. But a big chunk of the votes will be cast by stockbrokers on behalf of their clients, and they typically back management. Also, companies have the right to adjourn their annual meetings so they can drum up more votes in their favor. And even if shareholders vote out a director, the board still has the final say on whether that director has to go.

“Across the country, the playing field is slanted against shareholders and in favor of incumbent management,” said Stephen Davis, senior fellow at Yale University's Millstein Center for Corporate Governance...

Charlotte Observer: Key vote at BofA stirs up hostility

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