Close Menu Phone
ABL
Menu

Myer chair’s independence questioned

Corporate and M&A, Shareholder Activism
Busy people in meeting room
In an article published by The Australian, Arnold Bloch Leibler Partner and Premier Investments’ legal adviser Jeremy Leibler comments on the vital need for boards to be independent of management.

As Premier Investments’ Chairman Solomon Lew’s campaign to roll the board of Myer goes ahead, Jeremy has questioned Myer’s corporate governance structure and in particular, the independence of Myer’s chairman and director. Myer has seen its performance move from $12m profit in 2017 to a $486m loss one year later.

Jeremy told The Australian: “I think it’s often forgotten that independent directors are primarily meant to be independent from a company’s management. The board’s job is to keep management in check and to be asking the right questions of the management at the right time. How can the chairman carry out this role effectively when he is an executive of the company on a Monday and suddenly independent on a Tuesday?

“The board of Myer seems to have directors who are obsessed with being independent of their shareholders instead of supporting and keeping management accountable,” he said.

“The board’s job is to keep management in check and to be asking the right questions of the management at the right time.”

Jeremy Leibler, Arnold Bloch Leibler Partner

“There is a serious level of hypocrisy here. While claiming to be ‘conflict free’, the Myer board is allowing their directors to change their independence depending on the day of the week. It creates a mockery of the ASX corporate governance principles.”

Arnold Bloch Leibler continues to work with Solomon Lew on this campaign. Myer is due to hold its annual meeting in Melbourne on November 30.

Read next