30 August 2018
Loss of confidence after Entrust considers chairman acts against best interests of shareholders and beneficiaries.
Entrust, majority owner of Vector, has taken the unprecedented step of asking Vector to hold a special meeting of shareholders to remove outgoing chairman, Michael Stiassny.
Entrust passed a vote of no confidence in Michael Stiassny as chairman of Vector, due to his behaviour in recent months, following Trustees’ decision earlier this year to not support his re-election.
William Cairns Chairman of Entrust, says trustees made the difficult decision at a meeting last week.
“Since May, when Entrust decided not to support Mr Stiassny’s re-election, his behaviour has changed. Our relationship has irrevocably broken down and all trust is gone. We have lost confidence and it is now time to take action to remove him as chairman.”
Since May, Mr Stiassny has:
There is no basis in fact for this suggestion and Entrust is concerned that these comments were made by Mr Stiassny for the purpose of discrediting Trustees and furthering a personal agenda. These comments to media have upset and caused distress to the community that Entrust has served for the past 25 years.
“Our original decision to not support Mr Stiassny, after 16 years of service, was based on tenure, in accordance with the principles of good governance and made after seeking independent advice,” says Mr Cairns.
“Mr Stiassny’s directorship expires every three years by rotation. No public company chair is a chair for life. Mr Stiassny as an experienced businessman, company director and chairman, should know this.
“It is sad after 16 years, that his final months at the helm of Vector are taking this course. Even more disappointing is his behaviour, which is causing distress and upset to beneficiaries in the community that he both lives in and serves.
“His recent comments to media about Entrust dividends being at risk because of a possible sell down of Vector shares are scuttlebutt causing upset and distress.
“Let me be clear. Entrust’s shares in Vector are not for sale and we are committed to the ongoing payment of dividends to the community, based on Vector’s financial performance. End of story.”
Mr Stiassny has publicly stated he is stepping down, so the reasons for his actions are unclear, says Mr Cairns.
“We take issue with certain decisions made under Mr Stiassny’s chairmanship which we believe are not in Vector’s best interests, including the decision to delay the annual shareholder meeting previously scheduled for 27 September to Monday 29 October, after Trust elections.
“The delay appears to be related to the Trust election which suggests to us that Mr Stiassny may be hoping for a change of Trustees thereby leaving open the prospect of re-election as director.
“We hope that by sharing this information our stakeholders will understand the reasons for the no confidence motion and have a greater appreciation for the events of the past few days.”