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A group of British institutional investors in pay TV giant BSkyB has called on shareholders to vote against the re-election of 21st Century Fox co-COO James Murdoch to the company’s board at its Friday shareholder meeting in London.
Reuters reported that the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, which controls a stake of about 2 percent in BSkyB and also voted against Murdoch last year, questioned his suitability following his handling of the phone-hacking scandal and raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest due to his roles at both BSkyB and Fox, which is controlled by his father Rupert Murdoch. Fox owns a 39 percent stake in BSkyB, which is looking for shareholders to approve a name change to simply Sky on Friday.
The Forum, which brings together a few dozen pension funds, also called for increased independent representation on the company’s board. It “has consistently raised concerns about James Murdoch’s role on the BSkyB board since 2011,” Reuters quoted a representative of the group as saying.
Friday’s annual meeting is widely expected to confirm Murdoch and all other board nominees. Last year, less than 4 percent of the shareholder vote was cast in opposition to Murdoch.
Said BSkyB: “James Murdoch has always acted with integrity and competence in his time at Sky. He continues to make a major contribution to the company.”
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