Deloitte’s BSkyB role in balance

Link: Fund manager demands new auditor at BskyB

Shareholders will vote on Deloitte’s position, as well as that of controversial new chief executive James Murdoch, finance director Martin Stewart, a number of non-executive appointments, and the proposed remuneration package.

Morley Fund Managers, whose shareholders hold 1.3% of BSkyB, is urging its members to vote against the re-appointment of Deloitte, citing ‘potential and material economic conflict’ due to the high level of non-audit work provided by the firm.

Morley said the issue was aggravated by the ‘poor disclosure currently provided on the role of the audit committee and oversight of the audit relationship, auditor independence and other such matters’.

However, a spokesperson for Morley said it would back the appointment of Allan Leighton as audit committee chairman.

The remuneration report is likely to be another contentious issue. Legal & General, the largest institutional shareholder with a 3.1% stake, said the report was ‘very bad’ and would receive a negative vote. It also expressed corporate governance concerns.

The National Association of Pension Funds said it would vote against the report because of the unwillingness of the company to disclose whether any non-contractual termination payments will be made to the company’s former chief executive Tony Ball.

A spokesman for BSkyB said it could not speculate about voting, but that it would be an ‘open meeting’.

Related reading