Keiran Poynter, PwC’s UK senior partner, and Paul Boorman, the firm’s UK managing partner, have sent an email to all professional staff, urging them to vote in the special general meeting.
Though stopping short of directing staff which way to vote, they said they themselves would be voting against the resolutions.
As well as sending out their own views, the pair also forwarded a message from deputy president Peter Wyman and past president Graham Ward, both partners in the firm.
The note, sent to PwC’s 15,000 professional staff, many of whom are institute members, refers to ‘dissidents’ who are seeking ‘to disrupt modernisation proposals planned for our institute’.
The message from Wyman and Ward appealed to members to vote against the resolutions, saying a ‘small minority’ could damage the institute and ‘ultimately, our earning power as chartered accountants’.
Peter Wyman defended to move, saying that he was very concerned about voter apathy.
He said: ‘In the past, such as over education and training reforms, we have normally put a note round our staff reminding them to vote, and sometimes it has been relevant to add additional information.’
Wyman denied the move was an attempt to ‘pack’ the vote.
He said: ‘You don’t necessarily get people to do what you want. People can resent any suggestion that they have been instructed how to vote.’
A similar message from Wyman has been sent to around 15 other senior partners of the larger firms, requesting them to send it to their staff.
‘I have taken comfort from the fact that senior partners have agreed to circulate and endorse the message,’ Wyman said.
The district society meeting will be held on 11 July, though postal and email voting will be closed on Monday 9 July.
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