Pension funds challenge powers of M&S chairman

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  • Pension funds challenge powers of M&S chairman

UK - UK pension funds have raised concerns once again over the level of power and influence of Sir Stuart Rose, the executive chairman and chief executive of Marks & Spencer's (M&S).

The National Association of Pension Funds confirmed today it held a meeting with M&S last year but declined to comment further, arguing the discussions were confidential.

It is understood the NAPF, the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) and the Association of British Insurers have raised concerns over Rose's role and again suggested the roles of chairman and chief executive should be separated.

In its recently revised corporate governance policy and voting guidelines, the NAPF said investors "remained convinced" of the importance of separating the roles of chairman and chief executive officer.

"While they may be willing to accept non-compliance for a short term, it will only be where there is an explicit statement setting out the reasons for combining the roles and a clear timetable for their separation," read the policy statement.

The guidelines also state investors may actively withhold their vote or vote against the board chairman if the roles are combined for over a year.

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