Michael de Tocqueville Investment Director at Advocate Partners and a “Top 20” Treasury Group Limited shareholder for over 10 years, is concerned about the nomination and recent appointment of Melda Donnelly as a director of the Company. “It is concerning because there was no formal warning given to Treasury Group's shareholders and not one of them, as I am to understand, was consulted on the appointment,” said de Tocqueville. He is also concerned because Treasury Group’s Chairman chooses not to answer many of the sensible shareholder questions, rightfully put to him, for the Company to respond to on the matter of the new director’s appointment.
All Treasury Group Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick could tell de Tocqueville was e.g. “The Board specifically searched for a female candidate in accordance with its Diversity Policy". "A formal skills assessment of the current Board was undertaken and a matrix created of the desired competencies of a new Director". “In my opinion, due to the Boards failure to take a consultative approach, shareholders in Treasury Group are left clueless as to how the Company will benefit from this appointment," said Mr. de Tocqueville
''Because Treasury Group ignored many of our shareholder questions in relation to the appointment of its new director and with information we have to hand, we cannot help but share a sense of concern that its board seems to have appointed yet another person from the Chairman's network". "The board should have spoken to and provided more information, at the very least, to its key and interested shareholders first," de Tocqueville said. As a consequence, he had not yet decided whether he would vote in support of Donnelly's appointment, at the next annual general meeting.
de Tocqueville, went on to say, "Whilst we welcome quality changes to the board of Treasury Group, it has been quite evident for some time, the current make up of the board is not delivering for the owners of the company, contrary to the performance of its investee companies, which have in the main excelled through the 'Global Financial Crisis". He also said, "There are unanswered questions concerning the current Chairmanship that has presided over an approximate 65% decline in share price value, since he was anointed for the role in 2005. To maintain the status quo, would seem to us as being unreasonable. We would like to ask the Company's newly appointed director, what plans does she have in mind, that will improve earnings which may cause the unlocking of Treasury Group's stagnating share price, for all shareholders?"
Advocate Partners Pty Ltd
Advocate Partners is a private company established specifically to undertake active shareholder advocacy as a means of achieving superior returns on share investments and is motivated by the dissatisfaction of shareholders generally and the inability of their investments in listed companies to satisfy their needs.
It is our belief that shareholder-centric investing can better deliver greater shareholder satisfaction and returns and that the division of ownership and control within a company necessitates transparent and strong governance practices.
Further, opaque accountability promotes inefficient asset allocation and sub-optimal returns for the owners. Accordingly, active engagement by the owners realigns the balance of power and refocuses the company on shareholder objectives. This means that directors and managers of companies must act as agents of shareholders.
Michael de Tocqueville
P: +61 3 963 9083
M: +61 402 039 993