Recommendation Firm ISS Supports Nelson Peltz

Recently, the Walt Disney Company has been embroiled in a contentious battle between activist investor Nelson Peltz and CEO Bob Iger. Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended that Disney shareholders elect Peltz to the board in this ongoing dispute.

Peltz, along with his firm Trian Fund Management, has been pushing for changes within Disney, particularly in the realm of traditional TV channels which he believes have been detrimental to shareholder value. ISS believes that Peltz’s addition to the board could provide a valuable perspective on the succession process at Disney.

While ISS is backing Peltz, they have advised shareholders not to vote for former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo in this fight. ISS is critical of Disney’s board for repeatedly failing to find a new CEO to replace Iger, who temporarily stepped down in 2020 before returning to the position.

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In response, Disney has emphasized the diversity of skills and experience on their board and highlighted ISS’s endorsement of 11 out of 12 nominees. ISS has also recommended withholding votes from a separate slate of nominees put forth by activist Blackwells.

The battle for control of Disney’s board comes as the company has secured endorsements from influential figures like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and filmmaker George Lucas. Another proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, has also endorsed Disney’s board nominees, with ISS expected to follow suit.

Securing the support of ISS and Glass Lewis is crucial in activist fights, as institutional shareholders often rely on their recommendations when casting their votes. Both activists and management make their case to these advisory firms, who then issue their opinions based on their own analysis and meetings with both sides.

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It remains to be seen how this battle between Peltz and Iger will play out at Disney’s upcoming annual general meeting on April 3. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

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