Ryanair’s decision to ban media from attending its upcoming annual general meeting “further weakens the company’s standing in the eyes of the public”, the boss of a leading UK shareholder advisory firm has claimed.
Alan MacDougall is managing director of PIRC (Pensions & Investment Research Consultants), which advises shareholders on how they should vote at annual general meetings of stock market-listed companies.
This advice is based on corporate governance issues related to a range of matters such as director remuneration and the independence of directors.
PIRC advises institutional shareholders and other clients.
Ryanair announced on Monday that it would not permit media to attend its annual general meeting next week, and would not hold a press briefing afterwards.
“We have learnt with great disappointment of the company’s decision to exclude the press from the meeting,” Mr MacDougall told the Irish Independent. “This further weakens the company’s standing in the eyes of the public and its shareholders at a time when it needs all the friends it can get.”
PIRC has advised Ryanair shareholders to oppose most of the resolutions to be put before them at the annual general meeting, including the re-election of chief executive Michael O’Leary and chairman David Bonderman. Two other influential shareholder advisory groups, Glass Lewis and ISS, have also advised shareholders not to vote to re-elect Mr Bonderman.
Ryanair has insisted the decision to bar media at the AGM will allow shareholders to discuss “all matters freely”.