Angry Fortis shareholders reject board members

3rd December 2008, Comments 0 comments

Shareholders reject three out of five proposed board members, including high-profile chairman Etienne Davignon.

3 December 2008
 
BRUSSELS - Belgian shareholders of Fortis bank, angered at its post-credit crunch dismantlement, on Tuesday rejected three out of five proposed board members, including high-profile chairman Etienne Davignon.

Of the five names put forward, only Louis Cheung Chi Yan, representing the single biggest shareholder, Chinese insurer Ping An, and CEO-elect Karel de Boeck, got the necessary 50 percent support at a shareholders meeting in Brussels.

At a similar meeting of Dutch shareholders in Utrecht on Monday the same two candidates, along with Davignon, were approved to join the new board.

According to Belgian law, the Fortis board of directors must have at least three members, meaning another general assembly of shareholders will have to be held to choose a third.

Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis was dismantled in October, with its Dutch assets nationalised by the Netherlands government for 16.8 billion euros and its Belgian and Luxembourg activities sold to French bank BNP Paribas.

Etienne Davignon - Photo AFPDutch shareholders have gone to court to seek relief against executives they accuse of keeping quiet as the company bled 44 billion euros (57 billion dollars) in 18 months. The Belgian authorities are investigating whether Fortis executives misled investors.

Leading businessman Davignon is a former EU Commission vice president.

(AFP/Expatica)

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