MILAN Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended that shareholders in phone group Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) do not vote on a slate of directors presented by top investor Vivendi (VIV.MI), a document showed on Wednesday.
Vivendi, which owns 24 percent of Telecom Italia, indicated that it wants its CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine to be the Italian group's new chairman, putting him top of its list of candidates for board members.
ISS advised not to vote for the French media group's slate because, due to de Puyfontaine's presence, it included a so-called "overboarded director", referring to someone who sits on several boards already.
The proxy adviser said shareholders should instead back a list of candidates presented by funds association Assogestioni, saying it was "better positioned to represent the long-term interests of minority shareholders and carry out independent oversight of management's actions".
Telecom Italia shareholders will name new directors at a meeting on May 4, and the new board will then pick a chairman at a meeting scheduled for the following day.
(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Valentina Za)