April 27, 2017 / 12:36 PM / 9 months ago

Shareholder proxy Glass Lewis recommends vote against Barclays board member

LONDON (Reuters) - Shareholder advisory firm Glass Lewis on Thursday recommended investors vote against the reelection of Ian Cheshire to the board of Barclays (BARC.L), saying he has too many commitments to fulfil all his duties.

Cheshire is chairman-designate of Barclays’s UK retail bank, which will be separated from the investment bank in 2019 under rules designed to protect savers’ deposits.

He also sits on the board of four other companies, including Debenhams Plc (DEB.L) and Whitbread Plc(WTB.L), meaning he may not have sufficient time to discharge his responsibilities effectively, Glass Lewis said.

Barclays shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on Cheshire and the bank’s other board members at the bank’s annual general meeting in London on May 10.

Barclays said in response to the concerns that plans are in place for Cheshire to reduce the number of other directorships he holds.

Cheshire, who joined the Barclays board on April 3, has told the bank and regulators he will reduce his other commitments by September 2017, Barclays said.

The issue of so-called ‘over-boarding’ whereby board members of British companies spread themselves too thinly has gained increased attention in recent years.

    HSBC (HSBA.L) last week said Paul Walsh, the former chief executive of drinks maker Diageo (DGE.L), is to step down from its board with immediate effect in order to focus on his other commitments.

    ISS, another shareholder proxy firm, meanwhile advised shareholders abstain from voting to reelect Barclays Chief Executive Jes Staley.

    Staley faces regulatory probes in the U.S. and Britain and criticism from investors following his attempts to unmask a whistleblower at the bank.

    Reporting By Simon Jessop and Lawrence White, Editing by Anjuli Davies

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