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Proxy advisor backs Richemont against activist investor Bluebell

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A prominent advisory firm has advised shareholders in luxury goods company Richemont to vote against activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners board nominee at a forthcoming annual meeting, according to a report by SwissInfo.

In a report on Monday, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc recommended that shareholders reject the British activist hedge fund’s proposal to appoint Bulgari CEO Francesco Trapani to the board as representative of Richemont’s A-class equity holders, saying the appointment wouldn’t serve their interests. 

Shareholders have also been urged not to to vote for Trapani by Richemont chairman Johann Rupert, partly because he was the CEO of Bulgari when it was acquired by arch rival LVMH. Additionally, Trapani served as previously served as the chairman and CEO of the French conglomerate’s watches and jewellery division. 

ISS has backed an alternative proposal put forwatd by Richemont to appoint existing board member Wendy Luhabe to represent A-share investors. 

South African billionaire Rupert controls the Swiss company, known for its high-end brands including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, through its B-class shares. His 10% holding of the company affords him 51% of its voting rights, according to the company’s most recent annual report. 

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