Humiliated Bramson vows to fight on
CORPORATE raider Edward Bramson has vowed to fight on after a humiliating defeat yesterday over his bid to join the board of Barclays.
Bramson won support from just 3.9pc of investors in a crunch vote at the lender’s annual meeting on whether he should get a non-executive director job, which will be seen as a huge victory for Barclays as it was bitterly opposed to giving the activist a boardroom role.
To get his way, Bramson would have needed backing from more than 50pc of voting shareholders. The outcome is particularly embarrassing because around 6pc of Barclays’ stock is held by firms which are also investors in the raider’s company Sherborne – meaning that many of Bramson’s own financial supporters were not persuaded by his arguments, believed to include scaling down the bank’s investment arm.
Bramson, 68, put his defeat down to an appeal from Barclays chairman Nigel Higgins, who is said to have told shareholders he can boost lacklustre performance. Bramson will give Higgins up to six months to produce results but will act if there are no improvements. He said: ‘If you talk to Barclays, nothing happens. I can tell you that from personal experience. So we would have to do something other than talk. What that is, it would be premature to say.’
However, Barclays suffered a bloody nose over boss Jes Staley’s pay after it was criticised for failing to punish him enough after a whistleblowing scandal. Some 29.2pc of shareholders opposed the £3.4m he was handed last year.