* 11 percent of shareholders oppose Don Robert re-election
* 30 percent either voted against or abstained
(Adds Experian statement, background)
LONDON, July 16 Holders of nearly a third of the
shares in British credit checking company Experian Plc
have failed to back the appointment as chairman of the company's
chief executive, a move that flies in the face of company
About 70 percent of shareholders voted in favour of Don
Robert's re-election as a director, in effect confirming his
elevation to the chairmanship of the company, with the remainder
either abstaining or voting against, figures from the company
showed after Tuesday's annual shareholders' meeting.
Experian, the world's biggest credit-rating company, had
said in January that Roberts would replace John Peace as
chairman, a move that contravenes Britain's Corporate Governance
Code, which says chief executives should not move to become
chairman of the same company.
The Investment Management Association, an investment
industry body, and the Institute of Directors, a lobby group for
industry as a whole, had raised concerns about the plan.
Experian had justified the move on the basis that it didn't
want to risk losing Peace, who founded the business 40 years
ago, and Roberts, who has served as chief executive since it was
demerged from GUS Plc and listed on the London Stock Exchange in
2006, in quick succession.
"Don brings considerable value to Experian and has
unrivalled, deep knowledge of the business. The board places
enormous value on Don remaining with the business, particularly
given the retirement of John Peace," it said.
The executive reshuffle also involves Finance Director Brian
Cassin becoming chief executive, with the changes taking effect
after the annual meeting.
Also at the meeting, holders of 14 percent of the shares
voted against pay packages granted to directors. Robert has
earned around 45 million pounds in the past five years through
his annual pay deals and long-term incentive plans, according to
Experian's annual report.
Outgoing Chairman Peace has been caught up in three separate
shareholder controversies this summer.
Shareholders at luxury goods firm Burberry, which
he chairs, revolted over a multi-million pound package handed to
its Chief Executive Christopher Bailey, while more than 40
percent of shareholders at Standard Chartered, where
Peace is also chairman, voted against the bank's new pay
(Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater and David