ISS supports Sevcon against ‘dissident’ director

Sevcon CEO Matt Boyle

Nasdaq-listed Gateshead company Sevcon, which makes components for low carbon vehicles, said the influential Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommended that Sevcon stockholders vote for all the incumbent directors who are nominated for re-election by the Sevcon board.

Sevcon said that in particular, ISS recommended that stockholders do not vote for “dissident” director Ryan Morris who has “waged a disruptive proxy campaign against the company.”

This followed a similar statement from Glass Lewis, another advisor on proxy voting matters.

Sevcon recently told shareholders that Morris had nominated himself and three other individuals as directors “in an effort to take effective control of your board.”

The company called Morris “a disruptive and self-interested director who was removed from his position as executive chairman after only four months by the unanimous vote of the rest of your board.”

Sevcon said that in making its recommendations to support the incumbent directors, ISS agreed with the Sevcon that Ryan “has failed to make a compelling case that change at the board level is necessary” and said that “support for the dissident slate is not warranted.”

Sevcon CEO Matt Boyle, said: “Now that both leading independent proxy advisory firms have come out firmly in support of our dedicated directors and rejected the basis for the dissident’s attack, we hope to move past this extremely wasteful distraction.

“We call on Ryan to drop his campaign and to retract his blatant and, we believe, intentional mischaracterizations of certain of our directors so we can focus all our efforts on running our business for the benefit of all stakeholders.

“In the meantime, we urge our stockholders to vote their proxies in support of the board’s proposals.”