Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and its shareholders recently made a significant decision regarding the company's leadership. The appointment of a new director, amid recommendations from proxy advisory firms, has drawn considerable attention.
Two proxy advisory firms — Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Ltd (IiAS) and International proxy firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had urged RIL shareholders to defeat the proposal to appoint Anant Ambani to the board.
The shareholders of RIL approved the appointment of Anant Ambani, the younger son of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, to the board of the company by an overwhelming majority, shrugging off the advice of two proxy advisory firms that had urged them to vote against the resolution.
Anant Ambani's appointment as non-executive director of RIL was approved by a whopping 92.2 percent of the company's shareholders, according to the results declared on October 27. The shareholders also approved the appointment of his older siblings Isha Ambani and Akash Ambani as non-executive directors.
IiAS had cited Anant Ambani's age (28) as the reason for its objection, which it said doesn't align with its voting guidelines. ISS, on the other hand, had expressed concerns about his limited leadership experience.
Both proxy firms had supported the appointments of Isha and Akash Ambani, who are 31 years old. In govern, a third proxy advisory firm, supported the appointment of all three siblings as non-executive directors to the RIL Board.
RIL, founded by the siblings’ late grandfather Dhirubhai Ambani, had sought shareholder approval through a remote e-voting process for their appointments as non-executive directors. The e-voting started on September 27 and closed on October 26, following a postal ballot notice on September 25. RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani had spoken about mentoring his three children for leadership roles in the company for the next five years at the company's annual general meeting in August. The board's recommendation for the three appointments was seen as the initiation of a succession plan for the company's future.