CORRECT: Dignity's Whiley ousted as chair, Phoenix wins over investors

(Correcting to clarify that three Dignity PLC directors will depart following the general meeting ...

Alliance News 22 April, 2021 | 5:40PM
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(Correcting to clarify that three Dignity PLC directors will depart following the general meeting vote.)

(Alliance News) - Dignity PLC on Thursday lost a shareholder vote on the future of its executive chair, the latest twist in the funeral services and prepaid funeral plans provider's dispute with its biggest shareholder.

Dignity said 55% of voters at a general meeting on Thursday supported a motion to remove Clive Whiley as board chair. The proposal was tabled by Phoenix Asset Management Partners, which has a 30% stake in Dignity.

The company noted that 61% of voters backed adding Gary Channon to the Dignity board as an executive director.

Prior to the vote, Dignity accused Phoenix of acting in its "own self-interest" and said Channon lacks the "skills and judgement" to run the firm at an executive level. Channon is Phoenix's founder and chief investment officer.

In addition, three Dignity directors will depart following the vote.

"Each of the independent directors, being Gillian Kent, Dean Moore and Paul Humphreys believe their positions as directors as a result of the resolutions being passed will be seriously compromised. Gillian Kent and Paul Humphreys have reluctantly concluded that they would be unable properly to perform their duties as directors on the reconstituted board. They have accordingly tendered their respective resignations from the board with immediate effect," Dignity said.

"Dean Moore has also tendered his resignation, although given his position as interim executive finance director, he has expressed his willingness to serve his three months' notice period should the newly constituted board request this."

Dignity's new board includes Channon, James Wilson and Andrew Judd. Wilson joined Dignity as a non-executive back in May 2019 and is a partner at Phoenix. Judd, a board veteran, joined what is now Dignity back in 1996. He fronts the group's day-to-day funeral services operations.

Phoenix on Thursday said it was "delighted" with the general meeting result.

"We now have to show our ourselves worthy of it and we will get straight to work on that today," Phoenix added.

Dignity shares closed 2.5% higher at 660.00 pence each in London on Thursday.

By Eric Cunha; ericcunha@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Rating
Dignity PLC 650.00 GBX -0.15 -

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