Royal London slams ‘inappropriate’ Murdoch appointment


Royal London Asset Management has slammed the “inappropriate” reappointment of Sky scion James Murdoch at the broadcaster’s annual general meeting today.

Murdoch is chief executive of Fox, which holds 39 per cent of Sky.

RLAM chief investment officer Piers Hillier says: “Should Fox make a bid for Sky, investors need a strong independent Chairman to protect the interests of minority shareholders and negotiate the best possible deal.

“Additionally no attempts were made to advertise the position externally, or appoint an agency, which goes against the UK corporate governance code.”

The public statement puts RLAM at odds with Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert, who is a Sky’s deputy chairman, and part of the three person team that appointed Murdoch.

RLAM holds 0.35 per cent of Sky shares, worth £51.5m, but Hillier described the reappointment as “inappropriate”.

Shareholder advisory firm Pirc has also opposed the appointment.