Peltz Secures Backing of Business Leaders and ISS Amid Disney Fight

ISS recommended that investors withhold their votes for Disney nominee Maria Elena Lagomasino, who chairs the company's compensation committee. (Credits: ISS)

Nelson Peltz has garnered support from an influential shareholder advisory firm and a coalition of business leaders in his endeavor to secure a position on the board of entertainment giant Walt Disney Co.

In a report released Thursday, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the proxy adviser, recommended that Disney investors vote in favor of electing Peltz, who heads activist firm Trian Fund Management, as a director at the upcoming shareholder meeting scheduled for April 3.

This endorsement sets the stage for a potentially contentious face-off next month, following a contrasting opinion from Glass Lewis & Co., another prominent proxy firm, which advised Disney investors earlier this week to back the slate of board nominees endorsed by the company.

Alongside Peltz, Trian is advocating for the inclusion of Jay Rasulo, a former finance chief at Disney, on the board. (Credits: Calla Kessler)

Trian Fund Management is advocating for significant changes in Disney’s management and strategy to address what it perceives as a prolonged period of subpar performance.

Additionally, Blackwells Capital, another activist investor, has put forth its own slate of three candidates. While ISS supported Peltz, it refrained from endorsing Rasulo and the candidates proposed by Blackwells.

ISS highlighted Peltz’s extensive experience serving on various boards and his fiduciary responsibilities to a sizable group of shareholders, suggesting that he is best equipped among the dissidents’ nominees to provide a shareholder perspective on the board.

Walt Disney Logo (Credits: Walt Disney)

In its report, ISS recommended that investors withhold their votes for Disney nominee Maria Elena Lagomasino, who chairs the company’s compensation committee.

Responding to ISS’s stance, Disney expressed disagreement, asserting that Peltz lacks “additive skills” and fails to present a compelling plan to enhance shareholder value. Disney also defended Lagomasino’s contributions to the board, contending that ISS overlooked her breadth of perspective and expertise.

Josh Linardos
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