By Stephen Mayne
January 9, 2008
It's not often that a dumped CEO sits among the directors at an AGM but that's what happened at IOOF on November 20, 2003.
There were extraordinary scenes at the IOOF AGM in Melbourne today as shareholders and financial planners alike lambasted the board for not renewing the contract of long-serving and well-regarded CEO Rob Turner.
IOOF's leadership is certainly turning over. Afterall, chairman Charles Macek walked out unexpectedly after just one year in the chair three months ago. He was replaced by former ASX regulator Ray Shoer, 69, who put in a doddering performance as speeches backing Turner received strong applause from members and shareholders at the Melbourne Concert Hall.
IOOF was founded in 1846 and manages several billion dollars. It is demutualising and listing on the ASX on December 5 and issuing 13.3 million new shares to institutions in a bookbuild run by Goldman Sachs-JB Were.
Turner's contract expires next June so the IOOF is raising capital and floating with a big cloud hanging over the future leadership of the organisation. Why didn't they just say nothing until closer to the time? Clearly negotiations must have broken down and it has been suggested to Crikey that Turner was seeking a pay-rise as part of his new contract.
Besuited and well-spoken financial planners - including a Mr White, Mr Payne and Mr Newison - all ripped into the board and suggested Turner could take a stack of senior managers with him and seriously damage IOOF. It is that sort of industry.
Schoer would only say that the board unanimously decided not to renew Turner's contract and that they wanted a new leader from the funds management industry.
Whilst Turner's background is manufacturing, the numbers presented to the meeting suggest he has led IOOF since 1996 and turned the business around such that it was awarded the Morningstar "fund manager of the year" last year.
Everyone patted Turner on the back for lifting assets and profits over the past seven years and at one stage he almost appeared to break down whilst paying a tribute to staff during his speech.
Seeing a CEO sitting at an AGM in the middle of the 6 directors who'd just shafted him was very odd indeed.
Can anyone fill in some of the gaps here?
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