Questions asked at 2021 Accent Group AGM

November 20, 2021

Questions asked at 2021 Accent Group AGM.

Accent Group claimed $45 million in JobKeeper for 2,299 staff and didn't make any voluntary repayments. Have we had any engagement with the ATO or any other party about following the lead of companies like Harvey Norman, Super Retail Group and Premier Investments by repaying at least some of this government subsidy.

Did any of the 5 main proxy advisers in the Australian market - ACSI, ASA, Ownership Matters, Glass Lewis and ISS - recommend a vote against any of today's resolutions? Which of the proxy advisers are covering us and has their been a material proxy protest vote against any of today's resolutions? Will you disclose the proxy votes before the debate on today's resolutions so shareholders can ask questions if there have been any protest votes?

When disclosing the outcome of all resolutions today, including this LTI grant, will the chair and CEO support the idea of publicly disclosing how many shareholders voted for and against each item, similar to what happens with a scheme of arrangement? This will provide a better gauge of retail shareholder sentiment on all resolutions and was a disclosure initiative recently adopted by Metcash and Southern Cross Media after their AGMs.

Given the interesting discussions across a range of topics today, could the chair undertake to make an archived copy of the webcast plus a full transcript of proceedings available on the company's website. Nine Entertainment chairman Peter Costello, who appreciates the benefit of a parliamentary hansard transcript where MPs don't have to scroll through old videos to find out what was said, made this change last week & had a full transcript of Nine's AGM online before the end of the day.

Accent shares have fallen 17c or 6.6% this morning in response to the trading update. Could the chair and CEO please comment on what aspect of today's update was less upbeat than expected. Given the raft of class action payouts made by companies which have delayed releasing bad news over the past decade, what processes does Access have in place in terms of determining when to update the market on changes to our outlook and trading performance.

It is great to have Brett Blundy on this board, given that he is up there with Solomon Lew in terms of being Australia's most successful retail investor and operator, across a wide range of companies. Could Brett comment on how much of his time each week he is able to devote to Accent matters and what is it that he personally finds so attractive about the Accent business.

Quite a few billionaires which tapped into JobKeeper, such as Gerry Harvey and Solomon Lew, have been publicly criticised for accessing government funds when they didn't need it. Could Brett please comment on how he personally rationalises benefitting from JobKeeper when Accent shares and profits have performed so well. Did any other companies that he invests in access Jobkeeper?

Our chair David Gordon had a difficult experience as a director and later chair of Ten Network Holdings, where at one point he was juggling the competing interests of having 5 different billionaires as substantial shareholders who had board representation. It become famously dysfunctional and Ten went into administration when two of the billionaires threatened to sue the directors. Could David comment on what he learnt from this experience in terms of how he manages the relationship with Brett Blundy, a billionaire personally sitting on the board representing his 19% stake in the company. Could Brett comment on his relationship with the chair.

Does Brett agree that one way to sort out the lack of female representation on the Accent board would be to appoint his wife Tracey Blundy, who sits alongside him on the Lovissa board. Could the chair comment on whether having 2 Blundys on the board would be excessive relative to the family's shareholding?

When Brett says he has confidence in the management of Accent is he talking about our CEO Daniel Agostinelli. Given Brett is not here, could Daniel comment on the full history of his relationship with our largest shareholder. How often do they communicate?