Ranking public company board tilts for shareholder support

December 16, 2023

This list ranks Stephen Mayne's 54 public company board tilts in terms of percentage of directed votes in favour.

Above 50% - 1

Woolworths (54.75% of proxies), November 20, 2000
The best AGM yet as was almost elected but chairman John Dahlsen declared it lost on the show of hands without calling a poll, despite the clear majority of directed proxies in favour. See Mayne Report package.


Between 40% and 50% - 1

NRMA Insurance (45.59% of vote), November 28, 2000
Shafted with the proxies by chairman Nick Whitlam who urged shareholders not to number every box and then used un-marked boxes as open proxies against me. See Mayne Report package.


Between 30% and 40% - 2

Commonwealth Bank (39.71% of vote), October 26, 2000
Did flyers out the front and polled well, with lots of support from industry funds. See Mayne Report package.

AMP (33.89% of vote), May 18, 2000
First ever board tilt and very pleased with the outcome. See Mayne Report package.


Between 20% and 30% - 3

WA News (28.41% of vote) November 2, 2000
Best result when didn't turn up - see results.

Centro Retail November 27, 2008
435 million votes in favour which was 71% of the independent vote after stripping out the 1.1 billion shares controlled by parent Centro Property Group. However, formal poll outcome shows 26.7% in favour.
See Mayne Report package.

John Fairfax (20.58% of vote) November 7, 2001
Best of three tilts at the media company - see results.


Between 15% and 20% - 4

ASX (18.7% of vote) October 29, 2002
Best of the four ASX tilts - see results.

AFIC: (October 8, 2019). See notice of meeting, Mayne Report preview piece and results detailing 18.26% support.

AFIC: October 9, 2013: ran for the board of Australia's biggest listed investment company, AFIC, and polled a respectable 16.4%, which included support from ASA. See this explanation.

Macquarie Bank (15.53%) July 20, 2006
Failed in board tilt but polled very well with over 21 million votes in favour. With Macquarie shares now above $170, we're talking more than $3 billion worth of shares in favour in 2023 terms.
See Mayne Report package.

West Australian Newspapers (15.44% of the vote) November 9, 2007
Really stuck it to the board before Kerry Stokes took control but still lost the election.
See Mayne Report package


Between 10% and 15% - 10

Gunns (14.7% of vote) October 27, 2005
Disappointing vote but had a victory when executive chairman John Gay submitted himself for election in 2006. This was the basis of the 2005 campaign. Stop "doing a Rupert" and exempting yourself from election.
See Mayne Report package.

Telstra (14.65% of vote), November 17, 2000
The earliest and best of the three tilts at the telco when some shareholders still hadn't worked out how to vote against any resolution. See Mayne Report package.

Kogan.com (November 20, 2020). See notice of meeting, ran on a platform opposing the SPP scale back from $115m to $20m, an excessive options issue to the founders after earlier sell-downs and the lack of independent directors. Pleased with 14.04% voting support.

ASX (13.52% of vote), October 23, 2000
Second best of four ASX tilts. See Mayne Report package.

News Corp (12.89% of vote), October 9, 2002
Round four in terms of AGM engagement with Rupert and almost elected from the floor.
See Mayne Report package.

BHP Billiton (12.38% of the vote) November 27, 2008
See Mayne Report package.

David Jones (11.46% of vote), December 11, 2000
Alan Kohler used this tilt as basis for this story on The 7.30 Report.
See Mayne Report package.

AMP (11.41% of vote) May 15, 2003
Disappointing result after $10 billion was lost in UK - probably tried harder in this tilt than any other.
See Mayne Report package.

PMP (11.24% of vote) November 19, 2001
It was good to have some competition from another external candidate at PMP in 2001 and nice to make double figures.
See Mayne Report package.

ASX (10.69% of vote) October 29, 2001
Slightly less than previous year - see results.


Between 5% and 10% - 13

NRMA Insurance (9.4% in the poll) November 2, 2001
Much less support than the previous year as institutions started to work out how to vote against a board candidate, something they rarely did - see results.

National Australia Bank (9.14% of vote), December 14, 2000
Was ambushed with an invite to speak to the meeting at the very start of proceedings, with no prior notice from chair Mark Rayner, but failed to make double figures.
See Mayne Report package.

AWB December 23, 2009 Results of meeting - 8.6% of vote
See Mayne Report package.

Harvey Norman: (November 27, 2019). See notice of meeting, package of media, compilation of tilt material and results detailing 8.24% support. Gerry Harvey went more feral at this AGM than any chair I've seen in almost 700 engagements.

John Fairfax (8.2% of vote) November 18, 2005
Ran for the board and the lights went out at Sydney's Sheraton on the Park but chairman Ron Walker kept going with a big yellow torch.
See Mayne Report package.

West Australian Newspapers (7.64% of the vote) April 23, 2008, EGM called by Seven
See Mayne Report package.

Oz Minerals (7% of the vote) June 11, 2009
See Mayne Report package.

Woolworths AGM (6.6% of the vote) November 18, 2010
See Mayne Report package

Spotless (6.5% of vote) November 14, 2001
This was the toughest notice of meeting every produced against a board tilt, possibly with the exception of News Corp which deleted everything and didn't include any platform at all, even withholding my age..
See Mayne Report package.

Alumina Ltd (6.2% of the vote) May 1, 2008
Elected to Alumina board on show of hands from the floor but defeated in poll.
See Mayne Report package.

Cochlear (October 20, 2020). See notice of meeting, transcript of the AGM debate and voting results detailing 5.85% support from 2.7 million shares worth around $600 million.

National Australia Bank (5.6% of proxies) December 17, 2009
Chairman Michael Chaney didn't suffer any voting backlash for SPP shafting of retail investors but was happy with my vote given two previous flops. And the board did well to publish the platform in full in the notice of meeting.

ASX: 5.05% of directed votes in favour but total protest 24.83% when include huge abstain vote. September 24, 2008
See Mayne Report package.


Between 1% and 5% - 17

MAP (4.88% of the vote) May 27, 2010
See Mayne Report package.

Santos: (May 5, 2011), ran for Santos board on a capital raising platform after placement with no SPP. Won the show of hands on the fllor but only received 4.8% in the poll.

Telstra (4.76% of vote) November 16, 2001
Slightly less than previous year with the Howard Government voting its controlling stake against as usual - see results.

Woolworths: (November 27, 2014) Quite pleased to get 4.05% in the poll. See results and notice of meeting.

Milton (October 20, 2020). See letter of nomination. See voting results where only attracted 3.99% in support. Soul Pattinson took it over the following year.

Southern Cross Broadcasting (3.85% of vote) November 1, 2001
Gave chairman John Dahlsen a spray as Steve Price defamation battle rolled on.
See Mayne Report package.

Commonwealth Bank: (November 12, 2014): Ran on a platform of board accountability after the financial advice scandals. Scored just 3.15%. See results.

Rio Tinto: (May 5, 2011), polled only 3.04% in the poll after AGMs in London and Perth.

Fairfax Media (3% of the vote) November 10 2009
See Mayne Report package.

Woolworths (2.8%) November 24, 2006
Dramatically less than the record high 2000 vote - see results.

Telstra (2.25%) November 14, 2006
Crushed by the Howard Government again - see results.

Macquarie Group: (July 30, 2020). See notice of meeting, Mayne Report wrap of the issues and results detailing miserable 2.31% support.

Cabcharge: (November 26, 2014). Scored 2.25% on a change the governance platform, which was disappointing given board was so on the nose. See results and notice of meeting.

Macquarie Group: (July 23, 2015). See notice of meeting, Mayne Report preview piece, results detailing 1.55% support and Crikey piece after AGM.

Ten Network Holdings: (November 28, 2014) See notice of meeting. See Mayne Report edition detailing 1.48% support.

National Australia Bank: (1.25%) December 15, 2023. See notice of meeting and poll results. All of the other director candidates received more than 97% support so it was a very lopsided voting outcome.

AXA (1.1% of vote) February 15, 2001
Polled poorly given French parent had a majority stake but mounted a strong argument.
See Mayne Report package.


Below 1% - 3

Fairfax Media: (November 6, 2014): received a miserable 0.92% support in the poll. Gina Rinehart opposed and clearly no institutional support at all. See package of links. However, was supported by a clear majority of the voting shareholders (902 in favour, 495 against) who bothered to vote, as is explained here.

Ten Network Holdings (0.9% of vote) December 10, 2009
Second worst vote ever as board censored the platform, which was mainly around the lack of an SPP after an institutional placement, and the directors also used the no vacancy rort. Poor form Nick Falloon.

Westfield Holdings (0.37% of vote), November 9, 2000
A very hostile reception from Frank Lowy. See Mayne Report package.

Aristocrat Leisure: (just 0.33% of the vote) February 24, 2023
The voting turnout was 487.3 million shares or 74.3% of the shares on issue but only 1.574 million votes worth $58 million at the time supported the tilt. See Mayne Report package.