Advisory firm ISS tells Disney shareholders to side with Nelson Peltz in proxy fight

The Walt Disney company logo is displayed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on Dec. 1, 2023.

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Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services on Thursday recommended that Walt Disney shareholders elect activist investor Nelson Peltz to the board in his fight against CEO Bob Iger.

Peltz and his firm, Trian Fund Management, have asked investors to nominate him and former Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo to the board at its annual general meeting on April 3. Among other things, Peltz wants to overhaul Disney’s traditional TV channels, which he claims have been a shrinking business.

“Dissident nominee Peltz, as a significant shareholder, could be additive to the succession process, providing assurance to other investors that the board is properly engaged this time around,” the ISS report said.

While siding with Peltz, ISS told shareholders not to back Rasulo in the fight.

“Though we do not have any concerns about his ability to serve as an objective director, we recognize that Rasulo’s potential presence might create added friction on the board,” ISS said.

The recommendation comes as Disney has lined up a number of high-profile endorsements, from the heirs of Walt and Roy Disney to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and top Disney shareholder and filmmaker George Lucas.

Another proxy advisory firm, Glass Lewis, earlier this week endorsed Disney’s slate of board nominees.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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