So the board of Directors of Connect Financial (no longer a credit union by name) is again asking the shareholders to vote on major changes to the Connect constitution.
Now they want shareholder/members to agree to a whole raft of amendments including the sale of non-voting, dividend yielding shares to investors, waiving the “customer must be a member” rule and allowing the appointment of three directors to the board and the appointment of an Executive Director to be “paid at commercial rates” rather than the current practice of shareholders electing all Board members.
In addition they want all future nominees for directorships to be approved by an “eligibility and nominations committee”. You can stand for election to local Council, you can stand for State or Federal Parliament but the Connect Board don’t seem to trust their shareholders to select and elect appropriate directors.
This raft of changes is ‘bundled’ and we are being asked to “take it or leave it” . While I recognise that change may be desirable and that we must be open to new ways of doing business shareholders should be offered the opportunity to consider and vote on each change individually on its own merits.
If this raft of changes is endorsed on April 28th it will, amongst other things, reduce the accountability of the Board to the membership. After their frustrated bid to demutualise the Credit Union in 2004 it feels suspiciously as if the time has come to try the back door method. To attempt demutualisation by stealth.
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