Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

News

DisConnect

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.

Pat Synge,
Lymington
buyselltrade.com.au – Tasmania’s free classified advertising

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Not Surprised

    April 6, 2006 at 5:45 am

    Pat Synge expressed his concerns:
    “…it feels suspiciously as if the time has come to try the back door method. To attempt demutualisation by stealth.”

    Now, that sort of ‘back door tactic’ would largely depend on the quality of the Chair of the Board of Directors, I would have thought.

    Who was it again?

    http://www.connectfinancial.com.au/ about_us/corporate_profile/board_profile

    Reading his background and his body language, even if he is going out fine dining in the Tamar Valley, Bob would be committed to ensuring our members the best of service in every aspect!

    Actually Pat, I am
    Not Surprised

  2. Brenda Rosser

    April 6, 2006 at 6:54 am

    This fits in well with one of John Kenneth Galbraith’s thesis in his book “The New Industrial State”. In it he says that “shareholders (the nominal owners of the corporations) have little power over corporate decision-making compared to the top managers and senior specialists in operations, marketing, and research and development, whom Galbraith calls collectively ‘the technostructure’.”

    (‘John Kenneth Galbraith – his life, his politics his economics’ Richard Parker)

    It has been claimed that the Howard Government at least would respect the democratic participation of corporate shareholders (if not anyone else). This puts the lie to that. What’s left but a plutocracy of CEOs to run Australia now?

  3. Keith Cook

    April 6, 2006 at 8:18 am

    Yes Pat, even if a member agrees with all the changes, the voting should be offered unbundled, or at worst grouped into like changes.

    A “take it or leave it” offering is not a fair process. What recourse do I have with a single proxy for a multiple change recommendation, given I may support some change and oppose others?

  4. Dave Groves

    April 6, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    Why not, we have it seems dictatorship by stealth

  5. pat synge

    April 6, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    Cassandra seems to miss the point I was trying to make about Board appointees.

    By allowing directors to appoint a total of 4 members to a board of 9 (which can, constitutionally, be composed of only 6) there lies the potential for future ‘board stacking’.

    Preselection, Cassandra, only affects those aspiring candidates who belong to a party.

    Pat Synge

    http://www.buyselltrade.com.au
    tasmania’s community classifieds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top