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Is Chairman going to be reelected?  Sekisui House shareholders' meeting is going to be held on April 23

April 21, 2020



Sekisui House's ordinary general meeting of shareholders will be held in Osaka on April 23, 2020.  Former Chairman Isami Wada, who was dismissed in 2018, has made a shareholder proposal seeking to replace the management team with dissident slate directors including himself.  The conflict with the company has been intensifying.  Voting advisory firms that are influential on overseas institutional investors have recommended to vote against Chairman Toshinori Abe and others, and the outcome of the vote is unpredictable.

Mr. Wada said that the company has not disclosed the full-text of an investigation report on a fraudulent transaction of a condominium site, and pointed out that the management is covering up information that is inconvenient to Mr. Abe and others.  The company denied the allegations saying that it "disclosed all the material information to the public."

The U.S. voting advisory firm Institutional Shareholders Services recommended in its report that shareholders vote against Chairman Abe and Vice Chairman Shiro Inagaki, saying that they were "responsible for the company’s governance failure."  Glass Lewis, another voting advisory firm, recommended to vote against four directors including Mr. Abe.

Institutional investors in Japan account for nearly half of Sekisui House's shareholders, and overseas investors account for roughly 30%.  Investors are getting tougher on governance failures in recent years, and the focus is on whether the shareholder proposal will gain support especially from overseas.

Sekisui House was defrauded by a fraudulent landlord group in 2017 and lost 5.5 billion yen. Mr. Abe and Mr. Wada confronted over the incident, and Mr. Wada was forced to resign.

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