Controversial former NAB chairman Kenneth Henry has been reappointed to the ASX board of directors after surviving a protest vote.
Over a quarter of votes (16.8 per cent) were cast against Henry, with 83.2 per cent in favour of his return.
“Ken has been a very effective and conscientious ASX director,” said ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith.
“He brings valuable expertise relevant to our business, especially relating to public policy. He understands the thought processes that could influence thinking about ASX. And he has ideal career experience for assessing systemic risk issues and their implications for ASX.”
NAB was savaged by the Hayne royal commission after the commission found multiple instances where the bank charged fees for no services, including charging the estates of deceased superannuation customers over $3 million in fees.
Henry was singled out for particular criticism in the final report of the royal commission.
“Having heard from both the CEO, Mr Thorburn, and the chair, Dr Henry, I am not as confident as I would wish to be that the lessons of the past have been learned,” wrote commissioner Hayne. “…Dr Henry seemed unwilling to accept any criticism of how the board had dealt with some issues.”
Under Henry, NAB became the most distrusted bank in Australia, with 53.7 per cent of Australians saying they did not trust the company.
“It is important to note that the matters raised in the royal commission did not relate to ASX or Ken’s role as an ASX director,” said Mr Holliday-Smith.
“We believe ASX shareholders recognise the difference between Ken’s roles at NAB and at ASX, and that they also recognise the contribution he makes to us.”
Shares in ASX LTD fell ahead of the AGM, before bouncing back after the news of Henry’s re-election.
Director Melinda Conrad was also re-elected with 99.7 per cent of votes, while new director Peter Nash was elected with 98.3 per cent of votes.
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