The end of an era for Lowy family

Original article by Turi Condon
The Australian – Page: 17 & 27 : 30-Apr-19

Peter Lowy will step down from the board of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield at its AGM in May, having flagged his intention to retire from the board in March. Steven Lowy retired as a director of Scentre Group, which owns and operates Westfield shopping centres in Australia, in April. Peter Lowy’s decision means an end to the presence of the Lowy family on Westfield boards after more than 50 years. Meanwhile, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CFO Jaap Tonckens says Unibail-Rodamco has "zero regrets" concerning the $32 billion Westfield takeover.

CORPORATES
UNIBAIL-RODAMCO-WESTFIELD – ASX URW, SCENTRE GROUP – ASX SCG, WESTFIELD CORPORATION, UNIBAIL-RODAMCO

Industry funds to back Murray for AMP chair

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 18 : 23-Apr-19

It is understood that the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors will conditionally back the appointment of David Murray as AMP chairman at its AGM in May. Proxy advisers have recommended that Murray be appointed. However, there is some controversy about private comments supposedly made by Murray. He is understood to have said that if there is a big vote against his appointment as a result of the controversy regarding the sale of AMP’s life business, the other two directors who were on the board when the decision was made would resign.

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AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED, CGI GLASS LEWIS PTY LTD, INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER SERVICES INCORPORATED, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD

Chronican to steer NAB out of trouble

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 7-Mar-19

National Australia Bank’s interim CEO Phil Chronican will succeed Ken Henry as chairman. There had been speculation that Chronican could be a contender to replace Andrew Thorburn as CEO, but Chronican says he did not want to commit to the arduous role of CEO on a permanent basis. Chronican adds that he does not expect the process of recruiting Thorburn’s successor to take very long. Henry and Thorburn both resigned following the release of the Hayne royal commission’s final report, which heavily criticised both men.

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NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Guthrie’s pay day: $1.64m to go away

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 7-Mar-19

The ABC’s acting David Anderson has told a Senate committee that former MD Michelle Guthrie was paid $730,000 gross to settle her adverse action claim. He said the public broadcaster agreed to a confidential settlement after legal advice suggested that it could have incurred costs of up to $2m if the case had gone to court. Labor and the Community & Public Sector Union have criticised the size of the payout. Guthrie also received a $911,117 severance package following her dismissal in September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, ABC ALUMNI

ABC paid Michelle Guthrie $500,000 to drop lawsuit

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 5-Mar-19

Sources have indicated that investment banker and former ABC director Simon Mordant helped to negotiate a settlement with former MD Michelle Guthrie. Mordant has declined to comment on claims that he was asked to intervene in Guthrie’s dispute with the public broadcaster over her sacking in September. The settlement is said to include a payment of around $500,000 to discontinue her unfair dismissal claim, as well as a ‘nondisparagement clause’ that prevents all parties to the case from discussing the matter in the media.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM

Mission for Ita: deliver ABC back to the people

Original article by Simon Benson, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 1-Mar-19

The ABC’s incoming chair Ita Buttrose notes that the majority of Australians do not think the public broadcaster is biased and that it is the nation’s most trusted source of news. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the media industry veteran is the ideal person to protect the ABC’s audiences and make sure that its focus is on them. Labor leader Bill Shorten says he does not have any objections to Buttrose’s appointment, but he says the selection process should have been politically impartial. Morrison has attracted scrutiny for ignoring the recommendations of an independent selection panel, which did not consider Buttrose for the role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HOLDING REDLICH

Buttrose move clears way for new ABC MD

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 28-Feb-19

Media industry veteran Ita Buttrose has declined to comment on reports that she is set to succeed Justin Milne as the ABC’s chair. However, former ABC presenter Quentin Dempster says a new chair should not be appointed until the Senate concludes its inquiry into allegations of political interference at the public broadcaster. Centre for Media Transition director Peter Fray says Buttrose’s expected appointment means the ABC’s acting MD David Anderson is likely to be given the role permanently.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, CENTRE FOR MEDIA TRANSITION, WALKLEY FOUNDATION FOR JOURNALISM, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Morrison puts Ita in ABC’s hot seat

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 3 : 27-Feb-19

Senior federal government sources have confirmed that media industry veteran Ita Buttrose will succeed Justin Milne as the ABC’s chair. Cabinet is said to have approved her appointment and a formal announcement is likely within days. However, Labor leader Bill Shorten has accused the government of bungling the succession process, arguing that Buttrose was not on a shortlist of candidates for the role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, HOLDING REDLICH, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN GREENS

Buttrose wins backing for top ABC job

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich, Greg Bright
The Australian – Page: 3 : 26-Feb-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says cabinet has yet to discuss the appointment of a successor to former ABC chairman Justin Milne. Amid growing speculation that media industry veteran Ita Buttrose will be given the role, some observers believe that her appointment would be inappropriate as she was not on the short-list compiled by Korn Ferry or considered by the independent nomination panel. However, former ABC chairman Donald McDonald is among those who believe that Buttrose would be a good choice for the role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC SECTOR UNION, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, HOLDING REDLICH

Buttrose poised to head the ABC

Original article by Kylar Loussikian, Bevan Shields, Jennifer Duke
The Age – Page: 1 : 25-Feb-19

Media industry veteran Ita Buttrose is tipped to succeed Justin Milne as the ABC’s chair. Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is expected to seek cabinet approval for her appointment in coming days, although a government spokesman has indicated that a decision has not yet been made. Buttrose has extensive experience in print and broadcast media, and she has held several directorships in the sector. She did not feature on an independent panel’s shortlist of candidates for the ABC role.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, FILM VICTORIA, NINE NETWORK AUSTRALIA LIMITED, TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CONSOLIDATED PRESS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE WOMEN, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE