Julian Dunkerton’s quest for Superdry return slammed by advisory firm

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Superdry Julian Dunkerton
(Pic credit: PA)
// Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton’s campaign to return to the board has been slammed by shareholder advisory firm ISS
// ISS urged shareholders to vote against Dunkerton’s return

Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton’s quest to return to the board room of the fashion retailer has been slammed by a major shareholder advisory firm.

ISS has recommended shareholders to vote against Dunkerton’s return to Superdry, as well as advising to vote against Boohoo chairman Peter Williams’ appointment to the board ahead of a meeting on April 2.

The firm said that the reason for Superdry’s decline was Dunkerton’s decision-making.

“A vote against the election of both shareholder nominees to the board is considered warranted at this time,” ISS said.

“The company’s performance has been dragged down by sector issues and warm weather in 2018, though there are other issues that would appear particular to Superdry.

“The current issues, however, seem to have at least partially arisen as a result of combined decision making by the management and Julian Dunkerton – one of the dissidents calling the EGM and also the co-founder and chief executive of the company previously.”

Dunkerton, who retains a major stake in Superdry despite leaving the fashion retailer in March last year, responded to ISS in a joint statement with co-founder James Holder.

“Naturally we are disappointed by the ISS recommendation,” the co-founders said.

“However, we acknowledge that it is extremely rare for ISS to support shareholders who propose changes in corporate strategies.

“The strategic and leadership failings at Superdry remain clear and the financial and operational impacts are obvious and profound: we know how to fix these issues. We continue to engage productively with shareholders, and we are hugely encouraged by the positive response to our proposals.”

In the latter half of last year, Dunkerton started appealing to shareholders about his ambitions to be reappointed to Superdry’s board of directors.

He also said he planned to increase revenue growth, restore double-digit earnings margins and rebuild profitability within three years upon his return.

Superdry has urged shareholders to vote against Dunkerton’s return, citing it would be “extremely damaging to the company and its prospects”.

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