Proxy adviser ISS backs activist call for FirstGroup boardroom shake-up

Great Western Railway

An influential shareholder adviser has handed FirstGroup’s biggest shareholder a boost as it seeks to force through a dramatic overhaul the rail and bus operator’s board.

ISS, whose opinions influence the voting decisions of some of the world’s biggest institutional investors, has supported a motion put forward by Coast Capital Management to remove one of FirstGroup’s long-term directors.

It backs the election of ex-Arriva chief executive David Martin in the place of James Winestock.

The decision will come as a partial victory for the Wall Street activist investor, which wants to remove six of FirstGroup’s directors and replacement with seven others. Included in those Coast wants to oust are...

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