AWB Limited Chairman Brendan Stewart today announced the re-election of five directors, and the appointment of two new directors to the Board of AWB Limited at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.
Recounting the company’s strong performance for 2004 at the meeting in Melbourne, Mr Stewart said AWB had made excellent progress on the integration of Landmark in its first year, and had continued to deliver strong out-performance in its grain business. However he said AWB was gearing itself for a more challenging operating environment in 2005, with a general weakening in market conditions.
“AWB is now a stronger, more capable and diverse organisation, and we are well positioned to meet the challenges in the year ahead,” Mr Stewart said.
At the meeting Mr Stewart announced the appointments of Mr Tony Howarth and Mr John Schmoll to the Board of AWB Limited at AWB’s Annual General Meeting.
“The appointment of Mr Howarth and Mr Schmoll will bring considerable expertise to the Board of AWB Limited which will ultimately benefit AWB shareholders and Australian farmers,” said Mr Stewart.
“Both new directors bring a vast range of business experience and acumen to the Board, and we look forward to capitalising on that experience at Board level over the coming years,” said Mr Stewart.
Mr Howarth has considerable experience in the banking and finance sector and has held a number of executive positions in major and regional banks. He was Managing Director of Challenge Bank for nine years until 2001 and holds a number of directorships and is currently Chairman of AlintaGas Limited.
Mr Schmoll is a former Chief Financial Officer of Coles Myer and has considerable experience in the retail and distribution sectors. Mr Schmoll is Principal of John Schmoll and Associates, specialising in corporate advisory and executive support services.
“I would like to thank Mr John Thame and Ms Kerry Sanderson for their service to the Board of AWB Limited who are retiring from the AWB Limited Board,” Mr Stewart said.
Mr Stewart also announced the results for five director elections, as well as the resolutions, following the company’s AGM in Melbourne.
AWB is pleased to announce that the following election results:
- Mr Christopher Moffet has been re-elected as an AWB Limited A class director by WA A class shareholders.
- Mr Warrick McClelland has been re-elected as an A class director by Vic/Tas A class shareholders.
- Mr John Simpson has been re-elected as an AWB Limited A class director by NSW/ACT A class shareholders.
- Mr Peter Polson was elected as an AWB Limited B class director by B class shareholders
- Mr Clinton Starr was re-elected as an AWB (International) Limited A class director by Qld/Vic/SA/NT/Tas A class shareholders.
AWB Chairman Brendan Stewart said he thanked all the candidates who nominated for the Board, and was confident that the directors will serve their term on the Board in the best interests of Australian farmers and our shareholders.
In addition to the director elections, there were two special resolutions presented to the meeting. One resolution regarding the tenure of directors on the Board was passed by the meeting, which will bring the maximum consecutive term for all classes of directors to nine years.
The other resolution was to amend the structure of the AWB International Board to address the perception of independence between the Board of AWB Limited and AWB International. While this resolution received a majority of support, it did not get the required 75% approval and so was not passed.
Mr Stewart said this resolution was put forward as part of AWB’s response to the 2004 Wheat Marketing Review, and, while AWB is disappointed it had not been approved, the Board would continue to consult with industry and Government on the best way forward.
“The overall level of support for this resolution was encouraging. AWB put the resolution forward in good faith in response to the 2004 Review and the Board will consider this vote, however we remain committed to addressing the perception of independence of the AWB International Board,” said Mr Stewart.
“AWB will continue to consult with the Government and growers on the best way forward however it is disappointed as the majority of States supported the resolution,” said Mr Stewart.
The Chairman and Managing Director’s AGM speech can be accessed via AWB’s website, www.awb.com.au, under Investor Relations in the Announcement section.