Investors turn up the heat on Barrick for boardroom change – by Jacqueline Nelson (Globe and Mail – September 17, 2013)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Some investors are seeking reform in Barrick Gold Corp.’s boardroom and want the company to hasten the transfer of power from co-chairman Peter Munk, according to a published report.

In the most recent sign of tensions at the world’s largest gold miner, about 10 shareholders based in Europe will soon send the board of directors a letter to push for faster changes, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources close to the company.

“Some directors have sought change at a faster pace than others have been comfortable with,” the report said. The Journal said director Robert Franklin planned to give up his board seat if some new directors weren’t appointed.

Earlier this year, a group of seven major pension funds took issue with the beleaguered gold producer’s board after a large sum was paid to Mr. Munk’s co-chairman, John Thornton.

More than 85 per cent of the company’s stakeholders did not approve of the $17-million payout to Mr. Thornton, voting against it and other multimillion-dollar payments to board members, including Mr. Munk.

Now, investors want to know when Mr. Munk with be “handing the reins” to Mr. Thornton, the Journal reported.

The company is also facing pressure from a small Indianapolis-based activist hedge fund.

Two Fish Management LLC recently told The Globe and Mail that it has contacted other investors, primarily in the U.S., to try to create change on the company’s board.

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