Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden, who is seeking three seats on H&R Block Inc's board of directors, said on Monday three more shareholder advisory firms have backed his slate of candidates.
Breeden, a hedge fund investor, said Proxy Governance Inc, Egan-Jones Proxy Services and Taft-Hartley Advisory Services have each recommended that H&R Block shareholders vote for the slate proposed by his firm, Breeden Capital Management LLC.
Last week, Breeden said he won similar backing from the two largest shareholder advisory firms, Glass, Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services. Taft-Hartley Advisory Services is part of ISS. The voting pattern shows how completely management has lost credibility in the market, Breeden said in a statement.
Breeden has accused H&R Block of mismanagement, hurting the company's stock price. He has called on the company to exit underperforming businesses such as subprime mortgage lending, and to focus on tax preparation.
At least two investors -- Harris Associates LP, which owns 6.8 percent of H&R Block shares, and the California Public Employees' Retirement System pension fund, which owns 0.8 percent -- also support the Breeden slate.
Kansas City, Missouri-based H&R Block did not immediately return requests for comment. Breeden's firm, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, has said it owns 1.84 percent of H&R Block's shares.
H&R Block is scheduled to report quarterly results on Aug. 30 and hold its annual shareholder meeting on Sept. 6. Its shares fell 8 cents to $19.23 in morning trading. Through Friday, they had fallen 16 percent this year.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel)