Morgan Stanley's Chief Executive John Mack said on Tuesday the company's board members, unanimously re-elected by shareholders today, are focused on getting the company back on track.
Shareholders of the bank issued a vote of confidence for all members of the bank's Board of Directors on Tuesday, re-electing them by a substantial margin despite a turbulent year which saw the company lose $3.6 billion in its last fiscal quarter.
According to preliminary results released this morning, all 11 directors nominated to its board received more than 90 percent support despite the effort of some shareholding pension funds which stated they would withhold votes for board members in protest.
Our entire Board is deeply engaged and intensely focused on building value for our shareholders through this unprecedented market environment, stated Chief Executive and Chairman John Mack. We've seen market disruptions and illiquidity that have impacted every firm in our industry - market conditions that are unlike anything I've seen in my 40 years on Wall Street.
We have begun the year with renewed momentum, increased discipline and an intense focus on performance, he said.
The California State Teachers' Retirement System, which holds almost 5 million shares of the company, had previously stated it would withhold votes for 8 board members, including Chairman and Chief Executive John Mack.
The fund noted that Morgan Stanley's stock has fallen behind that if its rivals. It also took aim at Mack, who has been at the helm of the company throughout the ongoing credit crisis. Mack refused to receive an annual bonus in 2007 after the company's loss. Mack earned $41.4 million in 2007 and $1.6 million in 2007.
Shareholders also voted against a proposal to require a shareholder advisory vote for compensation for top executives.
A company proposal to eliminate a supermajority voting provision was also passed by shareholders. About 85 percent of shareholders approved the move which does away with a requirement of at least 80 percent of the votes to change the company's bylaws. Only a simple majority of 50 percent is now needed.