Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 30, 2017 – After years of declining performance, low independence and poor board diversity, shareholders demonstrated a waning confidence in the board of Urban Outfitters (NYSE: URBN), with 30.5% of outside shareholders opposing the reelection of director Robert H. Strouse, and 64.5% of outside shareholder in opposition to Harry S. Cherken. The sizable opposition votes came from major public funds, including CalSTRS and Norges Bank.
The level of opposition is high given that the average opposition votes for the Russell 3000 is 3.8% year to date, and insider ownership constitutes approximately 35% of shares outstanding. These results reflect years of low shareholder support levels for both Strouse and Cherken, who received 11.3% and 37.9% opposition in 2016 and 20.7% and 39.6% opposition in 2015, respectively.
“This is a clear vote of no confidence in the board’s composition and the company’s broken nomination process,” said Dieter Waizenegger, Executive Director of the CtW Investment Group who had urged investors of Urban Outfitters to vote against long-tenured directors.