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Dignity chairman ousted after losing shareholder vote

It follows news which broke earlier this month, which suggested that Phoenix Asset Management, one of Dignity’s top shareholders, served a requisition notice seeking to remove Whiley as the funeralcare provider’s executive chairman

Dignity chairman Clive Whiley has exited the company after shareholders voted to remove him as a director. 

In a company update, the funeral care provider revealed that 55% voted for his removal, while 45% voted against this decision. 

It follows news which broke earlier this month, which suggested that Phoenix Asset Management, one of Dignity’s top shareholders, served a requisition notice seeking to remove Whiley as the funeralcare provider’s executive chairman.

At the time, the company which holds 30% shares in Dignity, cited “very serious issues” as  the reason for this ousting. 

Gary Channon, Phoenix’s founder and chief investment officer, has now been appointed as an executive director, with immediate effect.

Dean Moore, current acting chairman said that directors have held “substantive discussions” with both Phoenix and Whiley in order to find a “mutually acceptable solution” which would allow the company to benefit from the involvement of both Whiley and Channon in “developing the company’s strategy for the consideration of all shareholders”. 

He said: “A proposal was put to Phoenix whereby Clive Whiley would continue as chairman, but in a non-executive capacity, with Gary Channon being appointed as interim chief executive officer until a more permanent appointment can be made.

“In spite of the best efforts of the independent directors and the willingness of Clive Whiley to proceed in this manner, unfortunately, it has not been possible to reach such a compromise.”

The newly reconstituted board comprises Gary Channon, James Wilson and Andrew Judd – with dignity noting that it will be up to the board to “determine respective roles and duties”.

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