New York City Retirement System to back Disney in boardroom battle with Trian, Blackwells

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The New York City Retirement System plans to vote in support Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger and the company’s board, rejecting the nominees of two hedge funds, including Nelson Peltz’s Trian, in a bruising boardroom battle.

The retirement system, a Disney shareholder, said the entertainment giant should get more time to achieve the strategic transformation it is working on with its Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger.

Shareholders will vote next week on who should sit on the company’s board, and Disney and the two hedge funds are making final appeals to investors for their votes.

New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said the company’s shares “have performed well” and that “boards are most effective when members bring valuable perspectives and relevant experience and are focused on the long-term health of the company.”

Lander said that Peltz, who is running for a seat based on his experience as a director on boards including Procter & Gamble and Wendy’s, should not be elected. “Nelson Peltz’s troubling performance on other company boards including Wendy’s raise concerns about the value he would bring to the table, and we do not believe this would be beneficial to preserving shareholder value,” Lander said.

But investment firm Neuberger Berman said on Friday that it will vote to support Peltz and Trian’s second candidate, former Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo, arguing that the outsiders could play a critical role in finding a successor to Iger who has said he will leave at then end of 2026.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Nick Zieminski)


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