It’s difficult to know what to make of the fuss around the vote on KPMG’s reappointment at the recent Investec annual general meeting. At the meeting, 19.5% of shareholders voted against the reappointment of KPMG (after 24 years) as joint auditor, prompting the board to provide a puzzlingly long explanation for its continued use of the disgraced audit firm. No explanation was offered for the continued use of the second firm EY (after 43 years), the re-election of which was opposed by 11.1% of shareholders. Since the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (Irba) launched its mandatory rotation campaign last year, it hasn’t been unusual to see opposition to auditor re-appointment in the high teens, particularly where the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is a shareholder. The PIC owns 12.2% of Investec. Perhaps the more significant question is why so few of the remaining shareholders voted against KPMG’s re-election. Another significant voting result at last week’s AGM was the he...

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