The former investment chief of Japan’s state pension fund pressured Harvard Management Company Chief Executive N.P. “Narv” Narvekar in a vote over the reappointment of an embattled electronics conglomerate chief executive, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
In the lead-up to the company’s annual general meeting, Nobuaki Kurumatani, the chief executive of Toshiba, faced a contentious vote on his reappointment and pressure from activist shareholders unhappy with his leadership. Hiro Mizuno, former chief investment officer of the Government Pension Investment Fund and a Tesla board member, met with Narvekar in a virtual meeting in an attempt to sway his vote, according to the Financial Times.
Harvard — one of Toshiba’s largest investors — held a stake of approximately 4.5 percent in the technology company prior to the general meeting.
In the meeting, Mizuno referenced Toshiba’s connections to the Japanese government and the possibility that a vote against Kurumatani could impact HMC’s reputation, the Financial Times reported. Narvekar ultimately elected to abstain from the vote, and Kurumatani was reinstated with 58 percent support.
Singapore-based activist fund Effissimo, which holds a 10 percent stake in Toshiba, sent a survey to several other investors asking whether they had “voted in a manner inconsistent with intentions,” per the report.
HMC spokesperson Patrick S. McKiernan declined to comment on the Financial Times’s report.
—Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.