IiAS advises independent Directors to investigate accusations against Raymond’s promoters
A proxy advisory firm has recommended that the Independent Directors of Raymond Limited investigate the accusations against Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Gautam Singhania, raised by his estranged wife Nawaz Modi. The firm suggests instructing both individuals to refrain from participating in Board activities during the investigation.
“If need be, we expect you to protect the company from its own promoters,” expressed the letter from Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS). Mukeeta Jhaveri, Ashish Kapadia, Dinesh Lal, K. Narsimha Murthy, and Shiv Surinder Kumar are named in the letter.
IiAS has further advised that the Directors secure the services of independent legal counsel to safeguard and “delineate” themselves from the allegations.
Nawaz Modi has accused Gautam Singhania, the CMD of Raymond, of domestic violence and misuse of company funds. “Despite such serious and heinous accusations by one board member against another, you have been silent. Investors are worried, which is reflected in the significant erosion in stock prices over the past few days. Your silence can be misconstrued; surely you don’t want stakeholders to think that these accusations are to be tolerated,” IiAS expressed in the open letter.
The advisory firm posed key questions for the investigation:
1. Has either Director violated the company’s code of conduct and ethics policy, including moral turpitude?
2. Is there a possibility of criminal liability for the company or its Directors?
3. Do the actions of either Director align with the company’s brand, or can they be separated from it?
4. If CEO excesses are valid, what controls will be implemented to prevent further issues?
5. Will the impending divorce and allegations remain a distraction for the Chairman and Managing Director, warranting consideration of an interim CEO for uninterrupted company operations?