Brian Bickell, the long-standing boss of Shaftesbury, on Friday cheered good trading at the West End property firm as he looked set to survive a rebel shareholder’s bid to oust him. The 65-year-old faced a tense annual meeting today, 24 hours after Hong Kong billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, the largest shareholder in Shaftesbury, said he would oppose the remuneration and reappointment of Shaftesbury’s chairman, chief executive and finance chief. Mike Fox, head of sustainable investments at Royal London Asset Management, a 1.5% shareholder, said his firm was voting to support management. Although Lee has previously opposed votes that allow the board to carry out a share placing without consultation, this is the first time he has called for change of leadership. Bickell, who has led Shaftesbury since 2011, was bullish today and made no mention of Lee in a trading update for October to February 7.
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