Farmer Business Developments plc
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Why I am NOT running for the Board in 2023

Below is the archive of why I ran for election to the Board for several years between 2017 -2021, which I updated in 2022.
This year, 2023, I have decided NOT to seek Board election, as I wanted to see if things would show signs of change, for the benefit of Shareholders.

Thankfully, they have. The new Chairman, Pat Murphy, and the Board, look to be putting in place initiatives that will increase the Share price.
I especially welcome, in view of the reduced number of shares, and shareholders, the news of

[A] the share buy-back at 1.91.

[B] the increased €0.09 dividend.

[C] the mandatory inclusion of our first female Board member (a long overdue development) and

[D] our providing a trading facility to enable existing holders increase stakes at fair prices.

I believe that this is an excellent use of the 1 dividend from Holdings, since other parts of the Company are doing well at present.
I would STILL want to see the foolishly restrictive Constitutional requirement for new buyers to be both FBD Insurance users AND IFA members for 3 years removed.
In my opinion this requirement alone has resulted in an ongoing shareprice of often less than 25% of Asset value - right from it's 2014 adoption until the 2022 €1.51 buy-back.
The continued presence of this rule is even more foolish as the Board still retains a veto on new owner applications

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In June 2016, I got a nomination for the Board in full compliance with the Company's rules.
But, because of the procedure adopted, my name was not even put forward on the order of business for consideration.

But, undeterred, I have stood every year since. This year 2022, my nomination has NOT been accepted, being deemed to late because, although an email with the correctly filled nomination arrived on time, the (paper) letter arrived 2 days late. Please give me your vote next year, as I again intend to stand.

I want shareholders on the Board who have a stake in the Company. I have now got 80,369 shares, having in 2020 purchased 20,000 more in the open market.

If elected I will push for the following:-

1] Matching Directors interests with those of shareholders - The Board has presently 12 Directors. 7 of them have 10,000 shares or less, and some of these have been on the Board for several years. I think that, with high debt but millions of Treasury shares, the Company should be paying half of each Director's usual €6000 annual fee, and half of the Chairman's €11,000 fee, in ordinary shares, issued at the average price of the last 10 trades. This would help focus Directors interests on those of all shareholders.

2] Better Communication - The Board, despite saying that their new website would keep shareholders informed, has frequently failed to inform us of anything. e.g. why does our Company website not inform us, and give direct links, to the results of FBD Hotels and Resorts, and FBD Holdings, as both are of material relevance to us.
I also think that the Company website does not give enough information with regard to shareprice. I believe it needs to give a "current Bid and Offer", not just a "last deal done at", to show shareholders the true demand at any one time.

3] A New Shareholder Rule - I think the Constitution restriction on potential new shareholders needs to be changed. We currently have lots of foreign domiciled, non-farmer and non FBD holders - from a retired Dietician in Zimbabwe, to the wife of a hotel builder in China, to a priest in Montana, USA. (I've seen the Register) I think that, as the Company Board also has a final veto, that any new shareholders having to be both an FBD user AND an IFA member is too restrictive.

This rule alone has severely damaged the shareprice, and will continue to do so, because of the number of shares from old people, deceased holders, and distressed sellers coming to market without new buyers.

I also think the 1% shareholding limit should be increased to 2%, to let the likes of Dairygold buy more shares.

4] As over 40% of our shareholders are women, I'd like to see women included at Board level.

I believe that I am a very suitable candidate for Board membership. I was Chairman of the East Donegal Co-operative Agricultural Society for 8 years prior to its successful winding up, where it returned 3 times their initial investment + dividends back to shareholders. I have been an FBD user for 42 years and an IFA member for 35.
I am the current Northern Irish press secretary for MENSA (the high intelligence society).
Aged 62, I have retired from full-time farming after 40 years, so I have the necessary time to give to the job.
In a personal capacity, I'm an investor who has been investing in Equity Stock Markets, Bonds, and other investment assets, since 1988. In that time I have grown my own portfolio by 9% compound per annum, and I have completed a course on Equity Investment at Queen's University, Belfast.
I know how companies should work.


I believe that, as a shareholder with a qualification in Communications (ATCL from Trinity Guildhall) that I could, as a Board member, argue for the Board to keep shareholders more informed. I'd also like the Company to reward its shareholders better, to open up to new shareholders, and in so doing try to reverse the share-price decline of the last 14 years, which has fallen from over €7 to the present 90c.

I want people to be interested in buying the Company shares, so that existing shareholders, especially older shareholders who may be looking for an exit, have a share price that reflects the true value of the Company.

Please consider voting for me. You can do it by filling out the voting form and returning it in the "freepost" envelope the Company enclosed with the AGM notice.


Archive of this page from 2016

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