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Shareholders Reject Blucora Insurgents

Blucora shareholders rejected four dissident board of director candidates from investor Ancora Holdings this week. The company, which owns Avantax Wealth Management and TaxAct, said its 10 current member were re-elected by a wide margin although final vote totals were not immediately available.

 One position taken by Ancora was that TaxAct has no relationship to the other company offerings and should be sold.

The campaign had gotten personal when Blucora quoted anti-trust expert William J. Baert that the election of Ancora CEO Fred DiSanto would be a violation of the Clayton Antitrust Act, which prohibits rivals from sitting on a competitor’s board. Ancora responded by calling the Blucora charges a “low road” effort

Blucora had also charged that DiSanto had a demonstrated inability to follow laws and the compliance policies of his own organization.

Ancora said on April 12 it had learned “Blucora has been privately slinging mud at our nominees in hopes of accusations becoming public.” It denied being a direct competitor, saying it served “very different products to a much different clientele through different marketing channels” and had filed suit in Delaware asking a court to declare it is not a competitor.

The election drew different positions from proxy advisory firms. Institutional Shareholder Services, which said shareholders should vote for DiSanto and his team. Rival advisory firm Glass, Lewis, recommended electing company-backed diretors.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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