Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan have received a big boost from the shareholder advisory group ISS, which has recommended investors vote to re-elect News Corp's board of directors at its annual meeting this month.
It is a striking about-turn for ISS – Institutional Shareholder Services – one of the most influential shareholder advisory firms in the US.
Last year, ahead of the company's AGM, ISS said the phone-hacking revelations at News of the World exposed a "striking lack of stewardship" and it called on shareholders to vote against the re-election of nearly all of the media group's board, including Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan.
Despite the ISS change of heart, a number of investors and advisory firms have joined an action launched by dissident shareholders seeking to break Murdoch control of News Corp. The campaign includes Hermes, a British fund manager and Glass Lewis, who took the same stance in 2011.
The resolution was co-filed by Christian Brothers Investment Services and members of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum.
Nothing is likely to change , since the Murdochs control about 40% of the company's voting shares. News Corp's annual meeting is scheduled for 16 October.