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Agrium Inc. annual general meeting in Calgary, May 11, 2012. The five men that activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC wants installed on Agrium Inc.’s board of directors are dismissing claims that their independence would be compromised by so-called ‘golden leash’ payments.
Agrium Inc. annual general meeting in Calgary, May 11, 2012. The five men that activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC wants installed on Agrium Inc.’s board of directors are dismissing claims that their independence would be compromised by so-called ‘golden leash’ payments.
(Todd Korol/Reuters)

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Agrium to pay brokers for votes against Jana

If you get a call from your stockbroker suggesting you vote for Agrium Inc.’s board slate over the one put forward by dissident shareholder Jana, you might want to ask why. That’s because Agrium is quietly offering brokers 25 cents for every share voted in favour of the Agrium slate.

Agrium hired RBC Dominion Securities, which has the largest network of retail financial advisers in Canada, to manage the payout, according to a notice sent to brokers and dated March 13. The payout only applies to votes from retail clients. Brokers will be paid a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1,500 for each client who votes for Agrium’s nominees.