By Josh Resnek
The saga at Wynn Resorts does not want to stop.
On May 16, the shareholders will be having what is expected to be a contentious meeting to vote in the Board of Directors.
The bone of contention is John Jay Hagenbuch, one of Steve Wynn’s dearest and most trusted friends and advisor – and at this point – his direct line into the workings of the company Wynn founded.
Elaine Wynn, the owner of 9% of the company’s stock, is easily its most influential shareholder.
She has been advocating for Hagenbuch’s removal.
Institutional Shareholder Services, an influential advisory firm, on Saturday recommended investors withhold their votes for Hagenbuch because of what it said was the company’s long history of “poor governance.” Hagenbuch has served on the Wynn Resorts board since 2012.
The decision comes a day after another advisory firm, Glass Lewis, recommended Wynn investors toss Hagenbuch from the board. Stock index funds and mutual funds often follow the advice of the firms.
Hagenbuch is a very successful real estate manager and owner.
He also fancies himself as one of Steve Wynn’s best friends and supporters, according to reports and to the complaints made by Elaine Wynn, Steve Wynn’s former wife.
Elaine Wynn believes Steve Wynn would continue to have influence over the company they founded if Hagenbuch is re-elected.
Hagenbuch needs to get 50% plus one share of the votes cast to stay for another three-year term.
Also, Wynn Resorts President Matthew Maddox admitted to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission last week that he has spoken with Steve Wynn on a number of occasions since Wynn resigned as chairman.
“I am pleased to see further support for my efforts to ensure that the company takes the actions necessary to truly become the ‘New Wynn,’” Elaine Wynn said in a statement Sunday afternoon, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.