TCI Names its Nominees for CN Board

Activist hedge fund investor TCI Fund Management said Wednesday it plans to nominate four new members of the board of directors of Canadian National next spring.

TCI, which is based in London and serves as investment manager to CN shareholders CIFF Capital UK and The Children’s Investment Master Fund, has been waging a war of words with CN management in the wake of a failed effort by CN to acquire Kansas City Southern.

TCI had opposed the merger, which was effectively shut down when the U.S. Surface Transportation Board declined to approve CN’s plan to place KCS stock into a voting trust while regulators considered the merger.

The CN director candidates TCI intends to nominate include Gilbert Lamphere, a 40-year railroad executive;  Allison Landry, currently an independent director on the board of XPO Logistics;  Rob Knight, former chief financial officer of Union Pacific; and Paul Miller, a former CN executive (1978-2011) and 33-year railroad executive.

In a news release TCI sought to refute CN’s characterizations of TCI’s criticism of the Montreal-based Class 1 railroad’s finances. CN has described some of those criticisms as “false or misleading.”

A special meeting of CN shareholders has been set for March 22, 2022.

TCI also has indicated it will seek to replace CN CEO J.J. Ruest  with Jim Vena, a former executive at CN and UP.

“The quality of the board candidates is clear and indisputable. It is therefore notable that the [CN] board has said nothing negative about the nominees but has instead chosen to attack TCI in an attempt to divert attention from the excellence of the candidates,” TCI officials said in a statement.

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