Paul Bristow, Chair of the APPC, explains the detail of the process of the next steps on the proposed APPC - PRCA Merger.
Early next week, each APPC member firm will receive the paperwork to vote on the future of the APPC – to merge with the PRCA or to remain a stand-alone organisation. This is, of course, a significant decision and so I want to ensure that everyone in our industry understands the detail about the process of voting.
Since the APPC's Management Committee (MC) recommended that our membership votes for the merger, we have had strong-natured debate on what is the best course of action for the APPC and our industry more widely. There are compelling arguments on both sides. That is why in this article I would like to set out exactly what the process will be for voting.
Firstly, it's important to be clear about the due diligence the Directors of the APPC have undertaken should a vote for merger be approved on 8 October. We have engaged a law firm to advise us on the right process according to our Articles of Association and Company Law.
In order to make a merger legal APPC member firms will be asked to vote twice: once on the merger proposition itself and again about whether to transfer membership and assets to PRCA. Each APPC member firm (there are currently a total of 76) will have one vote. The merger proposition will pass if more than 50% of members voting support the merger and again if more than 50% of members voting agree to transfer the APPC's membership and assets to the PRCA.
If you are in favour of merger you should vote for each resolution. If you are against the merger you should vote against each resolution.
The notice that members will receive includes two resolutions and the proxy form includes two votes. Members will be asked to complete the proxy form and return it to Electoral Reform Services (ERS) in the stamped addressed envelope provided.
I also want members to make their decision having considered all of the arguments for and against the merger. Therefore, I have asked the two Vice Chairs of the APPC to write 500 word articles for and against the merger. George McGregor writes for the merger and Emma Petela writes an article against the merger. APPC members will receive both an email from APPC containing these arguments and again in hard copy with their ballot papers.
Furthermore, for those who wish to vote at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 8 October there will be two presentations - one for and one against the merger. Indeed, it is worth making it clear that members do not have to vote by post - they can cast their vote at the meeting itself, having heard both sides of the argument for themselves. Alternatively, they can instruct me as the Chair of APPC to cast their vote for them or they can nominate a proxy to attend the EGM to cast their vote for them. Should members wish to do either of these they can contact APPC company secretary, Mary Shearer, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I hope that offers clarity about the next steps but members can contact me directly at email@example.com with any queries.