BOSTON: Funds run by Fidelity Investments sided with Tesla Inc management on director votes and other controversial items this spring, filings showed on Thursday, which experts said could presage further support for the carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, as he looks to take the company private.
Fidelity funds that are top Tesla holders, including BlueChip Growth Fund, Growth Company Fund and Contrafund, all voted as Tesla recommended at two shareholder meetings held in March and June, the filings showed.
At both meetings top proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services recommended more critical votes, citing concerns about Musk's pay and board independence, among other things. Fidelity's votes marked the second set of supportive ballots disclosed by a top investor in the carmaker so far this year.
A Fidelity spokeswoman said the Boston firm would not comment on what the votes might suggest about the firm's views on the go-private deal that Musk is trying to arrange. How much backing funds give Musk will determine how much money he will need to raise in his unprecedented bid to take the company private.
The positive votes by the Fidelity funds on the controversial election items could suggest their managers will be more likely to support Musk going forward, said Francis Byrd, a corporate governance consultant.