Ackman, ADP board nominees to discuss plans for company Thursday

(Reuters) – Activist investor William Ackman’s dissident director candidates for board seats at Automatic Data Processing Inc will answer questions about their plans for the company on Thursday ahead of November’s proxy vote.

Sanford C Bernstein & Co investment analyst Lisa Ellis will interview director candidates Veronica Hagen and Paul Unruh as well as Ackman at an event organized by Bernstein, Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management said.

The event will be streamed live online on Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) at adpascending.com/.

The event comes before the Nov. 7 vote where Ackman is vying for three seats on ADP’s 10-member board. While the 51-year-old investor has been giving public presentations since August, his two candidates have stayed largely out of sight.

Ackman is pushing ADP to cut bureaucracy, consolidate its real estate holdings and enhance technology, all to boost earnings.

Ellis published a research note last week that said a survey of shareholders commissioned by her firm many applauded Pershing Square’s push for change at ADP.

“The survey results, in our view, increase the likelihood that Pershing will win meaningful support in the Nov. 7 shareholder vote, although we still consider it unlikely the activist wins seats,” Ellis said in the note.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Addiytional reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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