Blucora votes to re-elect 10 current board members

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BOSTON - Blucora IncBlucora Inc shareholders voted to re-elect the financial services firm's 10 current board members after rejecting the proposal by dissident investor Ancora Holdings to seat four newcomers, the company said on Wednesday. Blucora, Houston-based investors, which include large index funds and hedge funds, told shareholders that their directors were better qualified to lead the company and that a series of recent changes were beginning to bear fruit. The company replaced the chief executive and chief financial officer last year amid concerns about performance, positioned the two company's tax-focused businesses for long-term growth and added new independent directors in 2020 and 2021. Blucora Holdings, one of the top 10 shareholders in the world, thought differently and launched a proxy contest in February when it nominated four directors to the board and urged the company to consider selling its tax services business. Ancora, which invests $8 billion for clients, argued that there were few synergies between Blucora's wealth management and tax consulting business Avantax and its TaxAct unit. Blucora has substantially more to do, but we appreciate the recognition from our stockholders that Blucora is a profoundly different and stronger company than it was just a year ago, said the company in a statement. Shareholders' votes, made in the lead up to Wednesday's annual meeting, illustrate how activists are returning with big requests after a more subdued 2020 when they largely give management teams more leeway because of the coronavirus pandemic. The battle between Ancora and Blucora went all the way to a vote while other corporate skirmishes were settled. According to an investment advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, change is warranted at Blucora and shareholders should vote for Frederick DiSanto, who is chairman and CEO of Cleveland-based Ancora. Glass's Rival proxy firm had urged shareholders to back all of the company's directors.

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