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Proxy adviser Glass Lewis backs Recchi as chairman of Telecom Italia

ENI President Giuseppe Recchi poses during a meeting organized by young Confindustria members in Santa Margherita Ligure June 11, 2011. REUT
ENI President Giuseppe Recchi poses during a meeting organized by young Confindustria members in Santa Margherita Ligure June 11, 2011. REUT

MILAN (Reuters) - Proxy advisor Glass Lewis has recommended that Telecom Italia investors vote in favor of Giuseppe Recchi as chairman of the board when shareholders meet on April 16, it said in a document seen by Reuters.

Telecom Italia's largest investor Telco said earlier this month it had proposed Recchi as chairman of Italy's largest phone group.

Recchi is a former executive at General Electric and is currently chairman of Italian state-owned oil group Eni.

Telco is owned by Spain's Telefonica, Italian insurer Generali and two banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca, and owns 22.4 percent of Telecom Italia.

Some Telecom Italia minority investors led by Marco Fossati are seeking greater representation on the company's board, which they say is too influenced by Telefonica.

Fossati, Telecom's second-largest shareholder, has proposed as chairman Vito Gamberale, the head of infrastructure fund F2i and main shareholder of fiber optic group Metroweb.

Glass Lewis said Gamberale could have a potential conflict of interest if appointed chairman of Telecom Italia.

Glass Lewis also said it recommended shareholders vote for the slate of directors proposed by asset management association Assogestioni at the April meeting.

(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Stephen Jewkes, editing by David Evans)

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