MNC leaders forecast sunny days to come Company's annual meeting is led by upbeat executives.


It's annual meeting season, and yesterday's affair by MNC Financial Inc. had it all: a rosy assessment of the company's future; easy passage of the corporate compensation plan; praise from shareholders who were pleased with the stock price; and an almost constant harangue from a well-known corporate gadfly.

But MNC Chairman Alfred Lerner and Chief Executive Frank P.Bramble Sr., who led the meeting at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel, didn't let shareholder rights advocate Evelyn Y. Davis get in the way of a well-orchestrated meeting: They didn't let her have a microphone.

Still, Ms. Davis, who publishes a newsletter, pressed Mr. Bramble and Mr. Lerner on everything from the House banking scandal ("We don't give favors to politicians," Mr. Lerner replied), to the Olympia & York Ltd.bankruptcy (MNC has no investments with the Canadian real estate company).

When they weren't fielding an almost constant stream of questions from Ms. Davis, who was booed and heckled by other shareholders, the executives expressed an upbeat view of a company.

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