Shareholder activism increasing as remuneration dissatisfaction grows

Added 28th April 2016

UK Plc remuneration policies are once more in the spotlight with a number of fund managers taking an increasingly activist stance.

Shareholder activism increasing as remuneration dissatisfaction grows

After earlier this month opposing BP’s decision to increase CEO Bob Dudley’s remuneration in a year wherein it reported its worst ever annual loss, Royal London Asset Management announced it will oppose remuneration packages to be proposed at both Standard Chartered and Reckitt Benckiser’s AGMs next week.

RLAM corporate governance manager, Ashley Hamilton Claxton said: “This year has seen a ‘spring of discontent’ for a number of major British companies, with shareholders demonstrating their unhappiness at the remuneration packages awarded to top executives last year at a time when company performance was lacklustre at best.”

Adding: “While we continue to vote in a similar manner to previous years, it is encouraging to see a number of major institutional investors following our lead, both in their voting intentions and in speaking out publicly.”

One the same day, Hermes EOS came out against Schroders’ proposal to appoint former CEO Michael Dobson as chair of the firm’s board.

While acknowledging Dobson’s contribution to the firm during his tenure as CEO, Hermes said: “Although we recognise some of the key client, regulator and strategic partner relationships he holds, we do not believe that these justify a breach of a fundamental principle of UK corporate governance and best practice that a CEO should not become Chair of the company.”

Despite its views, 85% of shareholders chose to vote in favour of the resolution.

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About Author

Geoff Candy

Group digital editor

Geoff Candy joined Portfolio Adviser as News Editor in May 2014. He has been a financial journalist and broadcaster since 2005 and, in that time has worked in both South Africa and the Netherlands, covering everything from high street retailers and construction companies to mining and insurance.



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