Manifest-I

Welcome to Manifest-I the blog of Manifest, the proxy voting agency. Here we take a wide ranging view of topical governance and stewardship issues. Please feel free to add your comments and join the debate.

Has the UK’s pay simplification project hit the buffers before leaving the station?

Last week’s unprecedented result at the AGM of Weir plc – 72.3% against the  remuneration policy vote and 72.24% agains the vote on LTIP amendments (both binding votes) raises some challenging questions for the UK’s pay simplification project currently sponsored by the Investment Association.

One of the central proposals of the interim report was abandoning conventional LTIPs in More…

More companies face investor concerns over pay at AGMs

Shareholders have again showed their discontent over excessive executive pay packages with large votes opposing remuneration reports and policies. Engineering company Weir lost its binding vote on its remuneration policy – with a 72% vote against – while at building materials supplier CRH there was a 41% vote in opposition to its policy although in its case the vote was advisory as More…

UK pay working group proposes reforms of executive pay

UK Pay for Performance not Fit for Purpose Increasing disparity between CEO & stakeholder rewards Scepticism and loss of public confidence in business

Coming in the wake of some large votes by UK shareholders against executive pay, the Executive Remuneration Working Group launched by the Investment Association has produced its interim report providing recommendations that it hopes will More…

Anglo American faces opposition to executive pay

Mining group Anglo American faced a 42% vote opposing its remuneration report at its AGM this week. Though not a complete rejection the company acknowledged that it needed to engage with shareholders further in advance of the remuneration policy vote next year which will be binding.

Manifest gave Anglo-American’s remuneration a grade D in its meeting business More…

Shareholders vote against executive pay packages at BP and Smith and Nephew AGMs

The 2016 AGM season started with major defeats for two FTSE100 companies. Last Thursday (14th April) oil giant BP and medical equipments supplier, Smith & Nephew saw their remuneration reports rejected by shareholders at their AGMs. At the BP AGM there was a 59% vote against the remuneration report and at Smith & Nephew 53% of shareholder votes cast More…

Persimmon seeks to blame proxy advisors for NED's slim majority

Construction firm, Persimmon, faced significant opposition in the vote to elect Nigel Mills as one their non-executive directors. There was a 47% vote against Mills’ appointment, due to independence concerns, at the company’s AGM last week, one of the slimmest margins for a director appointment for some time.

Although the company explained why it believes Mills is independent, Manifest’s analysis highlighted his More…

US proxy season looks set to be dominated by pay issues

Anticipation that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is due to finalise three remaining Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act compensation rules as well as recent rulings from Delaware Courts will keep executive pay in the spotlight during 2016, according to Vivien Coates of law firm, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.

Coates said that due to increased scrutiny of board decisions involving More…

Remuneration looks set to be an issue at upcoming AGMs

With the peak AGM season taking place in the next two months, Manifest’s analysis suggests investors may be concerned about the remuneration practices at  some of the UK’s biggest companies holding their AGMs on 14th April.

Mining company, Rio Tinto – listed in the UK and Australia – has also been struggling in the past year due to the unfavourable More…

Academics argue stop paying top executives for performance

Top executive pay should not be linked to performance as the work they do is difficult to measure and such pay may actually be damaging to companies, according to a recent article by two academics in the Harvard Business Review.

It is not unusual for 60-80% of the pay of chief executives and other senior leaders, to be More…

International Women's Day: Pledge for Parity

The theme of International Women’s Day this week (8th March) was a Pledge for Parity, trying to achieve equal opportunities for women globally.

The World Economics Forum said it will be 117 years before women have the same career prospects as men. However, recent research it has carried out shows that what has changed is that gender equality More…