Shareholders reject Crest Nicholson’s pay report

Crest Nicholson logo

FTSE 250 construction company Crest Nicholson, which emphasises its sustainable approach to housing developments, had its remuneration report rejected by shareholders at its AGM this week. There was a 58% vote against the non-binding annual remuneration implementation report. In a separate binding vote on the company’s remuneration policy there was a 96% vote in favour.… Read the rest

WPP: did shareholders look before the LEAP?

WPP Martin Sorrell pay

WPP, whose chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell last year caused headlines for a £70m pay package, has announced its final investment performance figures for its controversial long term incentive scheme, LEAP.

The WPP figures show that Sir Martin Sorrell would receive £41.5m from the LEAP scheme for 2016 – compared with their value of 20.69m when the shares were granted in 2012.… Read the rest

UK’s FRC asks for more governance powers

Stephen Haddrill

The UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has argued that it needs more powers to take enforcement action against directors so that it can investigate and prosecute all directors for financial reporting breaches and associated issues of integrity, rather than only accountants and actuaries as at present in its response to the government’s green paper on corporate governance.… Read the rest

Thomas Cook: joined up voting on pay

Thomas Cook pay

Travel company, Thomas Cook received a warning on pay this week at its AGM when the voting results showed that some investors at starting to take a joined up approach to remuneration-related voting. This is a signal to all companies seeking approval for their remuneration policies and new incentive plans this year that shareholders do not want the potential for excessive awards under these schemes.… Read the rest

Engagement fail: Imperial Brands pay policy stubbed out

Imperial Brands Pay Proposals Stubbed Out

Despite attempts at investor engagement, tobacco firm Imperial Brands has withdrawn the resolution amending its policy at its AGM next week (1st February). The company said that that the decision followed consultations with shareholders, and that the existing policy  approved by shareholders at its 2015 AGM  will continue to apply.… Read the rest

Tougher investor stance on executive pay signalled for 2017

The UK’s Pension’s and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has advised its pension fund members to act more strongly on executive pay. It is advising funds oppose the re-election of the remuneration committee chair as a company director if they decide as shareholders to vote against a company’s remuneration policy.… Read the rest

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn speaks out on executive pay

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party has outlined his party’s agenda for governance reform focusing on CEO pay ratios. In a speech in Peterborough last week (10th January) Corbyn added his voice to the current debate surrounding Theresa May’s governance green paper proposals.… Read the rest

CFA UK-backed study reveals continuing rising CEO pay

Research commissioned by CFA UK has examined the alignment of chief executive (CEO) pay and company value creation between 2003-2014/15 and found that total pay for the median CEO increased by 82% in real terms over the period. However, the median FTSE-350 company generated little in the way of a meaningful economic profit over the period 2003-2009 , and although performance improved from 2010 onwards the median firm generated less than 1% economic return on invested capital.… Read the rest

BlackRock set to vote against RemCo Chairs

Charlotte Villiers

Investment giant, BlackRock, has indicated it will be toughening its stance on executive pay after giving evidence to the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee. In future it will now hold remuneration committee chairmen to account for the decisions they have made; a move which Manifest recommended to the Committee at the previous session.… Read the rest

Tense Australian proxy voting season

Shareholders of Australian companies are showing their muscle in this year’s proxy season with significant opposition votes over the governance of retailer Harvey Norman and a rejection of executive pay at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The Australian Shareholders Association has called on the chairman of  Harvey Norman, Gerry Harvey, to resign and for an independent non-executive director to replace him.… Read the rest

Parliament publishes corporate governance evidence

(c) Can Stock Photo / stoyanh

Huge response to BEIS Select Committee

The UK’s Parliament’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee has reported a larger than usual response to its request for written submissions to its corporate governance inquiry. Responses by the main industry bodies and interest groups, firms – including Manifest – together with individual submissions from academics and fund managers have been published on the committee’s website.… Read the rest

UK MPs launch corporate governance inquiry

The  House of Commons’ Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) Committee has launched an inquiry on corporate governance, focussing on executive pay, directors duties, and the composition of boardrooms, including worker representation and gender balance in executive positions.

This follows the committee’s inquiries into the corporate collapse of  retailer, BHS, and the working practices at Sports Direct and the announcement by Theresa May that the government will be consulting on corporate governance issues this autumn – including her proposals on executive pay and employee representation on company boards.… Read the rest