Barclays has moved to deescalate investor anger ahead of week’s annual meeting by announcing a new director to run the committee which sets pay and bonuses.
The bank, which paid out £2.38 billion in bonuses last year, faces a potentially damaging shareholder revolt at next week’s meeting in London.
The Association of British Insurers has issued an “amber-top” notice to its members alerting them to Barclays’ annual report and forward-going pay policies. Shareholder lobby group Pirc is recommending its members oppose five resolutions at the meeting.
Sir John Sunderland, pictured, chairman of the bank’s remuneration committee, was the target of much of investors’ ire. He replaced Alison Carnwath, who had had to defend former chief executive Bob Diamond’s multi-million pound rewards, in 2012 but told the board he wanted to step down from that role this year. He is also heading the search for a chairman to replace Sir David Walker, who plans to leave this year.
Barclays said it will appoint Crawford Gillies, a former senior executive with consultants Bain & Co, as non-executive director from May 1. He will then take over the chair of the remuneration committee from Sunderland at an unset date, after a “smooth transition.”
Gillies has performed a similar role at Standard Life since 2007 and is also on the board of MITIE and a former chairman of the CBI.
Walker said: “I am delighted that Crawford has agreed to join the Barclays board. He brings immense experience in a range of different industries.”
One senior institutional investor welcomed Gillies’ appointment but said it would not alter its plan to vote against several resolutions at the meeting.
Investors are particularly annoyed that the bonus pool rose by 10% when profits for the investment bank fell.