Bloody day for boards as shareholders revolt

Severn Trent, BT and Experian faced anger at their AGMs

There were raised temperatures at a trio of annual general meetings yesterday, as bosses at Severn Trent, BT and Experian faced fed-up shareholders.

At Severn Trent, 5 per cent of shareholders voted against pay policies designed by new boss Liv Garfield. In a further blow for the former chief of BT’s Openreach division, 5 per cent of shareholders voted against her appointment.

Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), the advisory group which examines company’s pay awards, said the water utility’s new pay policies were “considered to be excessive”.

Ms Garfield’s basic annual salary of £650,000 is 16 per cent higher than the salary of her predecessor, Tony Wray. She was also awarded £2.4m in shares when she joined Severn Trent earlier this year.

“Awards granted have previously been capped at 70 per cent of salary for the chief executive. However, these have been greatly increased to 125 per cent for the newly appointed chief executive,” Pirc pointed out.

There were also heated exchanges at Ms Garfield’s old employer, BT where Pirc had ignited shareholder ire with criticism of chief executive Gavin Patterson’s pay and described its bonus scheme as “highly excessive”. BT changed its bonus scheme when Mr Patterson succeeded Ian Livingston last September.

Pirc recommended investors vote against BT’s future remuneration policy because Mr Patterson could earn £7.4m if he hits targets, making his package worth up to 740 per cent of base salary.

Tony Hall, the former BSkyB boss who chairs BT’s remuneration committee, said in the annual report that the changes meant Mr Patterson’s pay would be significantly reduced for average performance compared to when Mr Livingston was in charge, but he admitted the maximum bonus was only “reduced slightly”.

Last year the remuneration report was backed overwhelmingly. Yesterday’s shareholder revolt saw about 7 per cent vote against it.

During an extended and rowdy AGM, shareholders also turned on BT’s board with complaints about the company’s poor customer service. Spontaneous applause broke out after a shareholder suggested BT should move its customer service operations back onshore.

One observer noted that the AGM was like a “customer complaints convention”.

At the credit-checking expert Experian, the shareholder revolt centred around the election of the new chairman, Don Robert, who has been elevated from chief executive following a boardroom reshuffle that will see him replaced by Brian Cassin, formerly the company’s chief financial officer.

Overall, it some 30 per cent of investors failed to back Mr Robert’s election.

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

Arts and Entertainment
art
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Training Coordinator / Resource Planner - City, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories