Pirc urges investors to veto 'Mail' contracts

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The Independent Online

The owner of the Daily Mail may face opposition from investors at its annual meeting after the Pirc, the investor activist group, yesterday criticised the company's contracts for two directors.

Pirc urged shareholders to vote against the accounts and remuneration report of Daily Mail & General Trust at its AGM on 4 February. The body said it had "concerns" about the corporate governance record of DMGT, which it believes breaches the Combined Code - the City rulebook on best practice.

Pirc criticised the fact that two DMGT executives - Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, and Padraic Fallon, the chairman of Euromoney - have two-year contracts.

The City is opposed to contracts that are longer than 12 months because it gives scope for boards to offer huge payouts for departing executives, even if they are leaving the company because they have failed to perform. DMGT has made some concessions to the corporate governance lobby. Its chief executive and finance director have agreed to halve their notice periods to one year.