'Shareholder spring' revolt over fat cat pay poised to gather pace
Anger over boardroom pay will explode again this week as further investor rebellions demonstrate the "shareholder spring" of unrest continues unabated.
Cookson, the FTSE 250 engineering group, and online gaming firm 888 are in the immediate line of fire. Both companies are braced for chunky votes against their pay policies when they stage annual meetings on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
Several bigger firms are fighting a rearguard action against investor concerns over how much they have awarded bosses. HSBC has begun consulting shareholders to try to calm worries over the pay package of almost £8m handed to chief executive Stuart Gulliver. WPP, the advertising giant, has gone on the defensive over boss Sir Martin Sorrell's near-£13m pay deal. The shareholder spring has so far claimed the scalps of three high-profile bosses at Aviva, Britain's largest insurance company, drugs giant AstraZeneca and Trinity Mirror, publisher of the Daily Mirror and The People. Pendragon, the car dealer, was stung by a revolt last week.
At Cookson, Nick Salmon, the chief executive, is under fire for a long-term pay plan that handed him £7m despite shares in the firm, which makes parts for gadgets such as the iPad, underperforming peers. At 888, the flashpoint has been caused by a generous bonus awarded to Aviad Kobrine, the finance director. The Association of British Insurers has issued "red top" warnings to its members on both the companies.
Vince Cable, the business secretary who is pressing for the investor vote on boardroom pay to be made binding, also wants companies to disclose more information about their use of remuneration consultants who advise directors on how to craft pay deals and performance targets..
The Trades Union Congress says the government needs to do more than just make voting decisions binding to ensure that pay is set at more realistic levels. It wants workers to be invited to sit on the committees that set top remuneration.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...