Last week was fairly eventful in the world of FTSE 100 Directors’ Remuneration Reports. Three DRRs were released, three DRRs were voted on, one addendum was published and a whole new EU executive pay regime was proposed.
The three companies who published their DRRs last week were:
Admiral Group, BP and Smith & Nephew all held their AGMs last week, and all had both parts of the DRR (namely the policy report and the implementation report) approved by their shareholders. Admiral (98.5% and 99.6% in favour of the policy report and implementation report respectively) and Smith & Nephew (policy report and implementation report being approved by 93.5% and 98.0% respectively) both received high votes for both sections of the DRR.
BP received a high approval of the remuneration policy (96.4%) but the implementation report received a lower vote – 83.9% of shareholders who voted were in support. It appears shareholders prefer the remuneration policy going forwards than what has been paid in the past. The other big news of last week was Lord Wolfson’s decision to give his bonus to “all those who have worked for the company during the three year qualifying period”. After that, you’d expect getting shareholder approval for the implementation report to be a breeze for Next.
Shareholders who are perhaps not so satisfied are Pearson’s shareholders. As detailed in our blog post, last week Pearson issued an addendum to its DRR. As with the other addenda released to date, the publication limited the discretion afforded to the remuneration committee in certain areas.
Proving that executive remuneration is not just a hot topic in the UK, the European Commission also announced proposals last week to introduce tougher regulations on executive pay by amending the Shareholder Rights Directive. Further details can be found in our blog post. Many of the provisions mirror what is already in force in the UK, such as a binding shareholder vote on a company’s remuneration policy every three years. FTSE100 companies who are not currently subject to the UK regime but instead are voluntarily complying may soon have to conform to the Commission’s proposals.