BusinessCompany NewsGovernment to ‘sit in’ on controversial AGMs

Government to 'sit in' on controversial AGMs

A special government unit is to be established to keep a close eye on executive pay and corporate governance during the forthcoming AGM season, it has been reported.

Link: Higgs special report

Officials from the DTI may attend controversial meetings as part of the plan, including this year’s Barclays event, where chief executive Matt Barrett is set to breach the Higgs’ code on corporate governance by taking the chairman’s seat, The Observer said.

The move is expected to emerge from a DTI consultation over how to tackle the ‘rewards for failure’ culture that last year sparked an upsurge in shareholder activism.

The consultation, launched last June, has already outlined the parameters of its findings. Government regulation of pay has been ruled out, while the possibility of ‘legislative options’ was ruled in – the DTI has already back tracked on this option.

It is hoped any measures will help to combat some companies’ unwillingness to respond to shareholders anger at the size of executive pay packets.

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