Voting on directors’ pay gets support.

The right of shareholders to vote each year on directors’ pay has the support of almost three out of four finance directors surveyed this week in the Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question.

A resounding 72% of the 310 polled agreed that shareholders should have a say on how much basic pay and bonuses boardroom leaders take home.

The survey comes as controversy over director pay heated-up this week with a third of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome shareholders voting against an option package for directors to head the merger of the two companies.

Company agms are increasingly becoming a focus for protest. Barclay’s agm this year was hit by protests – pictured above – at the way the bank treats its customers.

One FD in the survey said: ‘Shareholders are the owners of the company and should have their say.’

The findings will come as a boon to the National Association of Pension Funds, which has campaigned vigorously for a shake-up of remuneration policy and last month urged 30% of Vodafone Airtouch shareholders to vote against excessive bonuses.

‘This is very encouraging,’ said John Rogers, NAPF director of voting issues. ‘I think a copy should be sent to Stephen Byers at the DTI to show that there is support in the business community for a shareholder vote on remuneration.’

Analysis, page 5, Leader page 12.

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