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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