FTSE firms set to face investors over pay plans

A CLUTCH of Britain’s biggest companies will this week face their investors, following bruising protest votes at Barclays, Pearson and AstraZeneca last week.

FTSE 100 oil explorer Tullow is under the spotlight on Wednesday for its plans to change share awards for directors.

Investor advisory group Pirc has said shareholders should oppose the changes, which hand shares worth up to 600 per cent of salary to top staff. More than a third of the firm’s investors declined to back Tullow’s incentive plan last year.

Meanwhile insurance firm Aviva is hoping to avoid a repeat of its 2012 annual meeting, when more than half of its investors rebelled against its remuneration report.

The firm, which has spent nearly two years restructuring, avoided a large protest vote last year but endured heated questions from some shareholders angry about executive pay.

Proxy voting agency Manifest has given the insurer a B rating, or the second-highest score, for its pay plans this year.

But Manifest has flagged concerns with the remuneration reports at investment manager Schroders and its peer Henderson, which both meet with their investors on Thursday.

Also getting a low grade is pharmaceutical group Shire, which is holding its meeting in Dublin tomorrow.

KPMG found last year than just over one in 10 FTSE firms encountered rebellions from more than 20 per cent of their investors.

Business secretary Vince Cable wrote to all FTSE 100 remuneration committees last week urging them to curb bonuses for their top staff.

The government introduced new rules in October giving investors a legally-binding vote on future remuneration policies. However, investor groups believe the new power will not be widely used during the first year.

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