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Aberdeen Standard votes against ‘excessive’ pay at Persimmon

Payment-Fine-Currency-Money-700.jpgAberdeen Standard Investments has voted against multi-million pound payouts for senior executives at housebuilder Persimmon.

Persimmon held its annual general meeting today.

There was a huge outcry at the end last year when it emerged the chief executive, chief financial officer and managing director of Persimmon were in line for huge pay packets as a result of an incentive plan voted for by shareholders in 2012.

Following concerns over excessive pay at the firm, chairman Nicholas Ridley announced his intention to resign and chairman of the remuneration committee Jonathan Davie quit the group.

Chief executive Jeff Fairburn agreed to reduce the amount expected to be paid to him from £110m to £75m, while the two other senior executives have also agreed to forego some of their pay.

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Aberdeen Standard Investments stewardship head Euan Stirling says while the company appreciates the concessions made by Fairburn, the reduction “does not even get close to acceptable”.

Aberdeen Standard owns more than seven million shares in Persimmon, which represents a 2.3 per cent stake.

In a letter addressed to shareholders, Stirling says: “Regardless of any moral or societal duties, company directors have a legal responsibility to act in the best long-term interests of the company that employs them.

He adds: “Today’s remuneration results suggest the executive directors at Persimmon have lost sight of that because the long-term success of the company is being endangered by the reputational damage associated with grossly excessive pay.”

Other shareholders including Royal London and the Church of England are also expected to vote against the pay scheme.

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