Five large fund management groups are among those challenging boardroom pay as the battle between blue-chip companies and their investors heats up.
Research compiled by data analysis firm Proxy Insight for The Telegraph, shows “rebel investor” Fidelity Worldwide is the most aggressive on pay and has voted against 32.9 per cent of policies, followed by Aviva Investors.
Legal & General has voted against 13.3 per cent of pay policies, BMO F&C has voted against 15.8 per cent, while Royal London has voted against 15.2 per cent of pay packages, the Telegraph says.
Invesco, M&G and Standard Life were found mostly to vote in favour of boardroom remuneration policies.
Royal London corporate governance manager Ashley Hamilton Claxton told the newspaper: “Increasingly investors were aligning with our views because we have been consistently voting against these issues.”
Hamilton Claxton says Royal London voted against complex packages and was increasingly concerned about pensions being used as a cash top-up for salaries.
She says companies were “relying on these mathematical models and it is getting a bit crazy. What we have seen, particularly at BP and Anglo American, is the remuneration committees are not paying attention to the wider performance of the company and how it is viewed by the public and shareholders. Remuneration committees seem to be tone deaf to this issue.”
The news comes as Legal & General’s chief Nigel Wilson said executives get paid “too much”. His remarks followed a report from the executive remuneration working group calling for wide-ranging changes to executive pay.
The firm has today released its 2015 corporate governance report which reveals of the 188 times it voted against company boards last year, half of those votes related to pay.
L&G head of corporate governance Sacha Sadan says after asking FTSE100 companies to review their pay policies in 2013 the number of those having more than one remuneration scheme fell from 43 per cent to 18 per cent today and it “will continue to fall”.