Shareholder spring freezes over: Reckitt Benckiser, Rolls Royce, and GlaxoSmithKline give their approval to executive pay plans

 
Billy Bambrough
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There had been rumblings that companies could face a repeat of the 2012 shareholder spring (Source: Getty)

The prospect of a fresh shareholder spring was delivered another blow today.

Shareholders of consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser, engineering firm Rolls Royce, and drug-maker GlaxoSmithKline all gave their approval to their respective executive pay packages with votes coming in above 80 per cent in favour across the board.

Reckitt, now rebranded as RB, had the toughest time of the three FTSE 100 firms at its annual general meeting (AGM).

Almost one in four shareholders voted against the group’s pay policy that covers the next three years, while 18 per cent said no to the executive pay plans for the previous year.

Read more: Sir Martin Sorrell defends huge pay package amid fears shareholder revolt

Reckitt, famous for awarding its bosses huge pay deals, paid its chief executive Rakesh Kapoor £23m in 2015.

In 2010 Reckitt paid out a staggering £90m pay package to its then chief exec Bart Becht, which still stands as the most ever awarded to a FTSE 100 CEO for a years service.

FTSE 250 companies had a tougher time today. Bookmaker Ladbrokes and facilities management and construction company Carillion both only just got their remuneration reports past shareholder scrutiny with 58 per cent and 54 per cent voting in favour of the pay packages.

Last month Weir and Shire joined the list of shareholder uprisings, which already included oil giant BP, miner Anglo American, energy firm Centrica, and financial behemoth Citigroup.

Yesterday embattled bank RBS fought to defend its management practises and executive pay at its AGM in Edinburgh.

Read more: There’s little logic to 2016’s shareholder revolts against big executive pay-outs

The banks shareholders eventually voted overwhelmingly in favour of the bank's executive pay, with over 99 per cent approving the report.

Ahead of Rolls Royce's AGM today the company's chief executive Warren East sought to reassure shareholders, confirming trading over the past few months has been in-line with expectations and the year's overall outlook remains largely unchanged.

Tomorrow Man Group and RSA Insurance face their shareholders.

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