Fund managers plan executive pay crackdown to avert need for government intervention

William Turvill
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Theresa May set out a green paper to overhaul executive pay in November last year (Source: Getty)

A group of fund manager giants have agreed to club together to combat excessive executive pay.

Aberdeen Asset Management, M&G Investments and Standard Life Investments were among 13 firms involved in the recent pact.

The agreement came after an 18 January meeting of the Investment Association, which came around the time Blackrock, the world’s biggest fund manager, indicated it would not stand for excessive pay at FTSE 350 firms.

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The fund managers agreed to the plans in the context of Theresa May’s plans to crackdown on fat cat pay, with the firms fearful this intervention could prevent UK companies from attracting global talent.

May set out proposals to overhaul executive pay at the end of November, with the green paper including plans to make publicly-listed firms publish pay ratios.

The corporate governance reform consultation closes on 17 February.

The Sunday Times reported that 150 FTSE executives are currently negotiating pay deals that will be subject to shareholder votes in the next few months and that a “considerable number” are flagged to be rejected.

The Investment Association said: “We engage with our members on a range of corporate governance issues and we will be responding to the green paper in due course.”

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Old Mutual Asset Management, BMO Global Asset Management, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, HSBC Global Asset Management, Investec Asset Management, Royal London Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors and Vanguard Asset Management were also named as firms present at the meeting.

Last month, Blackrock chief executive Larry Fink warned companies his firm will use its weight to vote down unreasonable pay levels.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA), which represents more than 1,300 pension schemes representing £1 trillion in assets, also published new guidelines last month indicating a tougher stance on the committees that sign off remuneration policy.

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