Premier Oil, Playtech and Foxtons feel AGM wrath from investors in pay votes

William Turvill
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Estate Agent Foxtons Debuts On The Stock Market
Foxtons was one of the companies to suffer a setback at its AGM today (Source: Getty)

Premier Oil, FTSE 250-listed Playtech and estate agent Foxtons were on the end of shareholder anger over executive pay at their annual general meetings (AGMs) today.

This year’s AGM season has been reasonably subdued, with several companies altering pay plans in order to avoid rebellions.

According to Proxy Insight figures, FTSE 100 firms have on average won 93 per cent approval for remuneration reports so far this year and 95 per cent for policies. The same companies received 90 per cent report approval and 94 per cent on policy last year.

Across the FTSE 250, average pay report backing has been 93 per cent and policy 94 per cent.

Read more: BP shareholders approve chief exec pay and new remuneration policy

“It is clear that many companies have listened to their investors’ much publicised concerns about remuneration which is filtering through to higher levels of investor support than was expected,” Proxy Insight’s managing director Nick Dawson told City A.M.

“That being said, there have been three withdrawn remuneration votes in the FTSE 250 so far and a further 24 remuneration resolutions which failed to achieve at least 80 per cent support.”

Today, while oil giant BP and bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair had their plans waved through by investors, Foxtons suffered a 28 per cent vote against its remuneration policy.

Announcing the results of its AGM results, the estate agent noted the backlash on pay policy, saying that it had consulted investors holding more than 60 per cent of shares on the plans, under which a new share option plan will replace the current long-term investment plan.

Foxtons said: “The board is committed to ongoing dialogue with shareholders on these and other matters.”

FTSE 250-listed gambling software company Playtech took even more of a hit, with 32 per cent of votes going against its pay policy, and another 32 per cent going against its remuneration report.

Read more: BAE says exec pay plan "in line with best practice" as investors revolt

Elsewhere, Premier Oil also took a beating, with a 30 per cent vote against its remuneration report yesterday.

The company’s board noted the “significant number of votes” cast against its remuneration report, adding: “The committee will now analyse the voting outcome and will continue to engage with major shareholders to more fully understand their perspectives, as appropriate.”

Jupiter Fund Management also held its AGM yesterday, but the result will not be released until Thursday morning.

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