More than 100 companies warned their investor revolts will be named in new public register to scrutinise executive pay

 
Rebecca Smith
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More than 100 London-listed firms will be named on the public register (Source: Getty)

A raft of London-listed firms will be warned this week of their inclusion in a new government-backed public register compiling investor revolts over pay, as well as corporate governance issues.

The trade body for Britain's fund management industry, the Investment Association, is writing to firms which recorded at least a fifth of shareholders opposing resolutions at their annual general meetings.

The letter, seen by Sky News, will initially be sent to more than 100 boards in the FTSE All-Share Index that have suffered significant shareholder revolts, including Burberry, Entertainment One, Pearson and AstraZeneca.

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Andrew Ninian, the IA's director of stewardship and corporate governance, will call for recipients to make public statements about how they plan to tackle the issues raised by the shareholder revolts.

The information on such revolts is already publicly accessible, but the register, which will be launched by the end of the year, marks the first compilation of the results to help shareholders publicly hold the businesses to account.

It was announced in August, that business secretary Greg Clark had asked the IA to set up the register.

Clark said at the time that while most companies were "proactive and thoughtful" when it comes to responsible business practices, there were a small minority "that threaten the reputation of business with their behaviour", including those that ignore shareholder concerns over exec pay packages.

The register will name firms which have withdrawn resolutions that were intended to be put to shareholders, and businesses which had at least a fifth of shareholders voting against specific directors, or any other proposed resolutions, including over boardroom pay.

While the pay of FTSE 100 bosses dropped by nearly a fifth last year off the back of growing investor pressure, there have still been some notable accounts of shareholder backlash this year.

AstraZeneca faced nearly 40 per cent of shareholders opposing its executive pay packets in April, Premier Oil had 30 per cent vote against its remuneration report, while shareholders rejected Pearson's annual remuneration report in May.

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