Bonuses clipped by shareholder spring activism

BONUSES for top executives at the UK’s biggest public companies dropped in the last financial year, as the effect of 2012’s shareholder spring rolled on.

According to research revealed by EY today, bonuses for chief executive officers in FTSE 100 firms dropped 5.2 per cent in 2012-13, compared to their levels in the previous financial year.

FTSE 250 CEOs had their bonuses marginally improved over the same period, with a typical increase of 0.3 per cent.

Mark Shelton, EY’s head of executive compensation and reward, said that the statistics were evidence of “a climate of restraint and a rethinking of the relationship between executive pay and business performance”.

Banking and asset management chief executives were hit hardest by the squeeze: FTSE 350 CEOs in the sector had their bonuses reduced by 14 per cent from last year, according to EY. There was also no increase in basic salaries.

Chief financial officers in banking managed a small increase in their base salaries, which rose by two per cent on average, and escaped the shareholders’ wrath on performance-related pay, with bonuses up 1.7 per cent.