BT relief as an investor rebellion on exec pay fails to materialise

BT has ridden out investor unrest over executive pay, after a majority of shareholders voted for its proposals at yesterday&rsquo;s annual meeting.<br /><br />The Association of British Insurers had issued an amber top warning and investor body Pirc had urged BT shareholders to abstain from voting on the telecoms giant&rsquo;s pay plans, in protest at a &pound;1.6m termination payment made to Francois Barrault, the former head of its loss-making Global Service division.<br /><br />But 83.27 per cent of the vote supported BT&rsquo;s future pay plans, while 10.45 per cent voted against and 6.28 per cent abstained.<br /><br />Under the plans, BT&rsquo;s chief executive Ian Livingston &ndash; who been tasked with the job of bringing the telco out of the red &ndash; could potentially pick up a bonus package worth several times his &pound;802,000 salary.<br /><br />BT said it was on course to meet its target of delivering more than &pound;1bn of cost savings in this financial year.<br /><br />Meanwhile, sources close to the matter said the Pensions Regulator has brought in advisers to check the assumptions BT used to value the liabilities of its pension scheme. But the watchdog said it was common practice to bring in outside experts.