EU proposes vote on pay for investors

COMPANY managers across Europe may have to put their pay packets to a shareholder vote and introduce a quota for women executives under proposals from the European Commission announced yesterday.

The European Union’s executive Commission published its proposals as it considered how to boost shareholder involvement in the running of companies in the EU’s 27 member states.

While banks would not be the only firms covered by any new law, rising pay in London’s financial centre and elsewhere has increased pressure to widen last year’s EU rules that cut the amount of cash bankers can receive in bonuses.

In the EU document outlining the reach of potential legislation, officials said “a mismatch between performance and executive directors’ remuneration has... come to light” and they proposed a mandatory disclosure of pay as well as a shareholder vote on pay.

The EU proposal, which is now open for public comment and could change before becoming law, also considers gender quotas to boost the number of women on management boards and limits on the number of jobs for non-executive directors.

EU officials estimate that roughly one in 10 seats on supervisory boards are occupied by women.