SABMiller chief weathers storm as one in four revolt over pay

SABMiller escaped a shareholder revolt on executive pay yesterday, although one in four votes at the brewer’s annual meeting opposed bosses’ remuneration packages.

Despite investor advisory body Pirc urging shareholders to vote against electing chief executive Graham Mackay to executive chairman, all motions at yesterday’s annual meeting were carried, with 77.3 per cent of votes cast in favour of the pay package.

Investor anger was possibly tempered by SABMiller beating expectations to report an eight per cent revenue jump in the three months to July, with strong growth in Asia and Africa offsetting sluggish sales in the West. Emerging markets now make up 80 per cent of sales at SABMiller, the world’s second-biggest brewer by volume.

Pirc said on Tuesday that there was “a lack of independent representation on the board” of SABMiller, and objected to Mackay’s bonus, five times his salary.

Few shareholders voted against Mackay replacing Meyer Kahn as chairman, as Kahn stepped down after 46 years at the firm.