Kentz shareholders latest to slam pay plans

Harriet Green
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Shareholder spring has sprung bolder than ever for engineering firm Kentz.

A huge 58 per cent of shareholders casting votes at the annual general meeting opposed its pay policy, or chose to abstain from voting. Moreover, 45 per cent also opposed its remuneration report.

While the pay policy covers plans for paying staff over the next three years, the remuneration report goes over bonuses and salaries paid out over the past year.

Kentz is the latest in a string of companies whose investors have rejected pay packages.

Yesterday, Hiscox, BG Group and Lloyds Banking Group all felt the heat, as shareholders failed to support plans. On Wednesday, HSBC back-pedalled a £2.25m bonus share plan for chairman Douglas Flint, amid shareholder discord ahead of its AGM next week.

But in Kentz’s case, it’s the first time that a London-listed company has been voted down on both areas, and it means go it’s got to go back to the drawing board in terms of presenting its plans to investors.

The rebellion comes after two years of shareholder questioning over the hefty pay increases Kentz’s chief executive, Christian Brown, has seen.

Brown’s salary last year was $780,000 (£464,000) - nearly 60 per cent more than his predecessor got two years earlier.

The firm issued a statement this afternoon, following the opposition, saying “the Remuneration Committee has already begun consultations with our shareholders to determine how these concerns can be best overcome.” It added:

The Committee will discuss with them how our remuneration policy can be aligned with the needs of an LSE listing, while retaining our competitiveness in the broader industry in which we operate.

Once this consultation has concluded, we will put the revised Remuneration Policy forward for another vote in due course.