April 25, 2018 / 4:38 PM / 10 months ago

Shareholders narrowly approve UK builder Persimmon's management pay plan

FILE PHOTO: Builders construct modular Space4 homes on a Persimmon development in Coventry, February 22, 2017. Picture taken February 22, 2017.

(Reuters) - Persimmon (PSN.L) shareholders voted narrowly in favour of the housebuilder’s controversial pay scheme for senior bosses at the British firm’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Of the votes cast, 51.5 percent were in favour of Persimmon’s Advisory Remuneration Report and 48.5 percent against, the company said in a statement. Some 31 percent abstained.

Persimmon introduced a long-term incentive plan in 2012 that could have seen the firm’s top management, including Chief Executive Jeff Fairburn, make a profit of more than 200 million pounds on share options.

Following widespread criticism, that scheme was scaled back in February with changes made to the 2012 plan’s entitlements for CEO Fairburn, finance chief Mike Killoran and managing director Dave Jenkinson.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, one of Persimmon’s top investors with a 2.3 percent stake, voted against the 2017 pay report saying that the CEO pay concessions were “not even... close to acceptable”.

Excessive corporate pay has attracted public anger since the financial crisis and Prime Minister Theresa May has denounced as irrational and unhealthy the yawning gap between the amounts paid to bosses and average workers.

The company’s chairman and the head of its pay committee quit last year, under fire from British media and some investors for failing to reform the scheme.

Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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