LONDON (Reuters) - The board of Man Group (EMG.L), the world’s biggest listed hedge fund, was hit by a new revolt over excessive pay at its annual general meeting on Friday, after more than a quarter of investors opposed its 2016 payouts.
It is the latest in a series of high-profile investor rebellions at Britain’s top firms, and comes as Prime Minister Theresa May considers a range of changes to the rules around corporate governance to rein in firms’ largesse to bosses.
The company said 27 percent of investors had rejected its remuneration report for 2016, the largest vote against any of the 23 resolutions put to shareholders. Last year 37 percent of votes were cast against the report.
Man Group noted the “significant” number of oppose votes, but also noted the level of dissent had fallen from the prior years, in a statement alongside the results of the vote, and said it had been in extensive talks with largest investors.
In response to the feedback, Man Group said it had made material changes to the implementation of its Remuneration Policy, including cutting the maximum bonus for 2016 performance, changing the way it was calculated, reducing the maximum long-term incentive awarded for 2014-2016 performance, and capping the 2017 long-term incentive award.
“From our recent discussions with shareholders, it is clear that a number of them acknowledge the positive steps taken to address previous concerns and this is reflected in the voting outcome.
“It is also clear that there is still more work to be done and the Committee will continue to work closely with shareholders in the year ahead to conduct a fundamental review of the Remuneration Policy for submission to the 2018 AGM.”
The Man revolt follows similar action at other firms, including Pearson (PSON.L), where two-thirds of investors rejected the pay report, and Thomas Cook (TCG.L), where more than 20 percent voted against.
Additional reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Susan Thomas