hareholder resolutions related to executive pay that received significant shareholder dissent at the annual general meetings of FTSE 350 companies remained high in 2019, a review by Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association found.
The PLSA review, which analyzes investors voting behavior, said that in 2019 there were 148 resolutions that attracted a 20% dissent from investors at 81 different companies in 2019, compared with 148 resolutions at 82 companies a year earlier.
The report noted that average CEO pay FTSE 100 companies has increased to 117 times the average worker’s paychecks today, from about 40 in the mid-1990s, sparking an increase in resolutions made by shareholders because of pay.
However, for 2018, the median pay for a FTSE 100 chief executive has fallen 13% from the previous year to £3.46 million ($4.5 million). A number of companies also preemptively reduced bonuses, executive pension entitlements or overall salary ahead of the 2020 AGM season, PLSA found.
Caroline Escott, policy lead for investment and stewardship at PLSA, called on pension funds to hold directors individually accountable on issues of continued concern in 2020.