This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

Pay of FTSE-100 CEOs, and Berkeley Group

The High Pay Centre have just published their latest analysis of the pay of FTSE-100 CEOs. Their average pay is now £5.5 million and it grew by over 10% from the previous year.

Stefan Stern of the High Pay Centre said “There is apparently no end yet in sight to the rise and rise of FTSE100 CEO pay packages. In spite of the occasional flurry from more active shareholders, boards continue to award ever larger amounts of pay to their most senior executives”. One cannot but agree with those comments.

Martin Sorrell at WPP was the highest paid CEO based on the “single figure” reported remuneration of £70m. ShareSoc commented on that and the outcome of the vote by shareholders on it here: https://sharesoc.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/wpp-pay-and-agm-report/

The second highest package was for Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Group who have just published their Annual Report (the AGM is on the 6th September). As a shareholder in the company, I appreciate Mr Pidgley’s efforts in this business since he founded the company, but I will be voting against the remuneration package. The bonus/LTIP arrangements in this company were poorly designed and have resulted in this excessive remuneration. They should be revised forthwith. They are also unnecessary bearing in mind Mr Pidgley’s substantial shareholding in the company.

Even Mr Pidgley’s second in command, Rob Perrins (CEO), collected £11 million and from comments at the last AGM, Mr Pidgley and the board seem to see nothing wrong with this largesse. Even some investors support this generosity and will probably continue to do so unless the company trips itself up.

I would certainly encourage our new Prime Minister and Business Secretary to tackle the problem of excessive and rising pay in public companies, where directors vote themselves ever larger remuneration packages. Unfortunately having votes on pay by investors will not solve the problem in isolation.

Roger Lawson

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