Remuneration

GoGompare AGM and a Generous Remuneration Scheme

Yesterday (23rd May) I attended the Annual General Meeting of GoCompare.com Group (GOCO) which was actually renamed GoCo Group at the meeting. This was held in the City of London at 3.00 pm but even so there were still very few ordinary shareholders present – less than ten I would guess. The company’s main business is a price comparison web service, particularly focused on car insurance, but also covering utilities and other products. It is of course fronted by Italian opera singer ...

(BEIS) Parliament Committee Report on executive pay is highly critical of companies and fund managers

By Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director My comments on this report of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Parliamentary Committee, published 26 March 2019, are: This report very much endorses ShareSoc’s view that pay in FTSE 100 companies is too high, and probably most companies could recruit good executives for half the current rates of remuneration. We published our views in 2016 see ShareSoc’s remuneration guidelines see https://www.sharesoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ShareSoc-Remuneration-Guidelines-Large-companies-2016.06.07-.pdf . We were ahead of the curve and it is good to see others ...

Lloyds Bank – Recommendation to vote against the Remuneration Report

I recommend shareholders vote against the Remuneration Report at the Lloyds AGM on 16 May 2019, because the proposal to pay the CEO a pension allowance of 33% of salary has attracted huge negative publicity. It has become a significant distraction and has negatively impacted the brand. The HBSC CEO accepted a reduction in his pension from 35% to 10% of salary. Antonio Horta-Osorio should have accepted the same, i.e. a 10% pension. The difference would be £293,000 year, but this is ...

Invitation to Meet with Royal Mail, April 8th 15.30pm

Following the Royal Mail's AGM in 2018, at which 70% of shareholders rejected the Director's Remuneration Report, the Royal Mail are embarking on a series of consultative meetings with major shareholders and shareholders' representatives to discuss their concerns. Such a meeting has been called specifically for representatives of UK Shareholders Association and ShareSoc and will be held at the Royal Mail's premises at Victoria Embankment London on April 8th and attended by Orna Ni-Chionna, NED and Chair of the Remuneration Committee; Julia ...

Excessive Pensions, Lloyds Bank and RBS

Over 20% of shareholders voted against the Lloyds 2017 Remuneration Report. Lloyds then consulted with shareholders, but this still resulted in the awful recent press. Clearly the engagement process did not work. I therefore call for Lloyds Bank to implement a Shareholder Committee, which is a more formal and regular engagement process, which builds trust and understanding between committee members and the company. This can only improve the current processes. The Lloyds 2018 annual report says: Responding to feedback We were disappointed that our ...

AIM & remuneration disclosure: still room for improvement

Some of the problems and opportunities in AIM companies were highlighted in a recent blog by Minerva Analytics which I am reproducing with their permission below, writes Cliff Weight, ShareSoc Director. Unlike their main market peers, AIM companies are not obliged to follow the detailed legislation surrounding executive pay practice. After AIM Rule 26 was changed in March 2018, they now just have to disclose which governance code they follow. For many, that will be the QCA Governance Code. While cynics often suggest ...

TrakM8: Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

My attention this morning was drawn by an RNS from TrakM8, a company I used to own shares in but, thankfully have not since 2017. TrakM8 has proved a pretty awful investment for its shareholders, with its share price declining by some 70% in the last year alone and by more than 90% since its peak in late 2015. This is on the back of disappointing revenue growth, declining profits and weak cashflow, ultimately necessitating placings at 65p in 2017 and at ...

Plus500: Buybacks, Fat Cat Pay and Profits Warning

Superstar share Plus500 has plummeted back to Earth. This super stock rose from a price of £3.14 5 years ago (14 Feb 2014) to a high of £20.76 and following a profits warning has dropped to £10.88 today 13 Feb 2019. Tom Winnifrith has commented on this company and the dangers of investing in companies where 80% of their customers lose money. I agree with him, this cannot be a recipe for long term success. But are the directors stupid or have they ...

Remuneration Update

by Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. On 22 November 2018, the Investment Association (“IA”), wrote to the chairmen of the remuneration committees of FTSE 350 companies attaching its updated Principles of Remuneration . These changes to the IA guidelines have been made against the backdrop of the new remuneration provisions in the UK Corporate Governance Code and the changes to the reporting of directors’ remuneration which is due to come into force for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019. MM&K's excellent(*) review ...

Taxation of Trusts, LTIPs and Technology Stocks

The Government has announced a review of the Taxation of Trusts. You can read the consultation document and respond thereafter here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/the-of-taxation-of-trusts-a-review It’s not about investment trusts, but all kinds of traditional trusts whose origin goes back hundreds of years and enables “settlors” to move assets into a trust and out of their personal wealth. There are a number of different reasons why trusts are created as the above document explains. The Government does not dispute that they have genuine uses but ...