Tuesday, 23 June 2009

M&S gives ground... on pay

Interesting move by M&S to say Stuart Rose and Steve Sharp will waive part of their potential entitlement to share awards because of investor unease.

There are two possible readings of this. Maybe the company was facing a serious revolt from shareholders, and the ABI in particular, over this issue and therefore had to cave in.

But my cynical side wonders whether there isn't some horse-trading going on. Has M&S chucked investors a bone on remuneration policy to stave off a bit of pressure on the rather bigger issue of combined roles? Giving ground on pay gives the ABI something to show for its engagement. It has still amber-topped its report on M&S because of the LAPFF's shareholder resolution, but it has said that it always does this when there are such initiatives.

The fact that both M&S and the ABI issued public statements on this is what surprises me. It's unusual. But then maybe once M&S had put out its statement, which refers obliquely to 'shareholder representative bodies', the ABI really had to put something out and wanted to control the message by issuing a quote.


No comments: