Monday, 22 April 2013

I don't agree with Golden Hellos, but...

In a previous post I flagged up pressure on Astrazeneca over the payment of a 'golden hello' to its new chief executive. To state the obvious, such payments are not performance-related, since they are made in advance of performance. And the one thing even the most conservative asset manager believes these days is that pay should be linked to performance.

As such you's think this would be enough reason for shareholders to oppose the remuneration report, especially since the vote is only advisory, the payment has already been made, and hence this is really is just a protest vote. Right?

Nope. The FT contacted a couple of big Astra shareholders and here's what they said
A top 10 shareholder at AstraZeneca said it was looking more closely at remuneration and was concerned about special payments such as golden hellos and golden goodbyes. However, it said it would be backing the remuneration report. A person from another top 20 shareholder said he was increasingly concerned about golden hellos, although he refused to say how his organisation planned to vote on the remuneration package.
So "concerned" and "increasingly concerned" by these kinds of payments, but neither can commit to use their advisory vote on remuneration policy to indicate this concern. I imagine the company will think twice about paying another Golden Hello haveing experienced this ferocious onslaught...

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