Afren, Babcock and Immarsat named for ignoring shareholders

Afren, Babcock and Immarsat are among 10 FTSE companies that have been named for ignoring investor concerns about their remuneration reports.

Analysis of the 2013 annual general meeting (AGM) season by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), in the NAPF AGM Season report, found that, while most companies that faced significant shareholder rebellions in 2012 listened and learned, a few did not.

The 10 named companies each received a warning from shareholders in 2012 over inflated pay and rewards for executives, and also received more than 15% dissent on their 2013 remuneration reports.

Afren was the only company so far this year to have its remuneration report voted down by shareholders, with nearly three-quarters voting against it.

In March 2013, the NAPF wrote to the FTSE 350 chairmen to warn that companies that had failed to create a strong link between executive reward and performance should expect shareholders in 2013 to repeat their concerns of spring 2012.

It also published new remuneration principles, which it hopes to see applied from 2014. The final version of the remuneration principles is expected to be published shortly. 

The report is the first in what will be an annual monitoring exercise.

Joanne Segars, chief executive of the NAPF, said: “The good news is that most companies are making efforts to improve the disclosure of their remuneration practices and to ensure their policies are driving appropriate performance. 

“We hope that highlighting the few companies where shareholders have felt compelled to give the company another reprimand will cause them to reflect, listen to shareholder concerns and introduce changes next year. 

“We will continue to keep an eye on them and encourage all companies to assess whether their current remuneration practices align reward to long-term success and returns to shareholders.”