Aviva Shareholders Join Revolt Over Exec Pay

Monday, May 7, 2012 Print Email

The wave of shareholder revolt over inflated executive remuneration has struck again as UK insurer Aviva lost a critical pay vote at its AGM yesterday.

The historic slap in the face saw over half of the votes – 54% – fail to back the insurer's pay awards.

And it came despite chief executive Andrew Moss waiving his pay rise which would have catapulted his annual salary over the £1m threshold.

The latest shareholder uprising is the fourth among FTSE-100 executives humiliated by such a public scolding fr om shareholders. An additional 9% withheld their votes.

Aviva's shareholders felt betrayed by the rewards bestowed on management in a year when shares plummeted by 30%, ranking it one of the very worst performing FTSE 100 insurers.

The seismic show of defiance follows similar fallout between Barclay’s shareholders and its board, wh ere 31.5% of shareholders failed to back the remuneration report that saw chief executive Bob Diamond enjoy an eye-watering £17.7m pay package in 2011.

Scott Wheway, chairman of Aviva’s remuneration committee, said: ‘We take the views of our shareholders very seriously. I am disappointed that we haven’t done that as well as we should have on this occasion. Having listened to them, we have sought to address their concerns and will continue to engage with them on this matter.’

Shareholder anger is a growing trend. Swiss bank UBS saw 37% vote against its pay proposals while the satellite firm Inmarsat suffered a 40% revolt.

And today, Trinity Mirror CEO, Sly Bailey has announced she is to leave as the company faces a potential revolt over executive pay at its annual meeting next week.

Trinity Mirror's shareholders have witness the company’s share price freefall - down 90% in the decade that Bailey has been at the helm.

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