Royal Mail Group (LON:RMG) has suffered one of the largest pay revolts in UK corporate history, with more than 70 percent of voters rejecting the group’s remuneration report at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday. The move came after the privatised postal operator updated investors on its recent performance earlier in the week.
Royal Mail’s share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.32 percent to 467.10p as of 08:43 BST. The shares are underperforming the broader London market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.24 percent higher at 7,702.57 points.
Royal Mail suffers shareholder revolt
Royal Mail disclosed in its AGM statement yesterday that 70.19 percent of voters had opted to reject the group’s remuneration report. The Guardian noted in its coverage of the news that the revolt is thought to be the largest at a UK public company in at least a decade, outstripping the 64 percent who failed to back a £75-million payout for housebuilder Persimmon’s (LON:PSN) chief executive in April, and the 60 percent who rejected former WPP (LON:WPP)’s boss Martin Sorrell’s £7-million deal in 2012.
At Royal Mail, investors rebelled over pay arrangements for the group’s new boss Rico Back, who was handed a one-off payment of £6 million for his departure from his job as head of the company’s GLS unit. The privatised postal operator has further awarded him a base salary of £640,000 a year, 17 percent more than that of outgoing chief executive Moya Greene.
The group also saw revolts against the re-election of chair Peter Long and that of Orna Ni-Chionna, the remuneration committee chair.
Privatised postal operator ‘disappointed’
“We are very disappointed that the advisory vote on the DRR [Directors’ Remuneration Report] was not carried,” Ni-Chionna said in the statement, adding that the company had already been in contact with shareholders and “will reflect very carefully on their main concerns”.