Standard Life Aberdeen (LON:SLA) has suffered a massive shareholder revolt at its annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday, with more than 40 percent of voters rejecting the group’s remuneration report. The AGM came after the company said yesterday that its assets under management and administration had increased in the first three months of the year.
Standard Life Aberdeen’s share price surged in the previous session, gaining just under two percent to close at 263.10p. The stock outperformed the broader market rally, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index adding 77.92 points to close 1.09 percent higher at 7,241.60.
Investors rebel over pay
Standard Life Aberdeen disclosed in a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday that a little over 42 percent of voters at its AGM had rejected the group’s remuneration report. The company said that it recognised “the significant percentage of votes cast against this resolution,” noting that it had been aware “that certain institutional shareholders were not supportive of specific aspects of the arrangements relating to the remuneration of the incoming CFO”.
The Guardian noted in its coverage of the news that shareholder advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services had raised concerns about the pay package for Stephanie Bruce, who will become the asset manager’s new finance chief on June 1. She is joining from the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“Stephanie Bruce is an outstanding addition to our executive team at Standard Life Aberdeen,” the FTSE 100 company said. “The reason we made this award, was to allow us to attract a talented senior executive from outside of the investment management industry.”
The company noted that it would continue to engage with shareholders on the concerns raised on the resolution in the coming months.
Analyst ratings update
Numis reaffirmed the blue-chip asset manager as a ‘buy’ yesterday, without specifying a target on the Standard Life Aberdeen share price. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average valuation of 328.33p.