Global exhibition and media company UBM became the latest publicly listed company questioned over its directors’ remuneration after more than one-third of shareholders voted against approving payments.
According to results of its latest AGM, 48 per cent of shareholders refused to support the directors’ remuneration report, with more than 36 per cent voting against it and 11.4 per cent abstaining.
According to national media reports, the rebellion came off the back of several voting advisers raising questions about UBM’s remuneration policies. The reports claim investors had objected to UBM’s decision to replace executive performance bonuses linked to retail price inflation, meaning earning per share performance will no longer correlate to UK inflation.
Shareholders were also reportedly angered by a share options bonus for chief financial officer Robert Gray worth 150 per cent of his £437,750 base salary. A UBM spokesperson defended its remuneration policies but said it would take careful note of the reaction from shareholders.
“UBM’s executive remuneration policy is designed to reward and incentivise its senior management appropriately,” the spokesperson stated.
News of the shareholder revolt at UBM followed similar actions by investors in Trinity Mirror, Aviva and Pendragon against remuneration reports.
UBM reported an 11 per cent rise in total revenue to £254.2m in the three months to 31 March, while overall operating profit increased 26 per cent to £56.1m.
Event revenues grew 46 per cent to £123.1m during the same period. Financial highlights across the exhibition portfolio included the organiser’s first Ecobuild show at Excel London from 20 to 22 March.
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