Aviva loses pay vote as Moss waiver fails to quell unrest
Shareholders reject remuneration report despite decision by chief executive not to accept pay rise.
Insurance group Aviva’s travails over executive remuneration amid a shareholder rebellion is set to continue after the firm saw its pay proposals rejected at its annual general meeting yesterday (3 May), despite a concession this week by chief executive Andrew Moss over his 2012 pay rise.
Aviva announced on Monday (30 April) that Mr Moss had waived a £46,000 rise in 2012 that would have taken his salary above £1m. According the company’s remuneration report, Mr Moss currently commands a salary of £960,000 and was paid a £1.15m bonus for 2011.
Shareholders had previously voiced concern over the remuneration packages for new executives, which is thought to have come in the wake of the packages granted to two incoming senior staff in 2011 - Igal Mayer, chief executive of Aviva Europe, and Trevor Matthews, chief executive of Aviva UK.
According to the remuneration report, Mr Mayer, received a bonus of £631,829 on top of a monthly salary of £605,625 in 2011, while Mr Matthews received a bonus of £45,000 on top of an annual salary of £720,000.
At the AGM, close to six in 10 voters voted against the resolution to accept the remuneration report.
Aviva said in a statement this week that it will review its pay policy for executives joining the company after shareholders raised concerns that remuneration to directors did not “appropriately reflect changes in shareholder value”.
Speaking earlier this week, 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.
“A number of shareholders have indicated that they would like to see a different approach to the way we compensate senior directors on recruitment and an even closer correlation between our pay packages and shareholder returns.
“Having listened to them, we have sought to address their concerns and will continue to engage with them on this matter.”