Hargreaves faces down rebellion over directors’ pay

Hargreaves Lansdown successfully passed through all proposals at its annual general meeting, held on Friday (25 November), despite a substantial block of shareholders voting to oppose proposals on directors’ pay.

Almost a quarter of the Bristol-based broker’s shareholders voted against the plans, following a call from activist shareholder group Pensions Investment Research Consultants to oppose the proposals.

Pirc issued a statement on 16 November calling for a no vote on remuneration and for a cap to be introduced on for founders Peter Hargreaves and Stephen Lansdown at 300 percent of salary. Awards for the rest of the executives would have been left uncapped under the proposal.

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Pirc said its opposition was based on the fact that no specific performance thresholds, targets or maximum targets have been disclosed in determining pay awards.

The group also called for investors to oppose the re-election of Mr Lansdown as non-executive director on the grounds that he was until recently an executive director at the company, though the proposal passed with 99.7 per cent of the vote.

Pirc has been vocal in its opposition of Hargreaves’ bonus payments for directors for several years, having called for investors to oppose “excessive bonus” awards ahead of the 2009 annual general meeting.