Liontrust faces shareholder disquiet over remuneration

Liontrust faces shareholder disquiet over remuneration

Liontrust Asset Management has faced a significant shareholder revolt against its proposed changes to executive pay.

In the company’s general meeting today (February 16), two resolutions concerning remuneration were voted through by the narrowest of margins, with 45.9 per cent and 44.4 per cent of shareholders voting against the resolutions.

Under the policies that were passed, chief executive John Ions will now be eligible for a bonus that amounts to 450 per cent of his salary.

The chief financial and operating officer Vinay Abrol will be able to collect up to 350 per cent of his salary.

Ions earned £6.6mn last year and Abrol was paid £4.2mn.

Shareholder advisory groups Glass Lewis and ISS recommended voting against the resolutions, according to media reports.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Liontrust said the company’s board “strongly believes” that retaining and appropriately incentivising an “exceptional” management team albeit on a high competitive basis is in the best interests of all stakeholders.

They said the board was “disappointed” with the voting outturn, adding that the company had undertaken “extensive and positive” engagement with its top 20 shareholders on the pay proposals.

They added: “While the two resolutions were passed, the remuneration committee is acutely conscious of the votes against and will reflect on feedback from those shareholders.”

According to the most recent Pridham report, Liontrust was the fifth highest fund manager by gross retail sales, and second to Baillie Gifford for net retail sales, with £10.4bn and £3.6bn respectively.

The group’s assets under management grew by 15 per cent in the six months to the end of September last year, alongside a 19 per cent rise in net inflows.

In December, it announced plans to acquire Majedie Asset Management, in a deal worth up to £120mn