Rising shareholder dissent hit a quarter of the FTSE all share companies last year, with high levels of executive pay and director re-election topping the list of concerns
In 2019, 158 FTSE All-Share companies appeared on the list, with a total of 298 individual resolutions being added, according to research from the Investment Association (IA).
The Investment Association public register tracks when there is a vote of over 20% opposing a resolution at an annual general meeting (AGM) or general meeting (GM).
This marked a slight increase on the 2018 list which featured 151 companies and 294 resolutions. Furthermore, 39 companies appeared on the register for the exact same resolution in both 2018 and 2019.
Executive pay continued to feature at the top of investors’ concerns with 62 companies appearing on the register in 2019 for pay-related resolutions. These included 31 FTSE 250 companies - an increase of over 29%.
Opposition to individual director re-election also remained a key theme, with the number of resolutions against individual directors remaining constant at 103 in 2019 (105 in 2018).
As the public register reaches its third year, the Investment Association says companies are doing more to acknowledge shareholder dissent, with over 80% of firms now making a public statement acknowledging the concerns and outlining how they plan to engage with shareholders, up from 55% in its first year.
Andrew Ninian, director for stewardship and corporate governance at the Investment Association, said: ‘Investment managers are keeping up the pressure on companies to align executive pay with their long-term strategy.
‘With a quarter of FTSE All Share companies ending up on the register in 2019, investment managers will be paying close attention this year when companies bring their pay policies to the table to see whether they have heeded the high levels of dissent.’