Investec Pay Package Sparks Shareholder Opposition

Investec Plc’s compensation plan was opposed by 44 percent of shareholders voting today, amid criticism the awards are “excessive.”

Fifty-six percent of shareholders at the annual general meeting backed the compensation policy, the London-based bank and money manager said in a statement today. In 2013, 17 percent of shareholders rejected the plan.

Investec shares gained 3.3 percent in 2013, lagging the 42 percent increase in the FTSE All-Share Financial Services Index. The money manager increased Chief Executive Officer Stephen Koseff’s bonus by 31 percent to 1.97 million pound ($3.3 million), according to the annual report on June 30.

“The balance of CEO realized pay with financial performance is considered excessive and inappropriate,” Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd. said in a statement dated July 29, when calling on shareholders to oppose the report at the AGM. “The grant of awards which are not related to performance is not supported and is not in the best interests of shareholders.”

PIRC, a corporate governance and shareholder advisory consultancy based in London, said in the report that the CEO’s pay increase over the last five years is “not commensurate with the change” in shareholder return over that period.

The shares closed at 491.60 pence in London today, down 0.8 percent. They have increased 12 percent so far in 2014 and gained about 24 percent over the past five years.

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