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Proxy Advisers Hit Back in Row With FTSE Boardroom Chiefs

  • Chairs had accused investors of outsourcing their decisions
  • The criticism presented a ‘caricature’ of proxy firms: ISS

When online grocer Ocado Group Plc wanted to bring in a generous incentive program for its top bosses earlier this year, it carried out a series of careful conversations with shareholders. Weeks later, 30% of investors rejected the proposals. 

While the plan was approved, shareholders had dealt the company a bloody nose. Skirmishes such as this have become a regular fixture of AGM season, where investors protest at high pay, over-boarding, or the gender balance of boards. This year saw revolts at GSK Plc, Ted Baker Plc and WH Smith Plc, after shareholders took aim at executive payouts in the face of a cost of living crisis.