St James’s Place defends remuneration policy after mini shareholder revolt

Firm issued a statement this morning after 22% voted against remuneration report at May AGM


St James’s Place (SJP) has engaged with shareholders who voted against a director remuneration resolution at the firm’s AGM in May.

In accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, the firm provided an update this morning (15 November) following consultation with the dissenting shareholders.

At the meeting in May, 77.85% votes were cast in favour of a resolution to approve the firm’s director’s remuneration report.

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SJP said that shareholders who voted against the resolution raised concerns over the vesting outcome on the 2020 Performance Share Plan (PSP).

The shareholders argued that a discretionary downward adjustment should have been applied to the performance-based share award, to account for the fall in share price at the time of the PSP grant in 2020 and the effect this had on the amount of shares granted.

Investors also felt that the explanation in the report could have been ‘enhanced’ to assist their assessment of the vesting outcome.

SJP said: “The committee had provided an explanation in the remuneration report of the reasons for not applying a downward adjustment, including that the committee had already exercised discretion to award zero annual bonuses for 2020 and to hold the 2020 PSP grants at the same percentage of salary as in 2019 rather than the higher level approved in the 2020 policy vote.  

“Applying a reduction to the vesting outcome in addition to the restraint already referred to above, risked damaging the credibility of the PSP also bearing in mind that no reciprocal upward adjustment could have been made in a previous year when the share price had ‘spiked’ at the time of grant resulting in a reduced number of shares being awarded.”

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