FTSE bosses’ wages anger as BetFair boss Peter Jackson sees a 17% increase
Investors in a number of the UK’s largest companies have been warned of the hefty rewards given to executives.
ISS shareholder advisors hoisted the red flag after Flutter – the owner of BetFair and Paddy Power – increased his CEO’s compensation by 17.5 percent following a merger with Canadian rival The Stars Group.
The board of directors was said to have awarded Peter Jackson “a significant raise” which then increased other bonuses calculated from base pay. His total salary was £ 7.5 million.
Increase: Flutter – the owner of BetFair and Paddy Power – increased his CEO’s compensation by 17.5 percent
The surge followed the merger last year to create a £ 16 billion company that more than doubled its previous value.
ISS said stocks “continued to rise over the months as the sector benefited from customers’ relative lack of choice of entertainment options during the lockdown.”
The expanded group is now worth a staggering £ 27 billion.
But ISS said Flutter should have “phased out” the wage increase while waiting for stocks to calm down.
“It is considered good practice to make significant increases, especially after such a large transaction, so that the deal can properly enter into and validate its value,” said ISS.
A Flutter spokesperson said, “After our merger … the Compensation Committee has carefully considered the change in the size, scope and complexity of the group and the associated increase in responsibility for the directors.” It is “satisfied that the current approach, following extensive shareholder consultation, is adequate and aligns with … the interests of shareholders”.
Flutter, which holds its annual get-together on Thursday, is the newest FTSE 100 giant to be in hot water for a fee. Concerns have also been raised at Glencore (whose general meeting will take place on Thursday), the London Stock Exchange Group (on Wednesday) and Rio Tinto (May 6).
And last week, Pearson chairman Sidney Taurel said he would step down no later than next year after a golden hello to shareholders last fall over the educational publisher’s decision to pay chairman Andy Bird an annual salary of up to £ 5.9 million had given ‘worth £ 7 million and a contribution of £ 185,000 to rent an apartment in New York.
72-year-old Taurel said it had long been his intention to resign.
ISS has told shareholders Reject Bird’s package at the Friday meeting. They have also urged Glencore shareholders to reject a proposed package for new chairman, Gary Nagle, worth up to $ 10.4 million. He succeeds Ivan Glasenberg, who received an annual salary of 1.5 million US dollars without further incentives. Glasenberg is the second largest shareholder in the company with 9.1 percent.
Tony Hayward, Chairman of Glencore said, “We believe we have developed an overall package that is fair, balanced and just.”
He added, “We are obviously not going to withdraw it from the AGM. It will be interesting to see what the answer is. Given the conversations I’ve had with the majority of the major shareholders, they certainly seem very supportive. ‘
The London Stock Exchange Group faces a difficult position following a 25 percent raise, or £ 200,000 for CEO David Schwimmer following the Refinitiv merger.
ISS said: ‘The Refinitiv acquisition remains incomplete. The full impact of the transaction on the group has yet to be determined. It is also noted that David Schwimmer did not join the board until August 2018. and [so] The addition of an additional £ 200,000 to his salary in a single increase seems generous.
“This represents a significant increase that could have been gradual over time, subject to a performance assessment.”