UK - Hermes Pensions Management, the fund manager owned by British Telecom, is optimistic about the issue of directors pay, according to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).
Speaking to ISS, Michelle Edkins - Hermes corporate governance director - said that she felt that progress was being made on the issue of directors remuneration packages. As evidence of this, she claimed that there was has been a four fold increase in the number of UK companies willing to put remuneration reports to shareholder votes.
According to ISS, 60 UK based publicly listed companies said that they were prepared to submit to the request from Hermes and seven other institutional investors said that they put their directors pay to shareholder votes. Last year that number stood at 17 in total. Hermes also claimed that a number of other companies indicated that they might follow suit next year.
Despite Hermes' optimism, the actual number of companies willing to put the issue of directors pay before shareholders is still quite small.
In March, Hermes, the Co-operative Insurance Society (CIS), Gartmore Investment Management, the £26bn British Coal Pension Schemes, Baillie Gifford, Barclays Global Investors, the giant US$151bn California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), and the £20bn Universities Superannuation Scheme asked 900 UK-based public companies to submit remuneration reports to shareholder votes.
By Geoffrey Ho
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now
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