UK - Web-based travel and leisure group lastminute.com has been slammed by investor lobby group Pensions Investment Research Consultants over an "excessive" executive bonus scheme.
PIRC is urging shareholders to vote against the new scheme – which will give directors up to 100% of their salary in cash and shares – at the company’s annual meeting.
Bonuses can be claimed if the company grows 20% over three years. Last year three of the company’s five executive directors received cash bonuses of 35% of salary after meeting performance targets.
But PIRC believes the targets are too low.
A spokesman said: “While we support some elements of the scheme – including the move to phased awards and the introduction of a shareholding requirement – we recommend clients oppose the resolution.
“We view the combination of awards under the schemes in aggregate to be an excessive multiple of the base salary and the performance targets are not considered sufficiently stretching.”
A lastminute.com spokesman said PIRC had a history of targeting company chairman Allan Leighton and described the lobby group’s recommendations as “ridiculous”.
He said: “The company carried out extensive consultation among shareholders when drawing up the benefits package and we have had the support of the NAPF and ABI. PIRC seems to be simply crossing boxes with little understanding of how the company is run.”
He pointed out that lastminute.com’s Brent Hoberman was the lowest paid chief executive in the FTSE250 and bonuses made his overall rewards package “average” for the position in the index.
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