UK - Shareholders of web-based travel and leisure group lastminute.com voted overwhelmingly in favour of an executive bonus scheme dubbed "excessive" by critics.
A landslide 95% of shareholders backed the scheme at the company’s annual general meeting despite calls from investor lobby group Pensions Investment Research Consultants to block the initiative.
PIRC said performance targets for the bonus packages – which will give directors up to 100% of their salary in cash and shares – were too low.It said the combination of awards under the scheme were an “excessive multiple of the base salary”.
But lastminute.com argued that there was no point setting targets which were not achievable and that PIRC had a history of targeting company chairman Allan Leighton.
Lastminute.com will introduce the rewards scheme immediately with bonuses to be claimed if the company grows 20% over three years.
The company said it had carried out extensive consultation among shareholders when drawing up the benefits package and had the support of the Association of British Insurers and the National Association of Pension Funds.
Leighton received a 99% vote in support of his re-election as chairman. PIRC had urged shareholders to abstain due to his other commitments – including chairman of Royal Mail.
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