Top Firms To Face Bonus Fight At Annual Meetings

Reuters reports that UBS is likely to have a 'turbulent' shareholder meeting this week, as activist investors will attempt to change the way the bank pays out bonuses.

Among those investors who are miffed about UBS's compensation policy is Swiss foundation Ethos, which simply feels that the loss-making bank just shouldn't pay bonuses. A spokesperson for the foundation said: 'While acknowledging that progress has been achieved towards restoring the bank's financial health, Ethos questions the rationale of paying such high variable remuneration'.

Investors are also thought likely to rally against a UBS motion to absolve former executives of any blame for the misfortunes that befell the firm as a result of the financial crisis. The Wall Street Journal quotes Peter Baenziger, the CIO of Zurich-based Swisscanto Asset Management (which has around $267m of the firm's stock), who said: 'We won't be granting the discharge, because we feel that would be letting bygones be bygones, and we don't want that'.

Some good news for UBS stockholders, however, is the fact that the firm has just reported its best set of quarterly earnings for three years. Pre-tax profit came in at $2.4bn on the back of strong fixed income revenues.

And The Observer reports that shareholders are also likely to give executives over at Royal Bank of Scotland a hard time over CEO Stephen Hester's compensation package. While Lloyds TBS investors are said to remain uncomfortable about executive pay, and HSBC stockholders are miffed about CEO Michael Geoghegan relocation package (he has moved to Hong Kong).

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