Shareholders at Jupiter Fund Management have delivered one of the biggest protest votes so far this year, with nearly a third registering their opposition to pay arrangements at the fund management group led by Edward Bonham Carter.
Investors controlling 42.4% of votes failed to back the pay arrangements for Bonham Carter and his fellow directors. Excluding those who expressed their protest votes by abstaining, 31.5% of votes were cast against remuneration deals for Jupiter directors.
The company's lack of support among its own shareholder base for existing pay arrangements is likely to weaken Bonham Carter's campaign objecting against proposals to impose a cap on bonuses paid to asset managers.
Earlier this week the European parliament approved a plan to cap the bonuses of asset management staff at 100% of their salary.
"Can I understand [the bonus cap]? Yes, but that does not mean it's the right move, because excellence should be rewarded," Bonham Carter told the Financial Times this month. "Capping bonuses will result in a rise in fixed salaries, which will lead to a greater number of lay-offs when things get rough."
Jupiter prides itself on having a £250,000 cap on executive pay, but insists on retaining open-ended bonus opportunities. Most corporate governance groups oppose such measures.
This week it also emerged that Tim Breeden, the recently retired chief executive of insurance group Legal & General, received a 2012 pay package of £9.4m. The sum included £5.1m from deferred shares which were released to him on his retirement after 25 years at L&G.
Breeden, who for several years ran L&G Investment Management, had been regarded as a leading voice – largely behind the scenes – seeking to rein in spiralling executive pay in years past. His generous final-year payout comes as Breeden was widely credited with navigating L&G through the financial crisis without the need to go cap in hand to shareholders for additional funds.
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