A City grandee in charge of handing out bonuses to Barclays directors has been told to step down immediately by one of the UK’s largest investor bodies.
The call for the immediate departure of Sir John Sunderland, who is chairman of the Barclays’ remuneration committee, is being made by the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) – which unites 64 public sector pension funds with combined assets of £150bn.
Kieran Quinn, chair of LAPPF, said: “Sir John Sunderland must go from the Barclays board immediately. It is inexplicable how Barclays can have gone back on its promise to the 2014 AGM that Sir John would step down. Having messed up remuneration for 2013, Sir John has in fact stayed on as chair and presided over another year of still unacceptably high pay for 2014, and is still in place in March 2015. It’s nothing short of misleading shareholders.”
Last week Antony Jenkins, the chief executive of Barclays, was forced to defend his £5.5m pay packet as the bank set aside £1.25bn in preparation for a wave of fines and penalties for rigging foreign exchange markets.
In April last year Barclays said: “It is intended that [new non-executive director] Crawford Gillies will succeed Sir John Sunderland as Chairman of the Board Remuneration Committee at a date to be agreed, consistent with ensuring a smooth transition”. Gillies will finally succeed Sunderland at the conclusion of Barclays’ annual meeting on 23 April 2015.
A Barclays spokesman could not explain why it had taken a year to groom Gillies, but added: “The allegation ... that Barclays has breached a ‘promise’ made regarding the timing of Sir John Sunderland’s retirement as remuneration committee chairman is untrue. [Barclays’ previous statement] contains no specific reference on the timing of Sir John’s retirement”.
This article was written by Simon Goodley, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th March 2015 20.21 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010