Restaurant Group shareholders fail to back boardroom pay deals – The Guardian

One in three shareholders protest against payment to departing chairman Alan Jackson and bonuses paid to other directors
One in three shareholders in the company which owns the Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito and Garfunkel’s restaurant chains have failed to back its boardroom pay deals.
In a move that adds momentum to the wave of protests over executive pay, shareholders in the Restaurant Group protested against a payment to departing chairman Alan Jackson and bonuses paid to other directors.
The results of the vote at its annual general meeting on Thursday show that 27% of shareholders voted against the remuneration report, a level of dissent which rose to 33% when deliberate abstentions were included. The vote is advisory, although the company acknowledged the scale of the protest, describing a “significant number of votes” being cast against the pay report.
“The company understands that this reflects the concerns of a number of investors in respect of the termination arrangements for Alan Jackson and the level of the executive director annual bonus awards for 2015.
“The remuneration committee will carry out a detailed review of all of the feedback received to understand fully all of the reasons behind the vote result so that it can reflect, where appropriate, in its approach going forward,” Restaurant Group said.
Jackson – who joined the company as executive chairman in 2001 before becoming a non-executive chairman in 2006 – stepped down after the annual meeting. He gave six months’ notice, with effect from February, of his intention to leave and is being paid his salary and benefits for the balance of his notice period – a sum of £117,000. He was paid £403,000 during the year.
The protest comes in the midst of the 2016 annual meeting season which started last month with unexpected votes against pay deals at FTSE 100 companies BP and Smith & Nephew on the same day. There have also been rebellions at Anglo American, Shire Pharmaceuticals and CRH, while on Wednesday Standard Life’s chief executive, Keith Skeoch, attempted to head off a row over his pay by taking a £700,000 cut to his potential £3.5m bonus.
Last month, Restaurant Group said its performance had deteriorated since the turn of the year, with like-for-like sales declining 2.7% in the 17 weeks to 24 April. The company, which has more than 500 restaurants, said sales would be down by between 2.5% and 5% this year.


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