Aveva shareholders stage revolt against executive pay

AVEVA Group plc, a British multinational information technology company headquartered in Cambridge, United Kingdom, was met with a revolt against executive pay.

Aveva’s pay system met with a stiff revolt from shareholders at its yearly general conference, a day after the Cambridge-based technology firm was forced to withdraw a resolution which would have granted its executives non-performance-related share options.

Friday’s shareholder opposition comes a day after FTSE 250 Aveva said “recent feedback” from shareholders had driven it to withdraw a resolution to change its senior employee restricted share plan to enable directors to be granted stock awards regardless of their performance.

The decision to accept the directors’ remuneration policy was supported by only 56.45 percent of shareholders, meaning it is still approved, but more than 40 percent of shareholders who voted were not in support.

One of the resolutions to adopt the directors’ remuneration report saw 25.83 percent of votes cast against it.

“It is clear that the right course of action for the board, at this time, is to withdraw this resolution,” chairman Philip Aiken said on Thursday.

“It follows, therefore, that no awards will be granted to the directors under the restricted share plan as currently envisaged under the proposed new directors’ remuneration policy.”

Institutional Shareholder Services and Pirc, two of the shareholder’s advisory groups, had suggested shareholders vote against some of the resolutions at the AGM, which includes the restricted share plan.

ISS encouraged shareholders to vote in opposition to both the director pay policy and pay report

Businesses are increasingly coming under stress over pay policies as the Government looks to toughen up regulations.

The Conservative declaration had included a promise to require public companies to announce pay ratios and put bosses’ pay plans to yearly votes.

Aveva’s shares closed up 2.2 percent at £20.18 yesterday, despite the high number of votes against two of the proposed policies.

The group which provides software to engineers said its forecast for the 2018 financial year stayed in line with expectations and that it had delivered a “solid start” to its new fiscal year, which began on April 1.

Aveva had stated its performance in its most current year had been “resilient in the context of challenging conditions in [its] core oil and gas, and marine end markets”.