The median amount paid to FTSE 250 chief executives in 2017 fell by 4%, from £1.75 million in 2016 to £1.68 million, according to Deloitte’s annual FTSE 250 Remuneration Report. The fall came as companies continued to move towards best-practice remuneration structures in the face of ongoing pressure from shareholders over pay and reward programmes.
Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) issued ‘against’ recommendations in respect of annual remuneration reports at 17% of FTSE 250 firms’ Annual General Meetings (AGMs) during the 2018 shareholder season, slightly higher than last year.
Of the FTSE 250 companies holding their AGMs so far in 2018, 10% have received ‘low votes’ of less than 80% shareholders in favour of the annual remuneration report. Around half of these companies also received low shareholder votes last year.
The drop in chief executives’ pay this year is in contrast with their peers in the FTSE 100, whose total pay increased by 12% in 2017. The median salary increase for FTSE 250 chief executives remained at around 2%, with around a third receiving no salary increase at all.
Bonus pay-outs were up, however, with FTSE 250 bosses taking a median of 75% of their maximum bonus opportunity, compared to 68% last year. The median vesting of performance share plan awards dropped to 48% of maximum this year, compared to 60% last year.
Mitul Shah, reward partner at Deloitte commented: “Despite seeing a more stable picture in terms of pay levels and opportunities, the 2018 AGM season has demonstrated that a challenging shareholder environment continues for FTSE 250 companies.
“This year we have seen a particular focus on those companies that have failed to respond to shareholder concerns raised in previous years, showing the importance of companies listening to, and acting on, shareholder feedback”.