Belfast Telegraph

Foxtons and Paddy Power Betfair survive shareholder votes on bosses' pay

Gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair and estate agency Foxtons survived shareholder votes on pay plans for top bosses despite anger over hefty salary and bonus deals.

Estate agency Foxtons saw more than a fifth of shareholders vote against its remuneration report amid concerns over chief executive Nic Budden's pay package.

The London-focused chain secured the vote, with just over 79% made in favour of its remuneration report at its annual general meeting (AGM), but the firm saw a sizeable revolt as 20.7% voted against the pay plans.

One in three shareholders in Paddy Power Betfair opposed the bookie's pay report at its first AGM since merging in a £5 billion mega-deal that completed in February.

The group said 31.8% rejected the plans, while 68.2% gave their support.

Paddy Power Betfair had come under fire from shareholders over an incentive scheme, which rewards executives with shares on condition they meet certain targets.

Shareholder advisory group Pirc had also called on shareholders to vote against the group's remuneration report, branding former chief executive Andy McCue's 3.7 million euro (£2.9 million) pay deal in 2015 as "excessive".

The votes come amid a mini shareholder spring that has already seen BP's remuneration report voted down last month

Foxtons said it consulted with the "majority" of its investors about its pay plans.

But it added: "We recognise, however, that not all shareholders have voted in support and we value their feedback.

"The Remuneration Committee will continue to have a dialogue with major shareholders regarding remuneration matters ahead of the 2017 AGM."

Mr Budden was handed a 19% pay rise to £550,000 a year, while his maximum bonus was increased to 150% of salary despite the firm posting falling profits and seeing its share price slump by 41% over the past year.

His total pay package could reach £2.3 million for this year, including maximum potential bonuses.

Advisers Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recommended that their clients vote down the remuneration report ahead of the AGM.

Mr Budden took on the post in the summer of 2014, stepping up from his role as chief operating officer when long-standing former boss Michael Brown resigned for personal reasons.