Chuka Umunna MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, commenting on the revolt of shareholders against WPP’s remuneration report today, said:
“It is very encouraging that shareholder activism is blossoming. Where there is a disconnect between executive pay and performance, it is right for investors to flex their muscles.
“Recent events have shown there is a stark mismatch between the activism of investors and the actions of ministers who have this week signalled a U-turn on plans to introduce annual binding shareholder votes on executive pay. The Government says it supports shareholder engagement, but it has failed to take the action necessary to support investors who are saying enough is enough. Instead of standing behind the investor community, which is demanding an end to business as usual, the Prime Minister and Chancellor have gone around insinuating that those who argue for reform are ‘anti-business’ showing just how out of touch they are.
“Today’s vote will only add weight to voices demanding greater transparency, accountability and fairness in the way executive pay is set. The Labour government made it mandatory for quoted companies to publish a remuneration report and we gave shareholders the right to vote on pay. In opposition Labour has called for employee representatives on remuneration committees, for fund managers to be required to disclose how they vote on pay deals and we are considering proposals for shareholders to sit on board nomination committees – all of which the Conservative-led Government has failed to act on.”