LONDON Feb 16 Fidelity International, one of
the biggest investors in British companies, has proposed making
powerful remuneration committee heads more accountable to
Such a move would ratchet up pressure on company boards to
rein in excessive pay after rebellions at a number of firms'
shareholder meetings in recent years, including BP and
WPP, and comes ahead of the bulk of this year's votes.
Fidelity has recommended the chair of the committee which
sets company directors' pay be replaced if more than a quarter
of shareholders oppose its plans.
The suggestion forms part of a response to a British
government review of governance and executive pay, seen by
Reuters on Thursday and earlier reported by Sky News, ahead of a
deadline for responses to the consultation on Feb. 17.
Trelawny Williams, who heads up governance at Fidelity, said
he supported keeping the annual vote on a company's remuneration
report as advisory only, but wanted investors to have a binding
vote on a firm's pay policy every year instead of every three.
If less than 75 percent of votes cast backed either the
report or policy, the chairman "should step down from that role
and be replaced by another director as we believe this will make
individuals more accountable", he wrote.
Fidelity holds shares in Britain's FTSE 350
companies worth more than $15 billion, Reuters data showed.
(Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Alexander Smith)