May 2, 2018 / 2:47 PM / a year ago

Meyer Burger shareholders symbolically reject pay plan

ZURICH, May 2 (Reuters) - Meyer Burger’s shareholders dealt its directors an embarrassing blow on Wednesday when they rejected the loss-making Swiss technology company’s salary plans for 2017.

Shareholders in Switzerland have a right to vote on executive pay under changes introduced in 2013, but although such rejections are rare Meyer Burger’s pay plan will still go ahead because its vote was non-binding.

The maker of products used in the solar energy industry, boosted pay to its board and executive management last year, despite a loss of 79 million Swiss francs ($79 million).

But investors upset with the company’s lack of profit since 2011 narrowly voted down its remuneration report on Wednesday.

Influential proxy advisers ISS had recommended voting against the report, while Glass Lewis recommended acceptance in the consultative vote.

All other proposals were accepted at the annual meeting in Thun, including maximum payouts for the 2019 business year.

Investors in Swiss private bank Julius Baer rejected its 2012 executive pay plan at its AGM a year later.

Meyer Burger said it would remain in close contact with shareholders and proxy advisers following the rejection.

“We will try and have a dialogue with the largest shareholders and proxy advisers to see what we can change with the remuneration system to get to a outcome where the report is accepted by shareholders next year,” a company spokesman said. ($1 = 0.9967 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill Editing by Alexander Smith)

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