A host of retailers including Sports Direct, JD Sports, Ted Baker, Mothercare and Burberry have been named on a new public register unveiling companies on the London Stock Exchange that have faced investor backlash this year.
The data showed that more than a fifth (22%) of companies listed on the FTSE All-Share Index are featured on the list, after having at least one resolution that received over 20% dissent or was withdrawn before their annual general meetings (AGMs) in 2017.
Pay-related issues formed the top concern for shareholders, with 38% of resolutions on the list owing to high votes against pay-related resolutions, such as shareholders disputing companies’ annual remuneration reports or remuneration policies.
The second most frequent resolution was the re-election of company directors (32%). Nearly one third (31%) of companies named on the register provided a public response explaining how they are addressing their shareholders’ concerns.
Trade body Investment Association drew up the public register, which claims to be the first to name listed companies that have seen significant shareholder rebellions.
Chris Cummings, CEO at Investment Association, said the data gathered revealed the “true scale of investor concern”.
“With over one fifth of the FTSE All-Share having faced large shareholder opposition in 2017, a significant number of companies need to seriously start listening to shareholder views and acting on them.
“Bringing all this information into one place and giving companies the chance to explain how they are responding to the high vote against, will be invaluable in helping our members put savers’ money to work in the UK’s best run companies.”
Cummings added that the register will help all listed firms pinpoint the issues investors most care about. He said he hoped more companies will issue statements addressing shareholder concerns.
Business secretary Greg Clark said: “Most companies are proactive and thoughtful in implementing responsible business practices but there are a minority of firms that threaten the world leading reputation of our business community.
“It is right that we review and refresh our standards to ensure we continue to have the highest reputation. This world-first public register, does exactly that, shining a spotlight on how companies respond to shareholders’ concerns over important decisions, including executive pay packages.”