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Bolland's M&S pay deal 'ridiculous', say shareholders

Investors and shareholder advisory groups have lambasted the pay package awarded to incoming Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland.

Bolland will receive a £15m ‘golden hello’ at Marks & Spencer, including £7.5m of cash and shares in compensation for awards he would have been in line for at grocer Morrisons up to 2012.

Morrisons could have retained Bolland until November, but yesterday released him to take up the M&S role on May 1.

Investor advisory group Pirc described Bolland’s pay award as “excessive”, the Financial Times reported. Pirc said: “This is a bad start for the new regime at M&S.” One shareholder labelled the pay package “ridiculous”.

The issue of succession planning at M&S has been contentious after Sir Stuart Rose shocked the City by taking on the dual role of chairman and chief executive 18 months ago.

The pay policy has also caused dissent among shareholders, with Rose giving up more than £1m of shares in the retailer to avoid a showdown with investors.

Bolland’s deal conforms with the terms of M&S’s existing pay structure. An M&S spokesperson defended Bolland’s pay and said: “We are paying the right package for the right man.”

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