Jun 5, 2019

Investors revolt against executive pay at Ladbrokes owner GVC

Shareholders in Ladbrokes owner GVC revolted against the company's 2018 pay policy by more than 40 per cent, even after its chief executive took a last-minute cut to his salary increase. The number of GVC investors who voted to oppose the FTSE 250 company's remuneration report at its annual meeting in Gibraltar on Wednesday was on a par with a similar revolt against pay at fellow gambling company Playtech in May. Last month it was revealed that GVC's chief executive Kenny Alexander would receive a total £19.1m pay packet for 2018, due to vesting share awards related to GVC's £1.1bn merger with online gambling website Bwin.party in 2015. Despite the decrease in pay, shareholders, already riled by Mr Alexander and GVC chairman Lee Feldman's sale of £20m worth of stock in March that had caused shares to drop by a fifth, said that the agreed cut was not enough. Richard Buxton, head of UK equities at Merian Global Investors, a top five shareholder, voted against the remuneration report because of the "Apparent lack of consistency" between new long-term incentive plan targets and the performance expected of the business. Following the AGM, Jane Anscombe, GVC's remuneration committee chair, said: "We understand that some shareholders ultimately felt unable to support the remuneration report in part due to our legacy arrangements."

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