May 5, 2020

Ocado defends pay policies ahead of investor showdown

Ocado, the online grocer, has defended its pay policies ahead of its annual meeting at which a significant minority of investors are expected to vote against them. "The remuneration committee is satisfied that Ocado's pay schemes past and present . . . deliver above-market payouts only for outstanding results," Lord Rose added on Tuesday. Royal London Asset Management, which holds a small stake in Ocado, said in a statement that it would vote against the non-binding resolution on pay. "Ocado's latest pay report is a classic example of how poorly designed incentive plans can lead to excessive awards for management," said Ashley Hamilton-Claxton, head of responsible investment at RLAM. He added that while his company recognised the significant returns Ocado had generated, it remained "Concerned that the remuneration committee did not apply any discretion" to the awards that vested last year. ISS said that pay at Ocado was "Excessive relative to peers" and that its remuneration committee "Has not significantly altered or moderated its approach in response" to meaningful votes against pay policy in several recent years.

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