More than 47 per cent of Vistry Group shareholders voted against the company’s remuneration report at its annual meeting on Thursday (18 May).
The housebuilder, known as Bovis Homes prior to its acquisition of Galliford Try’s housebuilding businesses in 2019, saw just 52.9 per cent of its shareholders vote in favour of the pay-package motion.
The vote was on executive pay in 2022, a period that saw chief executive Greg Fitzgerald (pictured), who was on a base salary of £726,000, awarded a total package of £3.4m including bonuses and incentive payments.
Proxy advisor company Pirc was among those that recommended voting against the report. In advice seen by Construction News it highlighted issues including the excessive variability of the chief executive’s pay and the 28:1 ratio of his compensation compared with the average Vistry employee.
At its last AGM, only 2.3 per cent of shareholders voted against the executive pay package. Such votes are advisory rather than binding.
This year’s meeting was held after the recent departures of three directors from its board, reportedly over disagreements about proposals for even higher potential executive bonuses put forward by US activist investor Jeff Ubben, managing partner of Inclusive Capital Partners.
Ubben’s re-election as a non-executive director of the board was subject to the second-largest rebellion at the AGM, with 15 per cent of shareholders opposing it.
A statement from the board noted that the remuneration report was the only motion not to pass with a large majority. On the issue, it added: “We remain committed to shareholder engagement and will consult with our shareholders over the course of the next few months so that we can fully understand their concerns and decide on appropriate next steps.”
The housebuilder posted a £248m pre-tax profit in the year to 31 December 2022 on turnover of £2.73bn. Profit was down slightly from £320m, on a £2.40bn revenue. It paid a dividend of 32p per share relating to the financial year.
In November, it acquired Countryside Partnerships in a £1.27bn deal.
Source : ConstructionNews