Shareholders attack executive pay deals

Aviva chairman Johm McFarlane was forced to defend the insurer’s executive pay deals to shareholders at the firm’s tough annual general meeting yesterday.

Speakers at the meeting criticised the bonuses paid to some executives, and called for the resignation of Scott Wheway, chairman of Aviva’s remuneration committee, according to The Telegraph.

Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson told the meeting that “If patience is a virtue, Aviva shareholders are on their way to becoming saints”.

Wilson added: “While we have been delivering for our customers, we have not been delivering for you, our shareholders. We need to do both.

“The truth is that our performance has consistently lagged behind the sector.”

However, Wilson said that the company could turn its fortunes around.

A number of Aviva shareholders have become annoyed about the lack of return on their dividends. In March, the insurer reduced its full-year dividend payment by 44% to 9% as part of its wider plans to rebuild capital strength.

Aviva’s 400 top managers did not receive a pay rise this year, nor the executive directors any bonus.