155 million votes were also withheld over directors’ remuneration report

Stephen Hester, RSA

Just over 16% of RSA shareholders voted against the insurer’s director pay plans for 2015.

In addition, a large number of votes about the pay plans were withheld at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM), which took place on Friday.

According to RSA’s AGM results, 155.7 million votes were withheld about the directors’ remuneration report, while the other resolutions being voted on at the meeting all had less than 1 million withheld votes each.

A large number of withheld votes can signal shareholder discontent about a resolution.

The discontent over RSA’s remuneration report could have been triggered by chief executive Stephen Hester’s long-term incentive plan (LTIP) awards.

Sky News reported last month that RSA was facing an investor backlash over plans to grant Hester (pictured) an LTIP of 300% of his base salary of £950,000 in 2015.

The insurer normally pays LTIPs of up to 230% of salary.

RSA is not the only company that has suffered shareholder concerns about directors’ pay recently. Almost 30% of specialist insurer Lancashire’s shareholders voted against the company’s pay plans because they objected to former chief executive Richard Brindle’s retirement package.

And Aviva was forced to cut chief executive Mark Wilson and finance chief Tom Stoddard’s LTIP awards after shareholder pressure.

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