Aberdeen Asset Management shareholders on Thursday by overwhelming margins voted in support of the company's executive pay program and the election of all directors, despite some pension fund opposition.
Shareholders voted 88.8% in favor of the remuneration report and 86.3% in favor of the policy, which sets the pay for top executives, according to results provided by the company.
The company's 14 directors were elected with voting in support ranging from 92.7% to 99.3%
The $175.4 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, and the C$129.5 billion (US$119.3 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto, voted against both the company's remuneration report and policy.
FSBA also voted against the election of directors Hugh Young, global head of equities; Martin J. Gilbert, CEO; Roger Cornick, chairman; and two independent directors.
OTPP and the $176.4 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, supported all the directors. CalSTRS also voted in favor of both remuneration proposals.
In commenting about the pension fund opposition, James Thorneley, Aberdeen group communications manager, said in an interview, “We met regularly with shareholders throughout the year and will be continue to do so in the coming months.”
“As investment managers, we are keen to engage with shareholders, and we understand the importance of engaging with shareholders,” Mr. Thorneley said.
According to a statement from the company, “We are open and transparent in terms of our remuneration policy and report. We do not believe in rewarding failure, and executive bonus awards take account of key financial performance indicators. Three-quarters of any bonus earned is paid in company shares and released in tranches over four years. Bonuses can be clawed back in the event of serious misconduct or a significant failure in risk management.”
Among other proposals, shareholders voted 98.8% in favor of authorizing the company to make political donations and 90.2% in favor of calling general meetings on 14 days' notice.