Schroders PLC shareholders approved executive remuneration at its annual general meeting Thursday, despite opposition by major U.S. and Canadian pension funds.
All nominees for directors were elected with votes ranging from 97.27% to 99.9%, even though the $183.3 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, voted against all 11 of them.
Both non-binding and binding say-on-pay proposals on remuneration were approved by votes, respectively, of 94.24% and 92.19%, in favor. The binding proposal, a new requirement of U.K. regulations, effective last Sept. 30, restricts the company to the remuneration policy until the next shareholder vote on it.
CalSTRS, the $177.9 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, and the C$140.8 billion ($128.1 billion) Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Toronto, disapproved of the Schroders' pay packages, voting against both of them.
The C$201.5 billion (US$182.6 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, voted in favor of the non-binding proposal but against the binding proposal.
“We have a number of concerns with the compensation program, including: 1) a 25% increase in base pay, 2) insufficient disclosure of the determination of the annual bonus pool and subsequent executive allocations from the pool and 3) the potential for the equity award plan to have excessive dilution,” according to an OTPP statement in its proxy disclosure on the non-binding proposal. ”Based on the above, we cannot support the remuneration report.”
On the binding proposal, the OTPP statement said: “Similar to the annual remuneration report, we have pay-for-performance concerns with respect to the remuneration policy, particularly in the plan's potential to provide excessive remuneration that is either not tied or not evidently tied to performance. Therefore, we cannot support the policy at this time.”
CPPIB, FSBA and OTPP voted in favor of the election of all nominees for director.
The proxy-voting results were provided by Schroders in a statement.
Separately on Thursday, Schroders reported total assets under management of £268 billion ($452.9 billion) as of March 31, up 1.9% from three months earlier, according to a financial statement.
Schroders attracted net inflows of £3.8 billion for the quarter ended March 31, with gains across multiasset, equities and fixed-income allocations. The inflows pushed the firm to a record total assets under management, said Michael Dobson, CEO at Schroders, in a news release.
AUM for the money management business was up 2.1% to £237.8 billion. Institutional net inflows were £1 billion for the quarter.
“In institutional, we see a wide range of opportunities with a good pipeline of business we have won but which has not yet been funded, including £12.2 billion from Friends Life, as announced in March,” Mr. Dobson said in the release.