GVC has agreed to speak with shareholders over remuneration packages for its senior team after one of the biggest investor rebellions of 2019 so far.
At the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) this week, 42 per cent of investor votes were against pay plans for its leading executives, including CEO Kenny Alexander.
The pay plans were therefore passed with 58 per cent of the vote, but GVC has since agreed to talk with shareholders following the latest reaction to the remuneration document.
It is the second year in a row that GVC has been embarrassed by shareholder protests, after 44 per cent of votes were cast against its pay schemes at last year’s AGM.
Alexander has taken the value of what is now the UK’s biggest betting operator, whose brands include Ladbrokes, Coral, partypoker, Sportingbet, bwin and Betdaq, to a market cap of £3.6 billion. He had tried to avoid such a revolt a week ago by proposing to have his basic salary cut from £950,000 to £800,000.
GVC’s recent annual report showed that he took home a total of £19.1m last year, but this included £16.4m from the firm’s acquisition of bwin.party in 2016 as “legacy awards” – something that will no longer form part of its remuneration framework.
Jane Anscombe, Chairwoman of GVC’s Remuneration Committee, explained: “We understand that some shareholders ultimately felt unable to support the remuneration report, in part due to our legacy arrangements, which going forward no longer form part of our remuneration framework.
“We engaged extensively with shareholders ahead of the annual general meeting and would like to thank them for their helpful and constructive input. We will be engaging with shareholders further in the coming months to listen and reflect on their views on remuneration at GVC.”