Burberry shareholders oppose CEO Bailey's pay package

Friday 11 July 2014 13.55
Burberry CEO paid salary of £1.1m, plus an annual allowance of £440,000 and a pension allowance of 30% of salary
Burberry CEO paid salary of £1.1m, plus an annual allowance of £440,000 and a pension allowance of 30% of salary

Burberry chief executive officer Christopher Bailey's pay package was opposed by more than half of the share votes cast at the luxury goods company's annual shareholder meeting today in a non-binding ballot. 

Bailey, who is also chief creative officer, receives a salary of £1.1m, plus an annual allowance of £440,000 and a pension allowance of 30% of salary. 

He is also eligible for a performance-based bonus and participation in the firm's executive share plans, any awards from which will vest from 2017. 

He was also granted a one-off performance-based award of 500,000 shares that will vest from 2017 to 2019, worth £7.3m at today's prices. 

Some 52% of share votes cast did not support the executive directors' remuneration report. 

Chairman John Peace defended Bailey's pay at the meeting, saying it was comparable with the group's luxury group peers. 

"We know the amount paid to Christopher is a lot of money but much of it is performance related," he said.

Bailey officially took over at the 158-year-old business on May 1 after Angela Ahrendts left the company famous for its camel, black and red-checked designs to join US technology giant Apple. Ahrendts took home £6.8m in Burberry's 2012/13 financial year. 

Britain's Investment Management Association had expressed its concern over Burberry's pay policies, noting Bailey's 500,000-share bonus award in particular. 

Bailey had already received multimillion-pound share bonuses, including 350,000 shares in 2010 and one million sharesin 2013, to keep him at the company. These will vest between 2015 and 2018 and are worth £19.8m at the closing share price yesterday.
              
Peace pointed out that 84% of votes cast were in favour of a separate binding resolution on the group's forward pay policy.
              
Earlier this week, Burberry reported faster than expected sales growth in its financial first quarter but warned that a strong pound would hit profit this year.