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Countrywide drops controversial executive pay scheme after investor anger

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  • 20/08/2018
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Countrywide drops controversial executive pay scheme after investor anger
Embattled Countrywide has abandoned a pay plan that proposed potential executive rewards of more than £20m after the scheme angered investors.

 

The estate agent wanted to usher in new incentives alongside a £140m rescue plan to shore up the group’s debts, which investors will vote on next week.

Under the shelved scheme, share awards would have depended upon a rise in the company’s share price, which has fallen by around 70% in the last six months.

However, the remuneration for executives, including chairman Peter Long, had been labelled “excessive” by one influential investment group.

It comes as Countrywide looks to the market to raise £140m though a discounted share sale in an effort to ease its £211m debt burden.

The group told the stock market this morning it was pleased with the support the rescue plan had received from shareholders.

But added that, following investor feedback, it would axe proposals for a new pay scheme.

 

‘Constructive and supportive’

In a statement, Countrywide said: “The consultation meetings on remuneration with the major shareholders have been both constructive and supportive.

“There has been agreement that the proposals focus on rebuilding shareholder value as well as discussion as to whether that is sufficient to merit moving from the existing remuneration policy.

“Taking these factors into consideration, the board has decided that the directors’ remuneration policy should not be amended and that the group’s existing remuneration policy and long-term incentive arrangements as approved by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting held in 2017 will remain in place.”

The vote on the £140m cash call is to take place on August 28.

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