UBM faces shareholder revolt over executive pay

Property Week publisher UBM was hit by a shareholder revolt when 48 per cent of them refused to back its report on boardroom pay.

More than a third of shareholders voted against its remuneration package for senior executives – but when the number of votes withheld was taken into account, it showed that 48 per cent of the company's shareholders refused to endorse UBM's pay plans.

There was anger over a proposed change to the bonus target for its directors which meant earnings per share performance would no longer be linked to the UK inflation measure RPI, and changes to the bonus targets of chief financial officer Robert Gray.

Tom Powdrill, head of communications at shareholder advisory group Pensions Investment Research Consultants, which had suggested UBM investors abstain, was quoted in reports saying: 'A ‘vote against' of this level is rare and it needs to be taken seriously."

Figures from its annual report show UBM chief executive David Levin received a base salary of £621,260 in 2011, which was up 3 per cent year on year, and also received a bonus of £926,299. His total remuneration was £2.2m.


Finance director Robert Gray's base salary was also up 3 per cent to £437,750. In total, he received £1.1m, which included a bonus of £474,083.

A spokesman for UBM said: "The Board has a continuing commitment to a process of active engagement with Shareholders and takes careful note of the lower percentage majority in favour of the Remuneration report. UBM's executive remuneration policy is designed to reward and incentivise its senior management appropriately for an increasingly successful, growing and global company.'

In February, UBM reported that revenues rose 9.3 per cent in 2011 to £972.3m and operating profit was up 17.5 per cent to £201.9m. At the beginning of the year the company sold its agriculture and medical portfolios, including Farmers Guardian and Pulse, for £10m to the founders of the Media Briefing.

The latest news comes two weeks after 46 per cent of shareholders at newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror refused to back the company's remuneration report.

There was speculation yesterday that Trinity's outgoing chairman could stand down at the end of May, months ahead of schedule.

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