Pendragon shareholders revolt against directors’ pay for fourth year while Bill Berman scrapes through as CEO – Car Dealer Magazine
Pendragon PLC shareholders have demonstrated their discontent with the listed car dealer group’s board at its annual general meeting held this afternoon.
The vote for the directors’ remuneration was the only resolution not approved, with 56.44 per cent of shareholders voting against it.
They were also asked to vote on the directors remuneration policy, which passed at just 58.06 per cent.
Chief executive Bill Berman, who has now been in the job three years, held onto his role with equally narrow margins at 58.18 per cent. This was a further drop on last year’s vote where he had 64.92 per cent of shareholders vote in his favour.
Chairman Ian Filby stepped down this morning ahead of the meeting, with an announcement this morning stating he would be pursuing ‘other interests’.
However, votes from today’s AGM show he would have been re-elected with the narrowest margin of just 54.86 per cent.
Chief operating officer Martin Casha was also re-elected with just 59.86 per cent of votes but chief financial officer Mark Willis received a positive vote of 98.17 per cent vote to keep his role.
Berman and his board’s popularity is a stark difference to the other listed dealer results from the last 12 months.
At Lookers’ annual meeting for 2023, held on May 24, CEO Mark Raban secured 94.63 per cent of the shareholders’ vote, and the directors’ remuneration report, excluding the remuneration policy, was approved by 92.1 per cent, with the remuneration policy itself winning 99.54 per cent of the vote.
Vertu’s 2023 annual meeting, meanwhile, which took place on Wednesday (Jun 28), saw chief executive Robert Forrester re-elected with 98.93 per cent of the vote. The remuneration report, meanwhile, secured backing of 98.74 per cent.
Motorpoint’s annual meeting for 2023 is due to be held on July 26, but at its 2022 AGM, held on July 27 last year, CEO Mark Carpenter received 99.61 per cent of the vote by shareholders, while the directors’ remuneration report sailed through with 99.38 per cent of the shareholders approving it.
The Pendragon board issued a comment with the results that said: ‘The Board recognises the significant vote against the annual report on directors remuneration.
‘The Remuneration Committee sought to ensure the rewards for the executive team were commensurate with the Group’s financial performance, in line with market benchmarking and in keeping with the remuneration policy’s aim to support the longer‐ term success of the business for all stakeholders.
‘Although the Remuneration Committee is satisfied its decisions were made in the best interests of all stakeholders, it respects the views expressed by shareholders regarding the resolution in respect of remuneration awarded in 2022.’
Additional reporting by John Bowman
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