Shareholders protest over Schroders bonuses

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UK fund management group Schroders faces a protest vote by shareholders against bonuses awarded to leading executives at tomorrow's annual meeting.

Michael Dobson, Schroders chief executive, received a package of 3.8m (€5.5m) last year, which included a cash bonus of 1.8m and an award under an equity compensation plan valued at 1.7m.

The cash bonus is the equivalent of 900% of his salary, which is one of the lowest in the FTSE 100 for a chief executive, according to Manifest, a proxy voting agency. One leading shareholder, who voted against the remuneration report, said: 'A number of people are concerned that the bonuses are uncapped and the total is discretionary. Investors like to see some sort of formula to these things.'

Dobson is eligible for additional incentives of up to 3.75m of free shares. Schroders' share price has not yet risen sufficiently to trigger them. Richard Horlick, head of investments, received a one-off bonus of 1.3m and a payment of 700,000 as compensation for leaving Fidelity as part of his 3.65m package.

Several shareholders raised concerns over the fact the bonuses for Dobson and Horlick had full guarantees.

Massimo Tosato, global head of distribution, received a bonus of 1.1m as part of his package, worth 2.6m. Jonathan Asquith, chief financial officer, collected a 600,000 bonus, which brought his remuneration to 1.8m.

A Schroders spokesman said executive director remuneration needed to reflect levels across the industry. He said: 'The overall sum paid depends on the total compensation cost to revenue ratio across the group - on company profitability, the performance of the business areas for which the executive directors are responsible and the performance of the directors themselves.'

Shareholders believe Schroders does not conform to best governance practice because of the 44% shareholding by the Schroder family.

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