De La Rue and Dunelm braced for a backlash: Several companies face bruising shareholder meetings amid rows over pay and performance
- Dunelm braced for shareholder rebellion over boss Nick Wilkinson’s £2.7m pay
- Link Group also facing disquiet over its executive pay
- De La Rue not performed well since losing contract to print post-Brexit passports
Several companies face bruising shareholder meetings this week amid rows over pay and performance.
Furniture business Dunelm, fund supervisor Link Group and banknote printer De La Rue are preparing for showdowns with investors.
Dunelm, founded in 1979 selling curtains on a Leicester market stall, is braced for a shareholder rebellion over boss Nick Wilkinson’s £2.7m pay packet. The home furnishings chain, which will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, has been blasted over the ‘excessive’ payout – 120 times what an average employee makes.
Facing the music: Several companies face bruising shareholder meetings this week amid rows over pay and performance
Shareholder advisory group Pirc has told investors to vote against the firm’s pay report as the pay gap is ‘unacceptable’.
The opposition comes despite Wilkinson’s pay falling from £3.8m. Andrew Speke, of the High Pay Centre, said Dunelm was being ‘tone deaf’. ‘
The call to vote against is absolutely right,’ he said. ‘The pay of most workers has been declining in real terms.’
Link Group, whose role in the Neil Woodford investment fund scandal has left it facing multi-million pound fines, is also facing disquiet over its executive pay.
The Australian company, whose AGM is on Wednesday, paid its chief executive Vivek Bhatia more than half a million pounds last year.
Pirc, again, is advising shareholders to vote the pay report down because the boss could be awarded more than 200 per cent of his salary in ‘incentives’. It comes as Link is trying to sell off its UK arm, which was supposed to supervise Woodford’s management of his flagship investment fund.
De La Rue has not performed well since it lost the lucrative contract to print Britain’s post-Brexit blue passports in 2018. Now one of its largest investors, activist fund Crystal Amber, wants the firm to explore a sale to return cash to long-suffering shareholders.
In an unusual twist, the two firms have become embroiled in a spat, with De La Rue accusing Crystal Amber of plotting ‘market manipulation’ and Crystal Amber accusing its investee company of defamation.
De La Rue has called a meeting for Friday to allow investors to vote on chairman Kevin Loosemore’s future following the firm’s third profit warning in a year last week.