Investors advised to oppose re-election of Barrington at Hibernia

Advisory firm claims former Aer Lingus chairman holds too many other positions

Former Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington has been a non-executive director of Hibernia since the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2013

An influential investor advisory firm has called on shareholders in Hibernia Reit to oppose the re-election of former Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington as a non-executive director at its annual general meeting next week.

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a proxy adviser to certain large-scale shareholders, claimed Mr Barrington held too many other positions to devote sufficient time to his role in the property group.

It noted that Mr Barrington was also the chief executive Fly Leasing, the US-listed aircraft lessor, and a non-executive director of IFG, the Dublin-based financial services group.

Mr Barrington, who has been a non-executive director of Hibernia since the company's initial public offering (IPO) in 2013, was also appointed to the board of Nordic airline Finnair earlier this year.


"The number of positions that he has with publicly listed companies raises questions regarding his ability to devote sufficient time to his role at Hibernia Reit," ISS said.

The advisory group recommends that an executive director should not hold more than two outside non-executive director positions.

In its latest annual report, Hibernia insists Mr Barrington’s other roles added “significant experience to the board from outside the property sector”.

Rival advisory group Glass Lewis, meanwhile, recommended shareholders support the re-election of Mr Barrington but oppose the company's remuneration report because of what it described as a lack of transparency around executive pay.

It said Hibernia’s remuneration report provided “relatively poor disclosure of the company’s executive compensation policies and structure”.

In particular, it took exception to a recent pay award to Hibernia’s chief financial officer Thomas Edwards-Moss, claiming investors were offered no rationale for the increase.

Hibernia’s remuneration committee recently approved a 32.5 per cent hike in Mr Edwards-Moss’s basic salary from €200,000 to €265,000.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times