Paddy Power Betfair shareholder group opposes former CEO pay

Activist consultants claim Andy McCue’s €3.7m salary in 2015 was ‘excessive’

A shareholder activist group is calling on Paddy Power Betfair shareholders to oppose former chief executive Andy McCue's €3.7 million 2015 pay at the bookmaker's annual general meeting next week.

Paddy Power paid Mr McCue €3.7 million in salary and benefits last year. He became chief operating officer of the enlarged group following its merger with Betfair last February, but subsequently left the company.

In its latest circular, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), is calling on shareholders to vote against the group’s remuneration report on the grounds that Mr McCue’s variable pay – bonuses and benefits – was 406 per cent of his salary, which the note says is “excessive”.

His total package was made up of a €700,000 salary, €536,000 bonus, €173,000 in pension and benefits and €2.312 million in shares, which the report valued at €111.44 each.


PIRC also highlights the reports failure to publish details of chief executive Breon Corcoran’s and financial officer Alex Gersh’s total pay for 2015, although does not show what they will receive this year.

Paddy Power Betfair will pay Mr Corcoran a £700,000 sterling (€889,000) salary this year while Mr Gersh will receive £440,000.

Proportionof women

PIRC does recommend voting for Mr Corcoran’s and Mr Gersh’s appointments. Both are on 12-month rollling contracts.

However, it opposes the appointment of senior independent director Ian Dyson as he is chairman of the nomination committee, which does not set targets for the proportionof women on the board.

For the same reason it is calling for shareholders to vote against the motion to receive the annual report. “There is insufficient female representation on the board,” PIRC says.

Paddy Power Betfair did not comment on PIRC’s recommendations. It is understood that only a fraction of one per cent of its shareholders follow the consultancy’s advice.

PIRC is Europe’s biggest corporate governance and shareholder advisory consultancy and advises institutional investors who have assets of more than £1.5 trillion.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas