Shareholders urged to oppose IAG’s executive bonus scheme

Willie Walsh’s £1.58m bonus and £1.29m share options are excessive, say advisers

 IAG chief executive Willie Walsh: consultants  say his £850,000 salary was in the “median range” for his industry but branded as excessive his £1.58 million bonus and £1.29 million share options. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh: consultants say his £850,000 salary was in the “median range” for his industry but branded as excessive his £1.58 million bonus and £1.29 million share options. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

 

Advisers say shareholders should oppose Aer Lingus parent International Airlines Group’s (IAG) executive bonus scheme and vote against the re-election of key directors at Thursday’s annual general meeting.

Pension Investment and Research Consultants (PIRC) says chief executive Irishman Willie Walsh’s £850,000 salary was in the “median range” for his industry, but branded as excessive his £1.58 million bonus and £1.29 million share options.

The organisation, which advises investors in publicly-quoted companies, recommends that shareholders should abstain on the vote on IAG’s remuneration report, which gives them a non-binding say on executives’ pay. It also says that they should support Mr Walsh’s re-election as director.

PIRC urges shareholders to vote against changes in executive pay policy on the a number of grounds, including that IAG’s incentive plan for executives could see them receive shares worth up to four times their salary.

The consultants say investors should vote against the re-election of chairman Antonio Vázquez Romero on the grounds that he was not independent as he was executive chair of IAG subsidiary Iberia, when he was appointed.

PIRC opposes re-electing chief financial officer, Enrique Dupuy de Lôme as he did not attend one of 11 board meetings during 2017 and IAG failed to explain this sufficiently.

The consultants recommend voting against independent directors, María Fernanda Mejía Campuzano, Emilio Saracho Rodríguez de Torres and Dame Marjorie Scardino on the same grounds.

IAG said it has noted PIRC’s report and made its comments directly to the organisation.

The group owns British Airways and Spanish carrier Vueling along with Aer Lingus and Iberia.