Pru bosses avoid pay award revolt

Shareholders accused Prudential bosses of greed after their pay surged to £33 million, but the Asia-focused insurer dodged a major revolt on pay at its annual meeting.

Almost 12% of voting shareholders rejected the Pru's remuneration report after it hiked executive directors' pay by 12% last year despite being fined £30 million by regulators for failing to keep them informed over a major acquisition.

However, chief executive Tidjane Thiam earned the overwhelming backing of shareholders at the AGM in London, with only 2% voting against his re-election.

That was despite Mr Thiam being publicly censured by the Financial Services Authority over the aborted takeover and his total pay leaping 65% to £7.8 million in 2012.

The minor rebellion was down on the 30% "no" vote on pay last year and follows the insurer's 25% leap in annual earnings to £2.5 billion last year.

The Pru was also stung by a 13% vote against its plans for a new long-term shares bonus plan.

A handful of individual shareholders lined up to criticise the company's remuneration, with one investor calling the £33 million combined payout as "obscene".

He said: "This is an obscene record of remuneration and I hope it's not the beginning of other companies following you."

Another said directors' pay amounted to 4% of shareholders' rewards.

He said: "I've not doubt that that everybody works very hard but the word greedy is not remote from my mind".

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