Shareholder activism among British firms soared in past year

Shareholder activism among British firms soared in past year as investors take stand on issues from governance to environment, figures reveal

Shareholder activism among British firms has soared in the past year as investors take a stand on issues from governance to the environment, figures reveal. 

Major revolts against the reappointment of directors at FTSE 350 businesses have climbed by 40 per cent, up from 30 in 2020 to 42 this year, Thomson Reuters data showed. 

On the rise: Major revolts against the reappointment of directors at FTSE 350 businesses have climbed by 40 per cent

On the rise: Major revolts against the reappointment of directors at FTSE 350 businesses have climbed by 40 per cent

In total, 24 of the directors were members or chairmen of remuneration committees – suggesting shareholders are paying closer attention to over-generous pay deals. 

Meanwhile, the 94 per cent of votes at FTSE 350 firms in favour of companies’ pay reports in 2020 slid to 91.6 per cent this year. 

Environmental issues also came to the fore, with 16 climate-related shareholder resolutions being tabled in 2021 compared with just five the year before. 

Hilary Owens Gray, of Thomson Reuters, said: ‘Those who run the UK’s largest companies are under increased scrutiny.’