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Foxtons to review pay policies following shareholder backlash

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Foxtons has reduced bonuses after a shareholder backlash. (John Stillwell / PA) (PA Archive)
Foxtons has reduced bonuses after a shareholder backlash. (John Stillwell / PA) (PA Archive)

Estate agent Foxtons has agreed to review its bonus policies after facing a backlash from shareholders who said they were too generous.

Investors showed their fury at the company at its annual shareholder meeting in April with just under 40% voting against an almost £1 million bonus for its chief executive Nic Budden, including £389,000 in cash and shares worth £569,000.

Around 17% voted against his re-election to the board and 33% voted against non-executive Alan Giles, who chairs the remuneration committee.

Despite the discretion, it was clear that a significant proportion of shareholders did not agree with the decision to pay bonuses to executive directors under the Bonus Banking Plan, because the company had benefited from Government support.

Foxtons

Foxtons said: “The committee has consulted with its larger shareholders to understand their views.

“The performance of the business in 2020 met the conditions set out in the remuneration framework for the payment of bonuses but, considering the circumstances, the Committee exercised its discretion by reducing this award by 50%.

“Despite the discretion, it was clear that a significant proportion of shareholders did not agree with the decision to pay bonuses to executive directors under the Bonus Banking Plan, because the company had benefited from Government support.”

Foxtons enjoyed £6.9 million in Government support during the pandemic, including business rates relief and £4.4 million in furlough for staff.

The property sector recorded a strong year during the pandemic, as the Government also introduced a stamp duty holiday.

Pay policies at Foxtons will be reviewed, the company added, although it did not say that any of the Government support would be repaid.

It recently appointed a new chairman Nigel Rich to oversee changes.

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