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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 July, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
12m Burberry 'fat cat' revolt
Fashion house Burberry has been hit by a shareholder protest at boardroom pay.

Just under a third of investors - apart from other than majority shareholder GUS, which holds 77.5% of the group's shares - voted against the company's remuneration report at its annual general meeting in London.

Burberry's pay policy could earn its chief executive Rose Marie Bravo an estimated 12.4m if she is fired.

The package has been labelled "extraordinary" by shareholder pressure group the National Association of Pension Funds.

Share options

Ms Bravo - credited with reviving the fortunes of the group - received a basic annual salary last year of 920,000, plus performance related bonuses worth 86% of that.

In addition, the company would pay Ms Bravo about 9.3m as an alternative to the proceeds of two share option schemes, or in the event of termination of her two-year contract.

If the contract is terminated, Ms Bravo could potentially walk away with about 12.4m, if salary and bonus settlements are taken into account.

Unacceptable

At the meeting, chairman John Peace said the group was aware that some aspects of its executive pay policy "might be construed not as best practice from a UK perspective".

But he added: "We have to draw a balance between that and attracting and retaining the best people." Speaking earlier, The National Association of Pension Fund Managers said Burberry's policy was unacceptable to investors.

"It seems there is absolutely no losing position for this CEO.

"She has done a very good job for her pay and we have no problem with that.

"But if things start to go wrong, she will get an absolutely enormous pay out.

"She will be able to convert her share options to cash without any problems at all."




SEE ALSO:
New stores boost Burberry
14 Jul 03  |  Business


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