Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) is recommending that investors oppose British American Tobacco’s (BAT) remuneration report at its annual meeting later this month.
The proxy advisory firm says support for BAT’s pay report is unjustified because of the increase in CEO Jack Bowles’ salary from £1.18 million ($1.45 million) to £1.29 million. Many leaders at FTSE peers have taken temporary pay cuts because of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to ISS.
BAT defended the pay increase. “Jack Bowles was appointed on a package that was 21 percent lower than that of his predecessor,” a company spokesman said on Friday.
“Following the 9.5 percent pay increase for Jack following a very strong first year in role, his total fixed remuneration is still 15 percent lower than his predecessor.”
The company also noted that its remuneration report had won the backing of Glass Lewis, another proxy adviser.
BAT has a market value of nearly £68 billion.