High pay is a real issue – for shareholders. So it’s time they voted to stop it

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It would be terribly convenient for the right wing and big business to argue that fuss over directors' pay was all left wing, and driven by the High Pay Commission. But that's not true. As the FT reports this morning:

Shareholders and industry trade bodies have thrown their weight behind calls for radical reform to executive pay and restraints on spiralling remuneration packages.

Legal & General Investment Management, one of the largest investors in UK shares, said: “LGIM is happy to reward good long-term performance but there is a disconnect between shareholder value and remuneration”. Sacha Sadan, head of governance at LGIM, said: “It is up to shareholders to come up with a constructive solution to the problems”.

The Association of British Insurers, which speaks for about a sixth of UK investors, said executive remuneration had become too complicated and that remuneration reporting had to be improved. It also said about shareholder votes on pay, which are not binding, “we do not believe companies take it seriously enough”.

So let's stop for a moment and point out the obvious - that shareholders can vote to stop this abuse.

So it's time they did so, now.