Sunday 12 July 2020

Insurer ASR considers scrapping executive bonuses, AGM to vote

Dutch insurance company ASR is considering scrapping bonuses and share packages for its executives, preferring instead to give senior staff a pay rise in line with the rest of the workforce, the Telegraaf said on Tuesday.

The proposal will be put to the AGM on May 22 for shareholders to vote on.

Last April, ASR become embroiled in a row about executive pay when it pushed though pay arises of up to 67% for its four board members. ‘Remarkable and very high, especially in view of the fact that ASR was in the hands of the state until recently,’ finance minister Wopke Hoekstra said at the time.

From next year, however, the company is planning to scrap bonuses and give top executives a reasonable salary increase, in line with the general workforce rise of 3%.

‘The board in principle will get 3% but in very good or bad years it can vary between zero and 6%,’ supervisory board chairman Kick van der Pol told the paper. In addition, the board may earn no more than 20 times the average pay package of an ASR staffer.

ASR was nationalised in 2014 as part of the Dutch share of Fortis bank, at a cost of €3.65 billion. Since it was refloated on the stock exchange the state has earned around €725 million from share transactions.

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