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Standard Life reviews timing of new pay plan after revolt

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By Reuters
Standard Life reviews timing of new pay plan after revolt
FILE PHOTO: The offices of Standard Life Aberdeen in Saint Andrew Square Edinburgh, Scotland, Britain February 15, 2019.REUTERS/Russell Cheyne   -   Copyright  RUSSELL CHEYNE(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen <SLA.L> could bring forward its plans for a new remuneration policy, it said on Thursday, after facing a rebellion over pay earlier this year.

More than 40% of SLA shareholders voted against the company’s pay report at its annual general meeting in May. SLA said this was due to concern about new chief financial officer Stephanie Bruce’s pay.

SLA itself frequently criticises the companies in which it invests for high executive pay.

SLA is due to seek shareholder approval for a new pay policy, which sets out how board members are paid, no later than its 2021 annual general meeting.

“The company is keeping the timing of this refresh under review,” it said in a statement, adding it would bring forward revised policy proposals “at the appropriate time.”

Jonathan Asquith, head of SLA’s remuneration committee, has been talking to investors ahead of the next meeting of the committee in early December, SLA said.

Discussion points included “further briefing and clarification on the terms of Stephanie Bruce’s appointment and the importance of her strategic role,” as well as changes to former co-chief executive Martin Gilbert’s pay and responsibilities.

Gilbert, a veteran of the asset management sector, became vice chairman in March following criticism of the co-CEO structure. SLA said last month he will step down in Sept. 2020.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Jason Neely)