Displeasure among shareholders for company directors in the US has reached its highest level in seven years, according to research.
ISS Corporate Solutions finds that 20% of shareholder votes have been withheld from 102 directors in the S&P500 during the current annual general meeting season, according to Bloomberg.
Recent votes at Exxon Oil and Wells Fargo have demonstrated rising levels of unhappiness with directors in the US.
The UK has also seen a round of votes against company directors as investment managers increase the pressure on issues like executive pay.
Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca recently saw 40% of shareholders vote against the company’s remuneration report. A report from PwC in April revealed that chief executive pay was falling. The chief executive of Next, the high street fashion retailer, saw his pay fall by more than 50%.
Bloomberg quotes ISS analyst Peter Kimball saying investors had become more active in using their votes to express unhappiness. Kimball added that voting against directors at an S&P500 company was a way to “send a signal” to other smaller companies about action that was viewed as unwelcome.