FNG Exclusive… After reporting fairly impressive Q1-2021 top-line results, UK online brokerage IG Group  (LON:IGG) apparently faced some investor pushback at some of the resolutions put forth at its annual general meeting of shareholders regarding director and executive compensation.

IG Group reported its second best quarter ever (based on Revenues) yesterday, with net trading revenue coming in at £209 million for Q1-2021 which covers calendar June-July-August 2020 – second only to the £260 million IG brought in during Q4-2020. The company saw 201,500 total active clients in Q1-2021, up 50% on the prior year.

However FNG has learned via regulatory filings that IG shareholders, asked to vote on a number of board resolutions later in the day, did not view the good results to be a reason to give the company’s directors a blank check when it comes to compensating themselves and IG’s senior management. While all company proposed resolutions did indeed pass (see below), with most resolutions receiving 99%+ approval, three resolutions stood out for receiving much less than unanimous support:

  • the proposed Directors’ Remuneration Policy got just 88.1% approval
  • the Directors’ Remuneration Report got 96.2% approval
  • authorise the Directors to allot shares – 95.3%

These types of resolutions at company AGMs are usually rubber stamp type deals, so the less-than-unanimous vote totals do indicate that certain institutional shareholders are sending a message to company directors.

We’d also note that this type of shareholder activism seems to be picking up, especially in the UK, and especially when it comes to online trading companies. Earlier this week we reported on similar shareholder opposition to certain board resolutions at IG’s main rival in the UK CFD business, Plus500. That opposition led to the board removing a proposed $1.2 million bonus to company CFO Elad Even-Chen from the shareholder vote list.

Earlier this year, shareholders rejected the Director pay policy put forth by Playtech.

Resolutions put forth at the IG Group AGM yesterday included:

RESOLUTIONS

VOTES
FOR

%

VOTES
AGAINST

%

To receive the accounts for the year ended 31 May 2020 and accompanying reports

311,517,244

99.80

617,414

0.20

To approve the Directors’ Remuneration Policy

268,201,211

88.10

36,220,555

11.90

To approve the Directors’ Remuneration Report

301,681,032

96.19

11,955,948

3.81

To declare a final dividend of 30.24 pence per share

313,656,367

99.97

81,719

0.03

To re-elect June Felix as a Director

313,704,758

99.99

29,942

0.01

To re-elect Sally-Ann Hibberd as a Director

313,635,411

99.97

99,042

0.03

To re-elect Malcolm Le May as a Director

292,421,282

93.23

21,218,524

6.77

To re-elect Bridget Messer as a Director

313,699,499

99.99

35,757

0.01

To re-elect Jonathan Moulds as a Director

313,589,195

99.95

144,906

0.05

To re-elect Jim Newman as a Director

293,754,499

93.63

19,979,954

6.37

To re-elect Jon Noble as a Director

313,644,470

99.97

91,088

0.03

To elect Andrew Didham as a Director

313,669,349

99.98

66,209

0.02

To elect Mike McTighe as Director

313,557,426

99.94

178,132

0.06

To elect Helen Stevenson as a Director

313,717,160

99.99

18,398

0.01

To elect Charlie Rozes as a Director

312,084,173

99.47

1,651,385

0.53

To elect Rakesh Bhasin as a Director

313,669,349

99.98

66,209

0.02

To re-appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditors of the Company

312,346,329

99.94

180,463

0.06

To authorise the Audit Committee of the Board to determine the auditors’ remuneration

313,367,751

99.88

367,455

0.12

To authorise the Directors to allot shares pursuant to section 551 of the Act

299,026,644

95.30

14,732,581

4.70

To disapply the statutory pre-emption rights attaching to shares

304,443,595

99.99

17,191

0.01

To disapply the statutory pre-emption rights attaching to shares for the purposes of acquisitions or other capital investments

295,947,642

97.20

8,513,143

2.80

To authorise the Company to make market purchases of its own shares

311,610,195

99.37

1,975,174

0.63

That a general meeting (other than an AGM) may be called on not less than 14 clear days’ notice

303,583,891

96.76

10,152,349

3,24

Relevant Dividends rectification and releases

311,804,403

99.42

1,830,024

0.58