19 September 2019

Ryanair AGM dissent should have come as no surprise

4 min read

 
Margherita Orlandini, Corporate PR Manager, Royal London

Margherita Orlandini

Corporate PR Manager, Royal London

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Commenting following Ryanair’s AGM, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, head of responsible investment at Royal London Asset Management, said:

“This level of investor dissent should have come as no surprise to the Board of Ryanair. It is encouraging that a significant proportion of the company’s shareholders have exercised their voting power to try and address the governance issues which continue to affect the company. RLAM sold its Ryanair holdings in actively managed funds last year, partly because of concerns about the company’s corporate governance. We retain our view that the share option grant which nearly half of investors rejected at today’s AGM was wholly inappropriate.”

In February, commenting on the share option grant made to Ryanair directors, Ashley Hamilton Claxton, head of responsible investment at Royal London Asset Management, said:

“This share option grant is wholly inappropriate. Asking shareholders to pay directors more than Eur100 million for achieving a marginal improvement over its share price high in August 2017 is ludicrous. Many of the reasons for the company’s recent poor performance, such as labour issues, strikes and logistical problems, have been within management’s control, so this eye-watering payout for rectifying these issues and achieving a share price recovery simply adds insult to injury.

“Further, we are strongly opposed to granting share options to non-executive directors, a practice which we think compromises their independence and ability to challenge management effectively for fear they may lose out on incentive pay.”

RLAM holds a minimal stake in Ryanair within some of its index tracking portfolios. 

About Royal London Asset Management (RLAM):

Established in 1988, Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) is one of the UK's leading fund management companies, providing investment management solutions to both wholesale and institutional clients such as not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and the insurance sector.

RLAM manages £130 billion of assets and employs 98 investment professionals as at end March 2019. It invests in all major asset classes including UK and overseas equities, government bonds, investment grade and high yield corporate bonds, property and cash.

For professional clients only, not suitable for retail investors.

Issued July 2019 by Royal London Asset Management Limited, registered in England and Wales number 2244297; authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: 55 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0RL.

For press releases about RLAM please click here.

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Margherita Orlandini, Corporate PR Manager, Royal London