Sports Direct, Sainsbury, M&S feel shareholder adviser group ire

LONDON, July 2 Wed Jul 2, 2014 3:51am EDT

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - A leading advisor to institutional investors has said it backs 'oppose' votes on pay and other issues at leading UK retailers Sports Direct, Marks & Spencer and J Sainsbury.

Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (PIRC), which advises investors with more than 1.5 trillion pounds in investments, is just the latest group to oppose a planned share bonus scheme at Sports Direct.

PIRC said while there were some positive elements of the planned scheme, it was concerned that the failure to include an individual limit on the scale of the potential award under the scheme could lead to it being excessive.

At Marks & Spencer, PIRC said it backed an 'oppose' vote on the company's executive pay plans. Among its reasons were that the long-term incentive plans put forward by the company were not sufficiently long-term in nature.

It also called for an 'oppose' vote at food retailer Sainsbury as, among other reasons, it considered the maximum potential payout to the company's chief executive to be excessive.

"The ratio of CEO pay compared to average employee pay is considered particularly high has been estimated by PIRC at approximately 136:1," it said in a statement. (Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Steve Slater)

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