Investment firm CIAM calls on Scor to postpone AGM

PARIS, March 27 (Reuters) - Investment firm CIAM urged French reinsurer Scor to postpone next month’s annual shareholders meeting and also said the company had made only cosmetic changes to its executive pay policy, which has been criticised by shareholders.

CIAM, which owns more than a 1% stake in Scor, said postponing the AGM would be more shareholder-friendly and allow the reinsurer to focus on managing the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The reinsurer announced on March 13 that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) would be held on April 17, which CIAM said would be much earlier than usual.

Last year the invitation for the AGM was sent on March 20 to be held on April 26.

“Such move significantly reduces the time available for shareholders to review the materials published or to engage with the company in these testing times,” CIAM said.

Scor declined to comment.

CIAM also said it was “extremely disheartened with the lack of responsiveness and effort” of the board to consider shareholder concerns over executive pay. “CIAM notes only cosmetic changes to the remuneration policy for 2020. Meanwhile, shareholders have suffered from poor share price performance even prior to the recent COVID-19 crisis”.

Scor’s board recommended to reduce the variable compensation of the company’s chairman and chief executive Denis Kessler for 2019 to 1.08 million euros ($1.2 million) from 1.18 million euros a year ago. His total compensation would increase to 6.7 million euros in 2019 from 6.52 million a year ago, according to Scor’s annual report.

$1 = 0.9078 euros Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva, Sudip Kar-Gupta in Paris and Maiya Keidan in London; Editing by Susan Fenton