There appears to have been a small shareholder rebellion at Countrywide’s annual general meeting over the company’s remuneration of senior management.
No details have been made available other than the percentages of shareholders who backed different motions at the AGM, which had to be held virtually because of the Coronavirus.
However, while most motions received 98 or 99 per cent backing, two motions entitled Directors’ Remuneration Report and another entitled Directors’ Remuneration Policy received less than 93 and 95 per cent support respectively.
There was also a push-back by shareholders on the appointment of an auditor - less than 92 per cent backed the company’s recommendation.
The company has had a troubled few years with its share value dropping sharply and, early this year, the collapse of a sales deal for its commercial arm, Lambert Smith Hampton.
Almost two years ago Countrywide hit the headlines when a proposed bonus bundle would have given executive chairman Peter Long stock worth well over £6m under a company scheme called Absolute Growth Plan.
Two other board executives - Paul Creffield, now the chief executive - and chief financial officer Himanshu Raja could have received shares valued at more than £8m and £7m respectively.
The deal quickly earned the name 'Countrywide Fat Cats' amongst agents working in branches.
Countrywide agreed to an embarrassing U-turn on the package after widespread criticism of it happening at the same time as the company’s Back To Basics programme attempting to attract staff back to the company.