ASX hit with first strike over executive pay

Market


ASX Ltd. has been hit with a first strike against its remuneration report, with shareholders rejecting the stock exchange operator’s pay decisions amid delays to the replacement of its Clearing House Electronic Subregister System used for trade settlement.

Almost 30% of shareholder votes cast at ASX’s annual general meeting Wednesday were against the 2022 remuneration report.

A first strike is triggered when 25% or more of shares are against a company’s remuneration report. If the remuneration report receives dissent votes of 25% or more for two straight years, directors could face re-election.

The ASX board has, as disclosed in its annual report, materially reduced former Chief Executive Dominic Stevens’ variable reward by 40%. Other senior executives accountable for the CHESS project also had their rewards reduced between 10% and 20%.

“The board believes this outcome appropriately balances the disappointing progress of the CHESS project with ASX’s strong performance in other key areas,” said ASX Chairman Damian Roche.

“As the votes on the screen show, we believe a strike will be recorded against this item–that is, a vote against the remuneration report of at least 25%.”

ASX said earlier in August that it didn’t expect the replacement for its CHESS trade settlement system to be ready before late 2024, and that it had engaged Accenture PLC to independently review the new application and identify any necessary actions for a firmer project timetable.

ASX initially expected to have its blockchain-based CHESS replacement fully operating early in 2021.

Mr. Roche said ASX had committed to engaging with shareholders on the company’s remuneration structure in the future..

“While disappointed, we accept the outcome of today’s vote on the remuneration report. We understand why we have received this strike, what it means and what we must do,” he said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text



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