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Pension fund votes against Maersk chair's pay package

The remuneration provided to Maersk's Chairman Jim Hagemann Snabe of DKK 7 million prompts a reaction from Danish pension major ATP.

Photo: Niels Hougaard/ERH

There are no grounds for giving the chairman of A.P. Moeller-Maersk remuneration so far above the pay received by other Nordic chairs, according to major investor ATP, which for this reason has chosen to vote against the shipping group's remuneration policy.

"When we examine board remuneration in Denmark and other Nordic and North European countries, this stands out. We think it's so unusually high that we've chosen to vote against it," says ATP Head of Equities Claus Wiinblad.

Last year, Jim Hagemann Snabe received DKK 7 million (USD 1 million) for his work on Maersk's board of directors. He thereby transcended the chairman's remuneration at 20 of Denmark's largest companies by several millions, Finans' report shows.

Novo Nordisk Chair Helge Lund has the second-highest pay, receiving DKK 3.1 million, followed by Danske Bank's Karsten Dybvad, who got DKK 2.6 million last year.

At Monday's annual general meeting, Snabe defended his and the remaining board's pay.

"A.P. Moeller-Maersk is a large, complex business and a company undergoing major change. Our demands on board members are based on this fact, and our remunerations reflect what we view as the appropriate level for a board member at a global company like A.P. Moeller-Maersk," he said.

Whereas the group has previously disclosed the total pay of the board, Maersk has now revealed that of individual members for the first time.

"We fully respect that Jim Hagemann Snabe does a great amount of work, and that Maersk's turnaround is a both difficult and demanding process," Wiinblad says.

"We have seen a certain development in board remunerations in Denmark, but we don't think there are grounds for as high an amount as that received by the chairman of A.P. Moeller-Maersk," he continues.

Because it has not been possible for ATP to vote directly against the chairman's remuneration without also voting against the validity of the annual report, the pension company has elected to vote against the remuneration policy itself, to signal to the group that the chairman's pay is too high.

By the end of 2019, ATP owned nearly 1 percent of Maersk shares.

English Edit: Jonas Sahl Jørgensen

Jim Hagemann Snabe defends his pay package at Maersk 

Maersk general assembly becomes virtual due to virus outbreak 

Pension fund questions Maersk chairman's record pay 

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