Foxtons to review boss's pay after shareholder revolt

By Sarah Corker
BBC News

Image source, Getty Images

Shareholders at the estate agency Foxtons have revolted against pay packages including a near £1m bonus for the firm's chief executive.

Almost 40% of investors voted against its annual pay report at the company's AGM today.

That was not enough to block the pay plan, but the board promised to review future pay.

Shareholder groups were critical of the plans after Foxtons took government coronavirus support.

They were unhappy with the plan to pay chief executive Nick Budden a short term bonus of £389,000 and more than half a million pounds in shares.

The estate agency furloughed the majority of its staff for several months during the first lockdown and took around £4.4m from the furlough scheme, as well as £2.5m in business rates relief.

Foxtons previously said that it "believes it is right to reward hard work and results in a year when the business did well in very tough circumstances."

The revolt was not enough to block the company's pay plan from passing as it secured more than the 50% of votes needed for approval.

However the board noted that a "significant proportion of shareholders did not agree with the decision to pay bonuses to executives… on the basis that the company had benefited from government support" and it promised to review future bonus packages.

Rival companies including Winkworths have repaid their furlough money after a surge in property sales.

The housing market has been buoyed by a stamp duty holiday brought in to help the sector after the first lockdown, and the number of properties sold in the UK in March hit a record high.

Last year, Foxtons reported a 12% fall in revenues to £93.5m but its pre-tax loss narrowed from £8.8m to £1.4m.