JD Sports proposes new remuneration structure to appease shareholders

Bury-based sports and athleisurewear giant, JD Sport Fashion, has reconfigured its remuneration policy for directors following pressure from shareholders.

The group has called a general meeting at its North West base for December 13, when the new structure will be put to a vote.

It is aimed at appeasing shareholders who raised concerns over previous remuneration levels, notably a £6m bonus for former executive chairman, Peter Cowgill.

At the annual general meeting in July this year, Andrew Leslie lost his role as remuneration committee chair after failing to win enough votes from the group’s stockholders, despite serving 11 years on the board.

He has been replaced by Suzi Williams.

The group announced to the stock exchange today: “Following the appointment of Suzi Williams as remuneration committee chair in September 2022, the company initiated a thorough review of its remuneration policy.

“We consulted with a wide range of investors to understand why the company’s remuneration policy and reports had consistently not gained desired institutional support over a number of years.

“Reflecting on the feedback received, the committee have been considering the structure of a revised policy that brings the company in line with FTSE 100 best practice with a greater emphasis on share-based remuneration.”

It added: “Following this exercise, the Remuneration Committee has taken the decision to bring forward a revised directors’ remuneration policy to a shareholder vote at the earliest opportunity.

“This will put in place a remuneration policy appropriate for the size and complexity of the business.”

The meeting will consider the revised directors’ remuneration policy, as well as a new long term incentive plan 2022 and a new deferred bonus plan 2022.

JD Sports said it was grateful for the time and effort spent by shareholders in engaging with the company and said it is keen to continue “open and honest communication with our investors in future”.

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