By Mark Williamson

STANDARD Life Aberdeen has said it has held valuable and positive meetings with shareholders after suffering a revolt on executive pay at its general meeting.

At the Edinburgh-based investment giant’s general meeting in May around 42 per cent of votes cast opposed a resolution to approve its directors’ remuneration report excluding the remuneration policy.

Pay revolt at Standard Life Aberdeen's AGM

Issues were raised over part of the bonus structure for the new finance chief, Stephanie Bruce, who joined in June from PwC.

Following the meeting Standard Life Aberdeen said it recognised the significant percentage of votes cast against the resolution. The company said it would continue to engage with shareholders on the concerns and to provide an update within six months.

Standard Life Aberdeen said yesterday that the new chair of its remuneration committee, Jonathan Asquith, had held 11 meetings with institutional shareholders and agencies since he was appointed on September 1.

The company said the meetings provided “ briefing and clarification on the terms of Ms Bruce’s appointment and the importance of her strategic role”.

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Other issues covered included developments to former joint chief executive Martin Gilbert's responsibilities and remuneration in light of announcements since the AGM.

Last month the company announced that Mr Gilbert will retire from SLA in September next year, after informing its board he would not seek re-election at its next annual general meeting.

“In the view of the Chair of the Remuneration Committee, the consultation meetings are proving valuable and positive,” it said yesterday.

The engagement process is ongoing and a further five meetings with shareholders are planned.

The company said it expects to seek shareholder approval for a new directors’ remuneration policy no later than at its AGM in 2021 in line with the normal cycle for renewal. It will bring forward revised policy proposals at the appropriate time.