This paper examines the impact of enhanced executive remuneration disclosure rules under UK regulations introduced in 2013 on the voting pattern of shareholders. Based on a hand-collected dataset on the pay information disclosed by FTSE 100 companies, we establish that shareholders guide their vote by top line salary, and appear to disregard the remaining substantial body of information provided to them. Analyzing the unique British feature of two votes, one forward looking and one backward looking, we establish that shareholders differentiate between the two dimensions in about 23% of the cases. In contrast to the rationale of the legislation that introduced the two votes, however, differentiating voting behavior is not driven by characteristics of the executive’s remuneration policy, but mainly by exceptionally positive future performance expectations.
Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers DP 751