Housebuilder wins narrow approval for package that will see CEO Greg Fitzgerald pocket up to £5.6m per year

Vistry shareholders have come close to rejecting the firm’s executive pay proposals for a second time in three months.

At a specially-convened general meeting yesterday, the housebuilder’s shareholders narrowly approved a policy that will see chief executive Greg Fitzgerald’s overall pay package increase by up to £2.2m per year.

greg fitzgerald

Greg Fitzgerald’s total package limit increases to £5.6m per annum

The firm said 45.2% of shareholders who took part rebelled against the company’s new remuneration policy, drawn up in the wake of Vistry’s £1.1bn takeover of partnerships housebuilder Countryside last year, with just 54.8% in favour.

A separate vote to approve a Long-Term Incentive Plan scheme at the £3bn turnover company was passed by just 55.3% to 44.7%. According to reports, proxy voting investment advisers ISS and Glass Lewis had both advised shareholders to vote against the proposed pay deals.

The remuneration package, set out in a letter to shareholders at the start of August, will see Fitzgerald’s basic salary rise by 5.9%, from £755,215 to £800,000, while his maximum annual bonus will increase to 300% of salary instead of 150%. The separate ‘long-term incentive plan’ bonus will increase from 200% to 300% from next year.

In total Fitzgerald’s total package limit increases from £3.4m to £5.6m a year. Justifying the proposals at the time, Paul Whetsell, chair of Vistry’s remuneration committee, said Vistry is a “significantly larger and more complex business” than it was before its acquisition of Countryside in November 2022, and that Fitzgerald will need to hit “stretching” targets to receive the full package.

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In response to the revolt yesterday, Vistry said in a statement it was pleased that all resolutions have been approved by a majority of shareholders, but noted that a “significant number of shareholders” opposed the approval of the revised policy.

It added: “The Company remains committed to ongoing shareholder engagement and will continue to do so to ensure that the Company understands shareholders’ views and is able to consider feedback, as well as to provide clarity on the Company’s approach to remuneration going forward.”