Shareholder advisers urge investor protest over Credit Suisse pay

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ZURICH (Reuters) – Two shareholder advisers have recommended Credit Suisse shareholders vote against the Swiss bank’s compensation report and a third backed the report while expressing reservations about whether management pay matched performance.

CEO Tidjane Thiam of Swiss bank Credit Suisse awaits the company’s annual news conference in Zurich, Switzerland February 14, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The recommendations come ahead of the April 26 annual meeting, where the bank’s pay policy faces a non-binding shareholder vote.

Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam, at the helm of the second-biggest Swiss bank since 2015, got 12.65 million Swiss francs ($12.66 million) in total compensation in 2018, with short-term incentive awards (STI) of 4.94 million francs. That is up from 9.7 million francs total 2017 compensation and 3.98 million francs in STI.

Proxy adviser Glass Lewis cited an “unjustified CEO bonus increase” for Thiam in opposing the compensation report, which

Swiss ethical investment adviser Ethos also urged shareholders to reject.

“We are once again troubled by the board’s immediate exercise of upward discretion in increasing the CEO’s short-term incentive opportunity for the past fiscal year, which appears as an unnecessary anticipation of a reward for potential future results,” Glass Lewis wrote in a report seen by Reuters