Just when Crikey declared that shareholder voting against remuneration
reports was lower than expected, along came a 45% “against” vote for
plumbing supplies company Crane Group yesterday, as you can see here.

However, just like with AGL, the protest was focused on a specific
resolution – the incentive scheme for CEO Greg
Sedgwick to collect 50,000 free shares just for staying at the company
until 2007. There were no performance hurdles so this was almost rolled
with a final vote after the poll of
14.33 million shares in favour and 12.57 million against.

The Herald Sun
got it wrong today saying this was “non-binding” as Sedgwick almost
joined the very small list of defeated or withdrawn resolutions.

However, if concern was so high about this package, why didn’t the shareholders
also vote against the actual remuneration report which had 25.16
million proxies in favour and only 771,146 against?

After all, Sedgwick collected a ridiculous $470,000 pay rise to $1.7
million last year when the company he’s running saw its market
capitalisation drop back below $600 million after this morning’s 40c
drop to $10 in a stronger market. An overpaid CEO getting free shares
without hurdles should see the specific resolution and the overall
remuneration report rejected.