Berkeley Group’s founder Tony Pidgley has cashed in £28.9m of shares, just seven weeks after he took a £27m windfall and faced down a shareholder rebellion over pay deals labelled “grossly excessive”.
Pidgley sold 750,000 shares at £38.50 each yesterday, and was joined by the upmarket housebuilder’s chief executive, Rob Perrins, who sold 500,000 shares worth £19.25m. Between them, Berkeley’s top two cashed in £48.14m yesterday.
On 8 September Perrins’ wife, Vanessa, also sold 500,000 shares that he transferred to her last year delivering a windfall of £17.9m for the household.
In less than two months Pidgley and the Perrins have sold shares worth £92.85m.
Last month 16% of Berkeley’s investors voted against the group’s remuneration policy at its annual general meeting (AGM).
Glass Lewis, which called the pay packets “grossly excessive”, and Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, two of the world’s largest shareholder advisory groups, recommended investors reject the pay packages in a non-binding vote at Berkeley’s AGM.
Another influential advisor, Institutional Shareholder Services, said it had “concerns” over the share rewards, but recommended its clients vote in favour, offering only “qualified support”.
Berkeley’s scheme is based on a long-term incentive pay plan introduced in 2011 that promised executives 19.6m shares if certain targets were hit by 2021. At the time Berkeley’s shares were worth around £10 each. The shares have since risen sharply.