ANGRY POLICYHOLDERS yesterday voted down a new pay deal that would have rewarded Vanni Treves and ot...
ANGRY POLICYHOLDERS yesterday voted down a new pay deal that would have rewarded Vanni Treves and other members of Equitable Life's board after the mutual admitted just how close it came to insolvency last year.
The Times reports that the stormy meeting also heard that the decision to move out of equities into fixed income assets last year was "a bet", which if not made would almost certainly have led to administrators taking over.
But saving the company's bacon was not enough to persuade members to vote through the remuneration proposals, particularly given the £1m that has been paid to chief executive Charles Thomson in the past two years.
One member present even urged the entire board to "commit hara-kiri – to make way for more competent management", The Daily Telegraph reports.
The Scotsman says that "one angry policyholder accused the board of having their 'snouts in the trough', arguing they were profligate to give former chief finance and investment officer Charles Bellringer a £195,000 pay-off last November for just six months as a director."
Still, yesterday's revolt is likely to come to nothing when the results of the postal ballot are revealed today, the Telegraph adds, which means Thomson is in line to take home £550,000 this year.
The company's difficulties are far from over: having cut members' pension incomes by up to a third to leave provision for guaranteed annuity rate payouts and settle mis-selling claims, Treves still warned of a "major miscalculation of provisions" as being the biggest danger to survival, the Telegraph says.
ANTI-SEX DISCRIMINATION laws being drawn up on a European scale will bring big changes to the way the insurance industry calculates annuity rates, the FT writes.
But the proposals are already drawing flak from insurers, who say that the moves will hit women who currently pay lower premium rates.
Representatives of EU social affairs commissioner Anna Diamontopolou argue that the insurers have got the wrong end of the stick: "This isn't about a directive on equal opportunities for women - it is about gender-based risk assessment of any kind It's not fair to assume that all women live longer than men - they don't," the FT quotes one spokesman.
The outcome of the new rules could be that women pay lower premiums for private medical care – currently they are calculated as requiring more medical attention than men throughout their lives – and higher annuity payments.
Changing the rules should not result in higher costs for the industry, the Commission says: "We think they will simply balance out the premiums between men and women," the FT quotes an official.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till