GVC Boss Kenneth Alexander Warned Pay Could Cause Shareholder Revolt

GVC Holdings boss Kenneth Alexander has been caught in another pay row after the Investment Association (IA) warned 32 FTSE companies about potential shareholder revolts.

GVC Kenneth Alexander

GVC boss Kenneth Alexander has been warned by the Investment Association that his salary could cause a revolt. (Image: iGaming Times)

The trade body representing UK investment managers named Alexander as part of a 15-strong list of company chairman receiving so-called fat-cat pay cheques. At the heart of the recent warning from the IA is the GVC boss’s £18.4 million salary.

Pay Cut Doesn’t Cut It

Despite being £1.4 million less than he took home in 2016, the IA has said that Alexander and others on its list are ignoring the concerns of shareholders.

“While many companies are taking the necessary action and engaging with their shareholders, a frustrating number are failing to address investor concerns,” Andrew Ninian, director of corporate governance at the IA, said in a press release.

During GVC’s annual general meeting on June 6, 44 percent of shareholders voted against the company’s current renumeration policies. That figure was only marginally lower than the 45 percent disapproval rating in 2017.

Although Alexander isn’t alone on the IA’s list of supposedly overpaid bosses, his name is more prominent due to the gaming industry’s reputation. Indeed, when it was revealed that Bet365 CEO Denise Coates earned £265 million this year, critics called it a bad look for the business sector.

“There is an increasing perception that big business only serves the interests of an elite few – a billionaire taking hundreds of millions more from a company that profits, in part, from other people’s addictions does nothing to dispel that perception,” Luke Hildyard of the High Pay Centre told the BBC.

With GVC being as much in the spotlight as Bet365, the IA’s recent warning will reignite the debate over pay within the gaming sector.

Gaming Bosses Under Fire

For its part, GVC has seen revenue increase this year thanks to its online innovations. Following a surge of interest during the 2018 World Cup, the operator saw online net gaming revenue improve by 28 percent year-on-year.

In spite of these gains, Alexander is likely to face mounting pressure over his salary as GVC shareholders look towards a potentially uncertain period in 2019. With changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and remote gaming duty set to take place next year, margins among the leading operators will be squeezed.

Although GVC has moved to offset future UK losses by forging partnerships in the US, money matters will continue to dominate discussions over the coming months.

Share Now: