Bill Berman slateBill Berman slate


Pinewood boss Bill Berman’s bumper pay deal is approved – but only by 80% of shareholders

  • Bill Berman is re-elected as Pinewood CEO with 97% backing
  • Shareholders aren’t so happy about his pay packet, though
  • Nearly 20% of investors vote against the directors’ remuneration policy

Time 12:44 pm, June 27, 2024

A fifth of Pinewood Technologies’ shareholders have delivered a resounding ‘no’ to CEO Bill Berman’s multi-million-pound pay packet.

The dealer management software division of Pendragon was hived off from the company to take its place on the London Stock Exchange when US dealer group Lithia & Driveway bought Pendragon’s Stratstone and Evans Halshaw dealerships plus its leasing division at the end of January for £397m.

Bill Berman, who was Pendragon’s boss, then became the head of Pinewood and in line to trouser cash and shares equal to some £7.8m in a complicated deal.

The directors’ remuneration policy was put to the vote at Pinewood’s annual meeting yesterday and it saw 80.42% agree to it – meaning almost 20% disapproved.

Berman was comfortably re-elected to his position with a 97.1% vote in favour, but it still showed widespread discontent on how much he is getting.

It gives him cash and shares in relation to this year’s performance and a deferred bonus from last year.

The deal includes a salary of £575,000, benefits and supplements worth around £190,000 and a bonus of £862,500.

However, two share incentive schemes could hand Berman some £6m if Pinewood’s share price remains at its current level.

If the company increases its share price by 50% over the next three years the Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) and Deferred Share Plan (DSP) could even be worth as much as £8.3m.

The incentives pay out in shares in the company, with the LTIP worth 1,256,068 shares and DSP worth 412,621 shares – the latter in relation to Berman’s 2023 bonus, which was deferred.

At a share price of 371p the LTIP is worth £4.6m and the DSP some £1.5m. Pinewood shares were trading around the 366.7p mark today.

Berman pocketed £8.9m after the Lithia deal went through, but has said he’ll ‘voluntarily’ defer all of his 2023 bonus ‘into an award under the new DSP’, so will receive it in three years.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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