As AGM doors shut...
Standard Life Aberdeen commits to £300m dividend
Sir Douglas Flint: ‘pensioners and savers rely on dividend payments’ (pic: Terry Murden)
Shareholders received some good news as the board committed to paying a £300m dividend.
Directors at the asset management agreed to press ahead with the payout during a remote meeting conducted earlier this week.
The decision was relayed to a national newspaper by the chairman Sir Douglas Flint. The company said there was no confirmation in its update this morning because there had been no change to its plans since announcing the proposed payout on 10 March.
Sir Douglas said it has £1.7billion of surplus capital, and therefore can afford to make the 14.3p a share payment. For a typical shareholder it will mean a cheque for around £100. The payment has to be approved by investors at the annual meeting on 12 May which will be held behind closed doors.
In a statement to Daily Business this morning, Sir Douglas said: “As we outlined at our full year results just a few weeks ago, our business is in a strong financial position.
“We are of the view, therefore, that it is appropriate to recommend the payment of our final dividend as planned. Dividends are incredibly important to the British stock market. Many pensioners and savers rely on dividend payments from their stock portfolio to provide an income.”
The decision will be welcomed by the group’s army of private investors and institutional shareholders alike as the majority of firms cancel dividends.
Nearly a fifth of companies in the FTSE 100 have now cancelled or postponed dividends to preserve cash, but denying valuable income to savers and pension funds.
Shareholders will not be able to attend the AGM on 12 May and are encouraged to vote electronically, or to appoint the chairman as their proxy with their voting instructions.
Only one board member will attend the AGM in person. The presentations which the chairman and chief executive would have given will be available on the website from the day of the meeting. These will not form part of the meeting.
There will be no ‘live’ question and answer session at the meeting, but any shareholder who has a question they would have intended to ask at the meeting is invited to contact the company in the usual way and can find more information via the company’s website at www.standardlifeaberdeen.com/agm