QBE's chief executive just cut his own pay packet by $421,000

Pat Regan (Right) presents the Player of the Season award to rugby player Tom Youngs of Leicester Tigers. (Photo by David Rogers / Getty Images )

QBE chief Pat Regan has responded to shareholder concerns over executive remuneration by agreeing to a 25% cut in his performance bonus.

The move follows a resolution in the company’s 2017 Executive Incentive Plan, which granted Regan 163,382 Conditional Rights to shares in the company if performance objectives were achieved. The shares had an initial value of $1,684,469.

Regan’s incentive plan was approved by the board and a large chunk of the company’s investor base — but not everyone agreed.

“While a substantial number of shareholders indicated they concurred, a number of shareholders have also expressed reservations about the size of the award in the context of the Group’s 2017 results,” QBE said in a statement today.

In January, QBE informed the market that it expected to book a $1.2 billion loss for the 2017 calendar year, reflecting increased payouts for disasters and a loss of tax credits in the US.

“In response to this feedback, Mr Regan has volunteered to reduce by 25% the number of Conditional Rights proposed to be granted to him under the Company’s Executive Incentive Plan for 2017,” the company said.

Assuming performance targets are met, that would reduce Regan’s bonus entitlement to 122,537 Conditional Rights with an initial value of $1,263,356.

Regan started as QBE chief in January this year, after the company announced that previous CEO John Neal would step down in September following years of anemic share price growth and surprise earnings downgrades.

Since starting his tenure, Regan has given the company’s executive ranks a shakeup and hired a number of new staff to senior management positions.

A short time ago, QBE shares were down 0.5% to $9.95 in afternoon trade, after falling below $9.50 earlier this month — the lowest level since 2016.

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