British American Tobacco (BAT) is going through an investor backlash by urgent forward with a 9.5% pay rise for its chief government whilst many giant corporations reduce high salaries in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News has learnt that Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), an influential proxy adviser, is recommending that traders oppose BAT’s remuneration report at its annual assembly later this month.

Image: British American Tobacco has a market worth of practically £68bn

In a report circulated to purchasers, ISS stated help for the Lucky Strike-owner’s pay report was not justified due to the rise in CEO Jack Bowles’ wage from £1.175m to £1.287m.

The timing of BAT’s AGM makes the pay rise for Mr Bowles contentious, provided that lots of its FTSE-100 friends have stated the COVID-19 outbreak will see their chief executives take non permanent pay cuts.

Some, together with the boss of BT Group, have stated they are going to forfeit their wage for six months.

BAT, which has a market worth of practically £68bn, noticed its shares slip earlier this week when The Times revealed that it was the topic of a US legal inquiry into sanctions-busting.

A BAT spokesman stated on Friday: “Jack Bowles was appointed on a bundle that was 21% decrease than that of his predecessor.

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“Following the 9.5% pay increase for Jack following a very strong first year in role, his total fixed remuneration is still 15% lower than his predecessor.

The company said this fact had been “acknowledged by ISS” and that it famous that its remuneration report had received the backing of Glass Lewis, one other proxy adviser.

IVIS, the voting advisory arm of the Investment Association, is known to have given BAT’s pay report an ‘amber-top’ alert, that means that it isn’t with out concern for shareholders.