(Bloomberg) -- UniCredit SpA shareholders approved a pay increase of as much as 30% for Chief Executive Officer Andrea Orcel, making the Italian one of the highest paid bank chiefs in Europe. 

Of investors attending UniCredit’s virtual annual meeting, 69% approved the 2023 remuneration policy which entails increasing Orcel’s variable pay to up to €6.5 million if the bank exceeds targets. The lender gave the results in a statement on Friday. 

The vote comes after top investor advisers Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and Glass Lewis called on shareholders to vote against the proposal, arguing it represents an excessive increase in Orcel’s total pay. 

Chairman Pier Carlo Padoan praised investors support, stating that the new rules “are designed to encourage our performance culture and incentivize excellence” and to ensure complete and total alignment with shareholders over the long term. 

UniCredit had already approved a 30% increase in Orcel’s fixed remuneration to €3.25 million this year, while the variable portion was subject to investor backing. Under the new plan his bonus will be capped at €4.25 million — lower than his 2022 bonus and leaving his total compensation unchanged — if the bank meets its goals. If the bank beats targets, it could rise 30%, leading to total pay of €9.75 million.

The proposed package follows a year which saw UniCredit post higher-than-expected profit of €6.5 billion while cutting costs by 2% and boosting shareholder payouts by 40%. 

Since taking charge almost two years ago, Orcel, 59, has exited businesses, eliminated jobs in non-core locations and sought to focus on more lucrative products and capital-light activities. 



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