Shareholders in some of the UK’s biggest companies will signal their displeasure over poor performance, gender imbalance, and ballooning boardroom pay at some 18 annual general meetings (AGMs) taking place this week alone across the FTSE 350.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, will today be forced to defend its lack of gender diversity at board level as well as historically high director pay levels.

Centrica has one of the least gender-diverse boards in the FTSE 100 with just two women appearing alongside nine men, though the company’s chief executive Iain Conn last month revealed his pay package more than halved last year following a drop in profits for 2017.

Elsewhere, pharmaceuticals giant Astrazeneca and cinema chain Cineworld will face shareholders this week.

Astrazeneca is under pressure from shareholder advisory group ISS, which is recommending that shareholders vote down the remuneration policy even though it has slashed its CEO’s pay packet.

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell will gather its shareholders next Tuesday.

Sarah Wilson, chief executive of the UK shareholder voting advisory firm Manifest, told BBC Radio 5 live there’s been “a notable uptick” in shareholder protests due to the government putting more pressure on fund managers to be responsible owners.

Earlier this year big UK companies including housebuilder Persimmon, satellite maker Inmarsat, and consumer goods giant Unilever all felt the wrath of shareholders who were protesting high pay for directors and senior management.

Russ Mould, investment director at broker AJ Bell, told City AM:

We are definitely seeing more protest from shareholders.

It’s easy to turn a blind eye when companies are performing well – we’ve had a long bull run, and in some cases people are happy to let potential problems run because the company is doing well and the share price is going up.

It’s when things don’t go so well and the share price starts going down that you tend to find the questions get asked.

The State of Technology This Week

Here are all the UK AGMs taking place this week

Today

  • Centrica
  • The City Pub Group
  • Fidelity European Values
  • Global Ports Investments GDR (REG S)
  • Integrated Diagnostics Holdings
  • Midwich Group
  • Non-Standard Finance
  • SafeCharge International Group Limited (DI)

Tomorrow

  • Amerisur Resources
  • Anglo Pacific Group
  • Cairn Energy
  • Cenkos Securities
  • Charles Taylor
  • Eland Oil & Gas
  • G4S
  • Horizonte Minerals
  • IWG
  • Kakuzi
  • Macfarlane Group
  • Maven Income & Growth 4 VCT
  • PPHE Hotel Group
  • Pittards
  • Spirax-Sarco Engineering
  • Starwood European Real Estate Finance
  • Symphony Environmental Technologies
  • PJSC Centre For Cargo Container Traffic Transcontainer GDR (Reg S)
  • UBM
  • Vitec Group

Wednesday

  • Aberdeen Asian Income Fund
  • Tritax Big Box Reit
  • Charter Court Financial Services Group
  • Cineworld Group
  • Coats Group
  • Cronin Group
  • Chesnara
  • Permanent TSB Group Holdings
  • Indivior
  • Jupiter Fund Management
  • Kings Arms Yard VCT
  • Mortgage Advice Bureau (Holdings)
  • Mondi
  • Moss Bros Group
  • Merchants Trust
  • National Express Group
  • Ophir Energy
  • Princess Private Equity Holding
  • Premier Oil
  • Secure Trust Bank
  • Property Franchise Group
  • Worldpay
  • Zotefoams
  • ZTF

Thursday

  • 7Digital Group
  • Elecosoft
  • Erris Resources
  • eServGlobal Limited (DI)
  • esure Group
  • Fevertree Drinks
  • Foxtons Group
  • Genel Energy
  • Gresham House
  • Great Western Mining Corporation
  • Highcroft Investment
  • Hill & Smith Holdings
  • Hiscox Limited (DI)
  • Impax Environmental Markets
  • IndigoVision Group
  • John Laing Infrastructure Fund
  • Just Group
  • Kape Technologies
  • Legal & General Group
  • LiDCO Group
  • Medaphor Group
  • North Midland Construction
  • Next
  • ProPhotonix (DI)
  • Prudential
  • Regional REIT Limited
  • Regional Reit ZDP
  • Robert Walters
  • Staffline Group
  • TI Fluid Systems
  • Vectura Group

Friday

  • AstraZeneca
  • Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon
  • Computacenter
  • Clarke (T.)
  • Derwent London
  • Eurocell
  • Hikma Pharmaceuticals
  • Hunters Property
  • Independent News & Media
  • Menzies(John)
  • Petrofac
  • Paddy Power Betfair
  • Rockhopper Exploration
  • S&U