How big is too big for a CEO bonus target? Annoyed Shire investors have some ideas

Shire's shares have been hurting for a long time now, in part because of the company's $32 billion Baxalta buy. (Shire)

Ahead of what’s sure to be a big week for struggling Shire, a prominent investor group is rehashing complaints over the company’s executive pay policy.

Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, which advises pension funds and others on how to vote at annual company meetings, called Shire chief Flemming Orkskov’s maximum potential bonus of 780% of salary “excessive,” Reuters reported, while pointing out that Ornskov actually saw his compensation fall last year.

Two other well-known shareholder advisory groups, though—ISS and Glass Lewis—both said they recommend investors vote in favor of all the proposals Shire will make at its annual general meeting next Tuesday, the news service noted.

Ornskov took home $5.3 million last year, down from $10.6 million the year prior. The decrease mirrored the slide Shire’s shares saw over the course of 2017, in part because of Ornskov’s long-sought—and unpopular—purchase of hemophilia specialist Baxalta.

PIRC’s griping revives complaints from two years ago, when nearly half of Shire shareholders voted against Shire’s remuneration setup. But sentiment rebounded last year, Reuters noted, with Shire garnering 93% support.

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Meanwhile, next week’s meeting will be just one of many big events for the Dublin drugmaker. It is set to report first-quarter earnings on Thursday, just one day after the deadline for suitor Takeda to either make a bid or walk away. The company has already announced its interest in buying Shire,