CALGARY _ The CEO of Crescent Point Energy Corp. is vowing to work harder to address complaints after shareholders rejected four dissident directors at its annual meeting on Friday, but refused to support the company’s approach to executive pay.
Scott Saxberg acknowledged that the Calgary-based company has faced questions for years from investors critical of its spending, debt levels, executive pay and share performance but insisted it has already made changes and is willing to do more.
“We’ve spent a lot of time listening to our shareholders … what they feel we need to do to succeed and improve our share price performance,” he said after the meeting.
“And our view is we’re going to meet and exceed those expectations.”
He defended the company’s entry into new oilfields in Utah, Saskatchewan and Alberta in the past few years. He said there are no plans to issue new equity and dilute share value in the current environment to pay for any further expansion projects.
The company’s annual general meeting in Calgary was closed to the media, but loud applause echoed down the hall as the director voting results were announced.
All 10 nominees put forward by the company were elected.
Former investment banker Thomas Budd, one of the four defeated dissident nominees, said the action by activist Cation Capital Inc. has drawn attention to the many problems at Crescent Point.
“Basically, the board has let Scott do whatever he’s wanted for three years,” he said after the meeting, adding the CEO’s pay hasn’t reflected the company’s troubled share price.
He also suggested he owns more stock than the re-elected directors.
“I bought stock when it was cheap,” he said. “Those board members that understand the company more than me, where have they been?”
Shareholders voted down a “say-on-pay” motion asking them to endorse the way Crescent Point pays its executives. The company also lost a similar motion at its 2016 annual meeting.
Saxberg said he thinks the negative vote on compensation was more of a vote on its share price, which fell nearly 40 per cent in the 12 months before Cation launched its proxy challenge in early April.
He said the share price has been hurt because investors lump Crescent Point in with the rest of the Canadian energy sector, which has been dogged by market access concerns, even though the company has few problems getting its mainly light oil production to market in pipelines.