Executive pay: Asset managers very quick to approve rewards

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Executive pay: Asset managers very quick to approve rewards

Stanlib and Investec barely bat an eye when it comes to signing off the remuneration packages for bosses

Ann Crotty

One of the most interesting sections of PwC’s annual remuneration report deals with how the large investment institutions vote on rewarding executives.
The loud message from this section is that if you are interested in remuneration issues then neither Stanlib nor Investec should be managing your investments.
For the second year in a row Stanlib and Investec were the asset managers most likely to approve a company’s remuneration policy. Both only voted against 6.5% of pay policies. Investec abstained in 10.4% of cases.The people who appear to take the issue most seriously are Allan Gray and Old Mutual. The former voted against remuneration policies in 28.6% of cases and the latter in 37%. Unsurprisingly, the Public Investment Corporation is the asset manager most likely to vote against a remuneration policy; it notched up 44.9% “no” votes.
The prize for the “most improved” goes to Coronation. Last year PwC reported that Coronation voted in support of remuneration policies in a staggering 94.3% of cases. This year that figure was reduced to a more considered 77.6%.
But perhaps an even bigger issue that has been raised, albeit inadvertently, by PwC is the absence of Sanlam from the list of major institutional investors. The reason Sanlam doesn’t appear on the list is because it, alone of all the large institutions, does not disclose how it votes at annual general meetings.
At Sanlam’s recent AGM chairperson Johan van Zyl did give shareholders an undertaking that they will “definitely look at” bringing their disclosure into line with industry standards.

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