Communication

Value an integral element when setting CEO pay: AMP Capital

By AMP Capital media team

Australia’s chief executives receive, on average, more than double the total pay of the second highest paid executive in their company, according to an analysis of executive pay in AMP Capital’s latest Corporate Governance Report.

The analysis of pay received by executive teams in the S&P/ASX 2001 also looks at the way in which executive pay is set and reviewed.

AMP Capital has found that, including bonuses, the average CEO was paid a total of $3.8 million in 2014. Excluding the CEO, the average key executive2 at a company in the S&P/ASX 200 received $1.4 million while the second highest paid executive received an average of $1.6 million.

AMP Capital Corporate Governance Manager Karin Halliday: “CEOs deserve to be paid a premium for running a listed company in Australia as every facet of their role is crucial to investors. As investors, we are particularly interested in the board’s rationale for the size and composition of executive pay. Executive remuneration should be weighted towards being a fair payment for the role for which the executive has been hired. We look for evidence that executive pay is reasonable and aligned with shareholder interests.

“We recognise the challenge of setting pay, particularly when a new CEO begins. We encourage companies to set executive pay with reference to the value the executives provide rather than simply allowing past payments or global benchmarking studies to determine future payments. We also encourage boards to be transparent about the factors they consider when setting pay so shareholders can assess it appropriately.”

The Corporate Governance Report has also revisited the topic of gender diversity among Australian listed company boards, finding continued improvement. In 2010, 60 per cent of the companies AMP Capital held had no women directors. By 2015, this number had fallen to 21 per cent, which is tracking in the right direction although more remains to be done.

Ms Halliday said: “AMP Capital believes there is a sound business case for improving gender diversity. In addition to demonstrated links between performance and the number of women on a board, we have found that when companies have more women directors, they present fewer characteristics of poor governance.”

Given the proven benefits of diversity, AMP Capital encourages companies to focus on developing their senior women and addressing unconscious bias by casting the net more widely when making appointments.

The AMP Capital Corporate Governance Report also includes an analysis of what investors should make of the Paris Climate Change Agreement as well as an overview of AMP Capital’s proxy voting and engagement activity.

During 2015, AMP Capital submitted votes on 1453 resolutions at 279 company meetings. Of these resolutions, 90 per cent were supported. AMP Capital either voted against or specifically abstained from voting on around 9 per cent of resolutions. AMP Capital was excluded from voting on 1 per cent of resolutions due to conflicts of interest3.

In the full year 2015, the number of remuneration reports AMP Capital supported continued to rise; this year 84 per cent of reports were supported, up significantly from the 2008 low of 61 per cent.

AMP Capital Financial Year Proxy Voting Statistics 2015 2014 2013 2012
Number of company meetings 279 308 319 332
Number of resolutions voted on 1453 1685 1645 1734
Total % of resolutions not supported 10% 12%  12%   14%
Remuneration reports not supported 16%  16% 17%  25% 

The Corporate Governance Report can be downloaded at: 

http://www.ampcapital.com.au/about-us/esg-and-responsible-investment/corporate-governance

1AMP Capital collected statutory pay data on all companies that were members of the S&P/ASX 200 at 2014 year end. Data on CEO and the next highest executive was collected when those executives were in place for the entire financial year of the company.

2A key executive is defined by accounting standard AASB124 as an executive that has the authority and responsibility for planning, directing and controlling the activities of the company. AASB124 requires companies to report remuneration paid to these key executives in their accounts.

3This situation arises when, for example, AMP Capital has participated in share issues on behalf of our clients and is therefore deemed to have a conflict of interest and is automatically excluded from voting to ratify that transaction.

  • Communication
  • Media Releases

Important notes

This article has been prepared to provide general information and does not constitute 'financial advice' for the purposes of the Financial Advisors Act 2008 (Act). An individual investor should, before making any investment decisions, consider the information available in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and seek professional advice. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this document, AMP Capital Investors (New Zealand) Limited and the AMP Group (together, 'AMP') make no guarantee that the information supplied is accurate, complete or timely and do not make any warranties or representations in respect of results gained from its use. The information is not intended to infer that current or past returns are indicative of future returns. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of AMP. These views are subject to change depending on market conditions and other factors.

Cookies & Tracking on our website.  We use basic cookies to help remember selections you make on the website and to make the site work. We also use non-essential cookies, website tracking as well as analytics - so we can amongst other things, show which of our products and services may be relevant for you, and tailor marketing (if you have agreed to this). More details about our use of cookies and website analytics can be found here
You can turn off cookie collection and/or website tracking by updating your cookies & tracking preferences in your browser settings.