ACSI releases study of executive pay

ACSI released its annual study of executive pay on 9 September 2010.

The press release accompanying the study indicated that boards cushioned executives by maintaining total remuneration levels in a falling share market. Reference is made to levels of pay on a median and average basis to 2006 and 2007 levels. However, this does not appear to be on a same incumbent basis. That is, there is no measurement of pay change in the period 2006 to 2009 for CEOs who were in the same job over that entire period. This is not uncommon in these types of longer-term analyses, given the turnover in CEOs over that period.

ACSI also expressed concern at the pressure to dumb down remuneration disclosures that has been integral to remuneration transparency. ACSI had made this point in their CAMAC submission on remuneration reporting (see HERE).

The ACSI research concludes that base pay increases appear to be in line with prior year increases, and have not accelerated as a result of the new termination payment provisions being based on annual base salary (see HERE). However, the 2008 to 2009 period examined would not have included a full year of fixed pay after implementation of the new terminations payment legislation from 24 November 2009. Any impact on fixed pay will only be fully assessable from 31 December 2010 disclosures to be released by March 2011.

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