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Baby Bank Network – Treasurer & Trustee

Treasurer & Trustee – Baby Bank Network Organisation: Baby Bank Network Reference: Vacancy Type: Treasurer / Trustee Deadline: 6th January 2019 Region: South West Vacancy Details Are you passionate about the wellbeing of vulnerable children and their families? Do you want to make a difference in your local community? Baby Bank Network is looking for two […]

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Close Brothers Asset Management – Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director – Close Brothers Asset Management Location: Central London Date Posted: 23/11/2018 Closing Date: 21/12/2018 Close Brothers Asset Management is one of the UK’s largest and longest-established providers of high-quality financial planning advice and discretionary investment services. We aim to build and preserve our clients’ wealth by providing a complete, personalised and professional service. We […]

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Civil Nuclear Police Authority – Members

Members – Civil Nuclear Police Authority Body: Civil Nuclear Police Authority Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Prison & Policing Location: Board meetings are usually located in Culham. Skills required: Accountancy, Audit and Risk Number of Vacancies: 2 roles in total. 1 Independent Member with accountancy experience […]

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Looked After Children and Young People Not-for-Profit – Non-Executive Director

Non-Executive Director – Looked After Children and Young People Not-for-Profit Salary/Rate: £10000 – £15000/annum c. 2 days per month Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire Posted: 23/11/2018 (12:32) Closes: 25/12/2018 Agency: Cooper Edwards Ltd Description Make a difference to the wellbeing and safety of Looked After Children and Young People North East / Yorkshire / East Midlands […]

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28A Supported Living – Non-Executive Director (Legal)

Non-Executive Director (Legal) – 28A Supported Living £250 a day Part-time 28A Supported Living are looking for a Non-Exec Director to sit on the Board as well as join Committees that support the Board. 28A Supported living has a positive impact on people’s lives. It provides safety and security through reliable landlord and independent living […]

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Executive pay storms back onto corporate agenda

The media has just been through another executive pay frenzy. The Investment Association (IA), a body for investment managers, has issued new guidelines on pay which it wants implemented by companies; Carlos Ghosn, the feted leader of Nissan, has been arrested over undeclared pay; and the Labour Party has proposed radical new measures to curb remuneration levels of those at the top.

It seems the issue will not go away, and that investors, politicians and the public are as sensitive as they have ever been about the issues surrounding high levels of remuneration for executives.

This current raft of pay stories began on 19 November with the arrest of Ghosn in Japan, amid allegations of undeclared income. The arrest sent a shockwave through the auto industry and the executive community in Japan. Even now he remains in detention in Tokyo while an ongoing investigation continues. The authorities have until 10 December to bring charges or let him go.


While the allegations remain particular to Ghosn, they quickly raised wider issues in Japan on governance (did Nissan have enough independent directors overseeing governance arrangements?); and executive pay (do Japan’s companies look for ways to make CEO pay look lower than it really was because the authorities in 2009 ordered companies to publish details of CEO pay?). Both issues reflect a high degree of latent sensitivity over the subject of pay and how it is to be managed.

But amid the avalanche of news about Ghosn came an announcement from the IA revealing new pay guidelines, specifically because of investor “concerns that companies are not listening, or responding to, shareholders over pay.”

Dubbed the “Principles of Remuneration” they include more triggers for boards to claw back bonuses from executives, the adoption of pay-ratio reporting requirements, and a demand that directors hold their shares for a minimum of two years after their departure from a company to encourage long-term business strategies.

Andrew Ninian, director of stewardship at the IA, said that a “stubborn minority” of companies had failed to respond to shareholder concerns over pay, and issued a warning.

“Our strengthened guidelines make clear that companies need to demonstrate more robustly the link between pay and company performance. If they don’t, they should brace themselves for more shareholder revolts in 2019,” said Ninian.

“Too many companies still present investors their final pay policies with the aim of justifying their approach instead of really integrating investors’ views.”

–Marion Plouhinec, Legal & General Investment Management

Many were pleased to see investors increase the pressure over pay. Luke Hildyard, director of the High Pay Pay Centre, a think-tank, said the fear of CEOs walking because of a refusal to pay high rewards is overplayed.

“Companies are still overly cautious about challenging overpaid CEOs, in our opinion,” Hildyard said. “It’s prudent for boards to be worried about the risk of an executive walking out on the company if their pay demands are refused, and the market reaction to an abrupt departure. However, we think the likelihood of this happening, or of it having a dramatic effect on a well-run company, is smaller than suggested.”

Other investors welcomed the new principles but warned they would only work if actively supported by shareholders with their votes. Companies were also warned they need to get their heads around building investor views into pay policies, rather than trying to justify reward settlements after the event.

According to Marion Plouhinec, a governance analyst with Legal & General Investment Management: “These principles will only have real impact if investors effectively sanction companies using their voting power.

“Companies should check their remuneration policy against these principles. They should also consult investors. Too many companies still present investors their final pay policies with the aim of justifying their approach instead of really integrating investors’ views.”

Labour Party review

But the new guidelines were not the end of the recent executive pay activity. Radical new proposals for curbing executive pay were revealed in a review commissioned by the Labour Party’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. The proposals include a ban on share options and permitting consumers, alongside employees, a vote on the pay company executives.

The review was inevitably attacked and described as “unprecedented and unhealthy” in one report. But the proposals do continue a current trend–one discussed even outside the Labour Party—of seeing business as having a “societal purpose” and accountability to a much wider group of stakeholders than simply shareholders. Even the recently revised UK corporate governance code explicitly states that a board’s role is to ensure “sustainable success”, “generating value for shareholders and contributing to wider society.” The new code also demands engagement with a wider group of stakeholders.

Labour’s proposals signal that it could go further than any other previous government with measures to formally regulate the pay of UK executives. The proposals are not yet Labour Party policy, but though they won’t play well in the business world, they may garner support from the wave of new party members who have joined the party since Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to the leadership.

What the past week indicates is that if boards fail to get a grip on executive pay, they not only face more investor revolts but also government legislation should Labour take power. The executive pay debate is still a long way from being resolved.

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Myer suffers second strike on pay, but avoids board spill, post Solomon Lew ‘vindictive campaign’

Myer’s board directors manage to avoid being thrown out by shareholders despite a “second strike” against the company’s remuneration report amid declining sales and a rocky share price.


Banking royal commission summed up in NAB’s befuddled performance

After nine months of damning evidence of misconduct and malpractice, the final fortnight of hearings neatly encapsulated the banking royal commission, especially the starkly contrasting evidence of NAB’s CEO and chairman.


Board moves: Unilever and Rathbone Brothers


The failure to move Unilever’s HQ to Rotterdam is the final chapter for chief executive Paul Polman’s time at the Anglo-Dutch business.

The multi-product manufacturer has announced that Polman will step down from the role on 1 January 2019, with beauty & personal care president Alan Jope to take the position. Polman has served for more than ten years as Unilever chief—he will stay on for the first half of 2019 as part of the handover process.

The move to create a single-headed structure at the business caused great controversy, and the Dutch HQ would have seen it likely to have quit the FTSE index due to the stock exchange’s rules.

Chair Marijn Dekkers said of Polman: “His role in helping to define a new era of responsible capitalism, embodied in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, marks him out as one of the most far-sighted business leaders of his generation.”

Of Jope, Dekkers said he is “a strong, dynamic and values-driven leader with an impressive track record of delivering consistent high-quality performance”.

Rathbone Brothers

Philip Howell is to retire as chief executive after five years in the role. He has spent more than 30 years in investment and private banking, including a long spell at Barclays.

Group FD Paul Stockton will succeed Howell, having spent a decade as finance chief. Stockton has also served as investment management MD since May. He takes the role from 9 May 2019, during which time a transition will take place.

“The board recognises the importance of careful succession planning at Rathbones and, having worked with Paul for many years, we are delighted with his promotion to chief executive officer,” said chair Mark Nicholls.

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Fife College – Chair

Chair – Fife College Reference: 1561 Remuneration: daily remuneration of £265 Location: Fife Closing date: 19 December 2018 at midnight Appointment of Chair to Fife College Appointment for up to four years from 3 March 2019 Scottish Ministers are appointing a new Chair to Fife College. Applicants must already have board experience and be able […]

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