View from City Road: When directors' pay is kept under wraps
Thursday 06 May 1993
Do they promise their directors embarrassingly large bonuses or pensions? Do they provide them with private planes or houses in Florida? If there is nothing to be ashamed of, why have they not opened their books to scrutiny?
Coats and Unilever comply with disclosure requirements in their reports and accounts. But this only means they give sketchy information about remuneration for all directors except the chairmen. Anyone looking for more detail and other contractual arrangements might expect to find it in the directors' service contracts, which can be inspected ahead of annual meetings. But both companies have put the details in memos that have not been put on display.
No doubt they are in good company. But the fact that other companies may get round disclosure requirements is no defence. Shareholders have a right to know their full liability to pay compensation if any particular director has to be pushed out.
BTR's secrecy is even tighter. Last year it failed to disclose the salary of directors working principally overseas, which, crucially, include Alan Jackson, the chief executive. This is an extraordinary omission for a company that has its headquarters in Britain.
None of these companies wants to be compared with Hanson in respect of disclosure. It ran into trouble at the time of its ICI investment because Lord White, the co-founder, does not sit on the board. This means Hanson does not have to disclose his pay, bonus or other benefits.
Shareholders might conclude that these companies have something they would rather not reveal.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
iJobs Money & Business
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...
Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...