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.
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery rumours: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8: YouTube reinstates provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing
Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
£100 - 125k: Guru Careers: A CTO / Chief Technology Officer is needed to join ...