Executive Salaries: Who Should Have A Say On Pay?

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In Executive Salaries: Who Should Have a Say on Pay? the 2012 executive pay packages of 50 of South Africa’s largest and most influential listed companies are examined.

A 2006 study by Crotty and Bonorchis revealed that, on average, the CEOs got paid more than R15 million a year – more than 700 times the minimum wage in certain industries. The authors predicted that without government intervention, executive packages would continue to sky-rocket. Unfortunately these predictions have come true, despite employment equity measures and changes to corporate governance requirements in King III. The average cash and benefits package of the 50 CEOs studied in 2012 came to almost R13.1 million and once the gains on the vesting and exercise of share options is included, this average rises steeply to almost R49 million.

South Africa’s widening income inequality and its history of racism, poverty and social unrest demand that something more be done to reverse this trend. But what will it take for companies to rein in excessive executive salaries? In Executive Salaries we consider these questions:

  • How do you strengthen the shareholder’s say on pay to ensure that the board of directors responsible for setting pay take into account multiple stakeholder interests? 
  • Should the courts, the Department of Labour, employees, the tax man or the remaining 99% of society have a say on what the 1% are being paid? 
  • How do you modify corporate governance standards, the tax code and labour legislation to achieve these goals?
  • How do we turn shareholders into activists and empower the workforce?
  • Is change only possible if a more fundamental shift in attitudes is achieved?

This book addresses these pressing issues and considers possible mechanisms to rein in excessive executive pay. 

Without these interventions, South Africa will continue on a path of instability and unrest, while the rich get richer and the poor become poorer.

About the authors

Kaylan Massie was born and raised in Canada. She received an Honours degree in Economics from Queen’s University and a Law degree from the University of British Columbia. During her university studies she received numerous academic awards and scholarships. After graduating from law school and completing her articles at one of the leading corporate law firms in Canada, Kaylan qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in 2009. Upon qualification, she began practicing litigation, labour and employment law, representing clients before courts, the labour relations board and labour arbitrators. In 2011, she moved to South Africa with her husband and enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Cape Town. She graduated with distinction with a Master’s degree in Labour Law in 2012.

Debbie Collier is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is an associate of the Institute of Development and Labour Law. After receiving her BA LLB from Rhodes University, Debbie completed pupillage and later articles and practiced as an attorney in the Eastern Cape specialising primarily in employment law matters. In 2001, Debbie joined the UCT Law Faculty as an assistant lecturer and IT co-ordinator and was subsequently awarded her LLM and PhD at UCT. Debbie’s core teaching responsibilities, and primary field of research, is in employment law and development, with a focus on workplace discrimination and the law.

Ann Crotty was born in Ireland, and educated in Ireland, England, Wales and Malaysia. With an MA from Trinity College in Dublin and an MBA from University College, Dublin, she has always been hot on the heels of investment issues. Her MBA thesis covered the use of derivatives by the institutional investors in Dublin. In 2010 she received her MPhil in Company Law from UCT. Her thesis covered conflicts of interest presented by share repurchasing. Since first coming to South Africa, Ann has risen through the ranks of South African journalism to become one of the best financial writers the country has to offer. From uncovering questionable incentive arrangements at Nedbank to her decisive work on executive pay, she never fails to keep her readers enthralled or incensed. Ann was named journalist of the year in 2005, along with her colleague Renee Bonorchis, for their work on executive pay, which was published in Business Report. In 2006, Ann was names Sanlam Financial Journalist of the year for her work on the contentious proposal to merge Sasol and Engen. In 2013 she won the Economy and Industry Section of the Sanlam Award for coverage of the farm workers’ protest in the Western Cape.

Authors: Kaylan Massie & Debbie Collier with Ann Crotty
ISBN: 9781431410125
d-PDF ISBN: 9781431410132
ePUB ISBN: 9781431410149
mobi file ISBN: 9781431410156
Size (mm): 221x150mm
Pages: 220pp
Format: Paperback
Colour: Black and White
Rights: South Africa
Language: English
Publication Date:  March 2014