THE total remuneration of Investec CEO Stephen Koseff and two of the banks' executive directors, Bernard Kantor and Glynn Burger, declined nearly 90% in the past financial year.

The three forfeited their performance bonuses in a year that the specialist bank and asset manager posted disappointing results.

Mr Koseff and Mr Kantor - who last year were paid a total of £3,4m, of which close to half (£1,7m) was deferred - received annual pay of £450000 each for the year ended March 2012, a cut of 86,8% compared with the previous year.

Mr Burger, group finance director, who was paid £370681 for the year, took a cut of 88,2% compared with total remuneration of £3,1m in 2011, which comprised a cash component of about £1,5m and a deferred component of roughly £1,5m.

"We acknowledge and value the leadership shown by three of our executive directors in asking us not to consider performance bonuses for them in respect of the 2012 financial year," Investec said on its remuneration report.

It added: "The committee has decided to rather focus compensation for these individuals on the longer-term alignment with shareholders, and in addition has not adjusted the fixed salary of Mr Koseff and Mr Kantor."

All three executives forfeited their annual bonus cash and deferred component in 2012.

"The most general issue that has been raised by stakeholders is the overall level of executive pay, and more recently where last year's pay levels have been compared with the current year's performance," the report said.

Investec said it was conscious of the public debate concerning the relatively high rewards for executives, and in particular bankers, and had had discussions in the UK with the treasury and the High Pay Commission, an independent inquiry into top pay in the private sector.

In South Africa, the board of its South African bank met the Reserve Bank on remuneration, and similar steps are being taken in Australia.

In the year to the end of March, Investec's diluted headline earnings per share fell 28% to 25,4p, struck by impairments that doubled in Australia, a weak global economy and low levels of activity.

The company also reduced the total fees earned by its chairman to £250000 a year for 2013, from £400000 a year in 2012.

ndzalemap@bdfm.co.za