THE Public Investment Corporation (PIC) is close to concluding its research on the remuneration policies and corporate governance compliance standards of 100 listed companies.
The state-owned asset management company commissioned Stellenbosch University to do the study, which comes in the wake of repeated calls by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for businesses to rethink executive salaries and excessive bonuses while pay gaps widen and the unemployment rate swells.
Deon Botha, corporate governance specialist at the Pretoria-based PIC, hopes the research will contribute positively towards the issue.
The PIC manages more than R1-trillion on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund.
The two have a working committee that discusses the remuneration policies of companies in which they invest.
Botha said the research would give the PIC a good idea of the correlation between a CEO's salary and the company's profitability. Also of interest will be the size and age of the company, and the performance of the sector in which the company operates. The findings will be made public towards the end of November.
Africa's largest fund manager recently opposed some of Investec's executive pay proposals after its returns lagged those of its peers.
Botha said that Investec CEO Stephen Koseff and two executive directors forfeiting their bonuses was "too little too late". He said the PIC had been noticing Investec's performance go south while executives' salaries continued to rise since 2007.
He said the PIC was due to meet with Investec's management soon.
The PIC's CEO, Elias Masilela, has previously said that no executive should be scared of the fund manager "if what you are paid is compensable with your output. But if it is not commensurate, you should be worried."
According to research by the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, the top 5% earners take home 30 times more than the bottom 5%.
The directors of the top 20 listed companies on JSE earn many multiples more than the average worker.
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