Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Adventures in voting data...

There's quite a bit of emphasis of late on linking non-financial targets to executive pay, the aim being to focus directors on these issues. As is no doubt obvious, I'm sceptical about the value of doing this. Indeed, if you accept that motivation crowding is a real problem (big if, obviously) then tying contingent rewards to things people might already consider to be worth doing might be positively harmful.

Anyhow, trawling through asset manager voting disclosures recently I came across this from Kames (formerly Aegon). It's their rationale for opposing the remuneration report at United Utilities last year:
We have an issue with the use of “employee engagement” as a metric for measuring performance under the long term incentive plan.

This target is opaque and is already utilised in the annual bonus plan. 25% of the performance is based on this metric and we believe that it is too high for what is effectively a part of the day to day running of a large business.
Ho hum.

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