Tom Gosling, head of PwC's reward practiceThis is a hard-hitting report from the commission and it's not surprising to see some high profile pay proposals. Overall, the pay proposals are sensible and the commission has avoided headline-grabbing but unworkable proposals.
Regulators are looking to [bonus] deferral as the answer, but we're sceptical this will do much to change bankers' behaviour as deferred bonuses hold little value in their eyes. Our research shows that people discount bonus payments by around 25% for each year they are deferred. Deferring bonuses for even longer periods, particularly if claw-back becomes more likely, will mean they are entirely disregarded in employees' eyes.
PwC have also made the point - again absolutely right - that we should be focusing on amounts, not structure, and that mucking about with ineffective incentive pay means we end up making the total amounts larger.
"It's more important to focus on what people are getting paid for than how they are getting paid. With less deferral it's possible to pay people less in the first place."In my humble opinion, mainstream corp gov is in completely the wrong place on this, with its focus on structure not scale. This leads to obfuscation, complexity and pay being higher than it needs to be. It facilitates rent capture.