1. The High Pay Centre has don't a great job crunching the data on employee vs executive pay and found that in the FTSE100 the now stands at 131:1. Of course there are some much bigger individual ratios. Martin Sorrell has earned 780 times the average WPP employee salary (which, by the way, is a very healthy £38K). Lord Woolfson earned 459 times the average Next employee.
2. There's a very interesting interview with the head of the IoD in the Guardian. They go mainly on the exec pay angle, but personally I think what he says about "stakeholders" is most interesting (and if you think about it, this doesn't sit well with his claim at the end that shareholder powers are the answer to the exec pay issues). Here's a snippet:
There are also some digs in there about shareholder value.
3. I spotted an odd comment from BIS at the end of a story on the HPC analysis:
Er... many firms?
As far as I know only one company - Kentz Corporation - has actually lost the (binding) vote on its rem policy that the government brought in. And I think there are only two rem report defeats so far this year - Kentz and Burberry.
We might think that the new exec pay regime has had an impact on many firms, perhaps by encouraging them to engage more with their shareholders and earlier (though exactly this claim was made for the advisory vote after it came into force in 2003!).
But it's plain wrong to say that "many firms have already seen top pay voted down." I think the running total this year is 2, and one of them was defeated using the existing advisory vote so it can't even be credited as a win for the new regime.
And in fact there is a much bigger point here. I reckon in the past decade less than 50 companies have lost a rem report/policy vote. Such defeats are rare. If (big if) this is a measure of the success of our governance system for exec pay then is it working?