COMMONS

Royal Mail and Unilever questioned on executive pay

16 October 2018

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee questions firms including Royal Mail and Unilever on executive pay and measures being taken to tackle excessive boardroom pay awards.

Orna Ni-Chionna, Chair of Remuneration Committee, Royal Mail, and Peter Newhouse, Executive Vice President for Reward, Unilever, will be appearing as witnesses as part of the Committee’s inquiry on executive pay. Witnesses from PWC, proxy advisers ISS and PIRC, and from the High Pay Centre will also give evidence.

Chair's comments

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"Excessive executive pay undermines public trust in business. CEOs being awarded stratospheric salaries while average worker pay continues to be squeezed is not good for business or society. Recent revolts on pay awards, including at Unilever, show that shareholders are increasingly sharing the frustration at unjustifiable pay awards. Executive pay must match performance. Boards and Remuneration Committee Chairs need to ensure that CEOs are rewarded for delivering genuine long-term value for the company. In this session, we will want to examine how companies such as Royal Mail and Unilever set their executive pay, the effectiveness of their policies and actions at curbing excessive executive rewards, and how companies respond to shareholder concerns about pay packages."

Delivering on fair pay

The session is part of the inquiry ‘Corporate Governance – Delivering on fair pay’, which is examining progress in simplifying the structure of executive pay and reporting and the role of remuneration committees, investors and shareholders in curbing excessive pay. It is also examining steps being taken by the Government, particularly the progress made following a previous BEIS Committee report published in April last year.

The Committee held the first session of its inquiry focussing on executive pay on Wednesday 6 June when its witnesses including the Chairs from the remuneration committees of Persimmon and Weir Group and representatives of institutional investors, including Aberdeen Standard Investments.

In August, the Committee published its report on the gender pay gap.

Witnesses

Tuesday 16 October 2018, venue TBC

At 10am

Panel 1

  • Orna Ni-Chionna, Chair, Remco, Royal Mail
  • Peter Newhouse, Executive Vice President for Reward, Unilever
  • Bruce Duguid, Head of Stewardship, Hermes Equity Ownership Services

Panel 2

  • Luke Hildyard, Director, High Pay Centre
  • Tom Gosling, Partner, PwC
  • Georgina Marshall, Head of Global Research, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS)
  • Alan McDougall, Managing Director, Pensions & Investment Research Consultants Ltd (PIRC)

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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