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Investment managers back bosses’ pay clamp down

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The organisation that represents the UK asset management industry has called for a crack down to curb excesses in bosses’ pay.

In its response to a consultation by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Investment Management Association (IMA) asset managers are major investors in companies in both the retail and institutional space.

Liz Murrall, IMA’s director of corporate governance and reporting, said: “Incentivising directors is a key driver of company behaviour and our members recognise the need to address any excesses in executive remuneration.”

The group’s submission said it supported a two-part remuneration report, setting out the remuneration policy and then how it has been implemented.

It said this would help investors hold companies to account, but warned the regulations were complex and prescriptive, meaning reports could become even longer and include more standardised language.

The IMA, whose members are responsible for the management of £4.2tn of assets, also supports a table outlining the key elements of remuneration and supporting information on pay, saying it would help improve comparability between companies.

However, it said there should be a table for each executive director, as remuneration varies according to individual directors’ responsibilities, which should be published every year – even when there has been no change in the remuneration policy.

However, the IMA opposes a statutory duty for companies to seek employees’ views on the executive pay policy.

“Whilst the remuneration committee should take account of the views of the wider organisation, we do not consider a company should be required to state whether, and if so how, it sought employee views on its remuneration policy,” its submission said.

“This would be likely to result in standardised reporting in that the process is likely to be generic.

“We do not consider the same could be said of the engagement with shareholders, particularly in view of the binding vote, and thus support the proposal that the report should state how shareholder views were taken into account.”