Eighty-six per cent of ASX100 chief executives received a bonus in the last financial year, but the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors has raised questions about how they were awarded.
Although the annual Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ASCI) survey revealed no rise in CEO bonuses, the lobby group has questioned why so many chief executives received bonuses at all.
In a statement, ASCI CEO Louise Davidson said, “It’s refreshing to note that since the introduction of the ‘two strikes’ rule, and an increase in shareholder scrutiny, CEO pay has largely been held in check by Australian boards.”
However, that such a high percentage of CEOs received bonuses raises “serious questions” about how and why the bonuses were being awarded.
“The fact that only 18 CEOs received bonuses below 50 per cent of maximum indicates that they bear little relation to performance in many companies,” Ms Davidson said.
“We welcome recent examples of the use of board discretion to reduce bonuses.
“However, we can’t help wondering why these executives would have qualified for many payments in the first place.”
Ms Davidson said companies needed to be more transparent with investors regarding the remuneration decisions.
“For instance, why is that percentage fair and reasonable, having regard to company performance?” she asked.
The highest-paid ASX200 chief executives last financial year were Westfield’s bosses, Peter and Stephen Lowy, at $26,255,778 in realised pay.
Coming in second was Macquarie Group’s Nicholas Moore, who earnt $27,725,006, followed by Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij.
Commonwealth Bank chief executive Ian Narev was eighth on the list, earning $12,261,772 in realised pay, but had his and the rest of the executive team's bonuses reduced to zero following AUSTRAC's allegations related to money laundering.