The rumblings over "say on pay" continue with BlackRock, the latest institution making comments on the transparency around directors pay. BlackRock's intervention is significant as it represents a major investor in a broad range of public companies.
Theresa May also raised the issue on employee representation on boards when she became Prime Minister and the union movement have long sought legislation to curb or cap pay.
Legislation however, is the wrong way to proceed. Instead, more transparency of "total packages", including incentives and termination costs should be disclosed.
Rather than voting on advisory resolution relating to a remuneration report, giving investors the right to vote annually on individual directors remuneration packages as they do annually on individual reappointments seems a better way forward.
Another approach would be to challenge remuneration committees to justify individual packages in an annual report. This would give greater responsibility on the REMCO to set out the rationale for individual executive and senior management incentives. Often the remuneration is justified due to market conditions but greater transparency is required.
Finally, revisiting notice periods and severance pay is long overdue, and BlackRock make specific reference to this aspect in their statement. Linking severance to performance is not common, and too often a company agrees on a package but then delegates the terms to a HR director, who often is dealing with a senior manager. Requiring the chairman of the REMCO to publically sign off on a termination package may focus minds and allow institutions to publicly, or privately, scrutinise terms more closely.
Watch this space - reform is on the horizon.
The world's largest fund manager has sounded a warning to company boards that fail to stop awarding bosses bumper pay packets. BlackRock has told the chairs of the UK's biggest companies they must stop making big payments when executives leave, and in lieu of pensions.