Often it seems like the most widely read section of a listed company’s Annual Report is not the page that tells us what their profit (or loss) is for the year but rather it’s the Remuneration Report that names the key executives and their remuneration.
With shareholders, proxy advisors, institutional investors, the media and other stakeholders increasing their focus on the remuneration of directors and Key Management Personnel (KMP), Remuneration Reports have never been more important. This is also why they continue to grow in length each year. As directors and KMP have responsibility for the overall management and custodianship of the organisation, stakeholders want to understand how these individuals are being remunerated and that their interests are aligned with those of the shareholders, employees, customers and society in general.
For a high level overview of some of the key topics included in the full publication, there is an executive summary. This executive summary may be useful for Directors or other individuals who require only a broad understanding of the requirements for the Remuneration Report.
A clear and understandable Remuneration Report explains how KMP are remunerated in the short, medium and long term and links that remuneration back to the performance of the organisation. This is challenging as the Remuneration Report is not only about compliance with the relevant legislation, it is also a key communication tool between the organisation and its stakeholders. The Remuneration Report should tell the story of how the remuneration framework is structured, the remuneration outcomes and how that aligns to the creation of long-term sustainable value, for both shareholders and other key stakeholders. It should be forward looking as well as reporting on what has happened in the current year. This all needs to be balanced against the privacy of the individuals captured in the report which is a challenging balancing act.
Due to the many different facets that the Remuneration Report aims to cover, it often also involves many different parts of the organisations working together to prepare it. Human Resources and Finance are usually the key parties involved, but often the Company Secretary, General Counsel, Investor Relations and even the Board or Remuneration Committee may have significant input as well. With all these competing viewpoints and priorities, it can be easy to lose focus on what the key statutory requirements are that must be included in the Remuneration Report.
This publication provides guidance to help ensure that you produce Remuneration Reports that are effective communication tools, aspiring to align with best practice, and which ultimately comply with the Corporations Act (2001). It addresses the common questions we are asked in practice including:
Detailed discussion on each of these topics can be found in our report.