With the release of Associated British Foods’ Directors’ Remuneration Report on 4 November 2014, the final curtain has come down on the 2013-14 FTSE100 DRR season. Whilst we still await the AGMs (and therefore shareholders’ votes on the DRRs) of a handful of FTSE100 companies (namely Smiths Group, BHP Billiton, BSkyB, Wolseley and ABF itself), the 2013-14 collection of FTSE100 DRRs is now complete.
So what’s the critics’ verdict? Well, with apologies for mixing our metaphors, the jury is still out – at least for some. BIS’ recently published Implementation of the Kay Review: Progress Report noted that BIS has been monitoring the impact of the wholescale DRR reforms in the context of the 2014 reporting and AGM season. BIS’ focus is on developing an understanding of how companies have interpreted and applied the regulations, what trends can be observed in remuneration packages and how shareholders have responded in terms of voting and engagement. To get this information, BIS has commissioned Manifest to “undertake research based on the data they gather on company reports and AGMs” and it is intended that this research document “will complement the evidence and analysis which they and others already publish, as well as our ongoing discussions with stakeholders”. BIS’ intention is to publish the key findings from that work and any policy conclusions that they draw from this project “shortly”. So, expect a delay in the assessment of one of the best known critics.
We are also awaiting the GC100’s DRR paper, which is intended “to clarify certain aspects of the guidance” (in June, that paper was said to be due “later in the year”).
Despite having just noted what we are missing, those looking to crack on with next year’s DRR are hardly short of reading materials… not only can they take account of the entire FTSE100’s DRRs, they can also review the Investment Management Association’s updated Principles of Remuneration (see our blog post on that document) and the NAPF’s 2014 AGM Season Report.
And, just like painting the Forth Bridge, no sooner have we finished one set of DRRs, than we await, with baited breath, the next set, starting with Aberdeen Asset Management, Imperial Tobacco, Compass Group, easyJet, and TUI Travel – all of whom have September year ends and all of whom should be publishing their second DRRs under the new regime over the coming weeks.