earningsBL Premium reports that according to Old Mutual and shareholder activist Just Share, the vote by shareholders on executive remuneration should be binding to help narrow the income gap in SA and reduce inequity.  

Speaking at the impact investing forum on Tuesday, Old Mutual’s Jon Duncan said it was “ludicrous” that shareholders’ vote on pay policies was non-binding in SA.  He challenged asset managers to collectively change this.  In SA, votes by shareholders on company pay policies do not give them the final say because the votes are only a non-binding advisory.  The JSE’s listing requirements compel companies to engage shareholders if more than 25% voted against their pay policies.  High levels of executive pay in SA have been a contentious issue for years.  Duncan said asset managers must not be “absent landlords” and should actively shape how companies tackle inequality in SA through their remuneration policies, among other things.  Just Share director Tracey Davies said that while there had been “sporadic efforts” by some asset managers to challenge “obscene” executive pay in listed companies lately, investors need to go a step further by asking executives to explain how their remuneration fared against that of other employees in their companies.

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