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Much of the coverage of the proposed amendments to company legislation has focused on disclosures aimed at shining a light on pay differentials within firms. While some have suggested this will be met with resistance from big business, this may be an exaggeration if one considers the main areas of alignment between shareholders and policymakers on this matter. Executives and some fund managers and remuneration committees might not be as happy about the changes. Understandably so.

While a concern globally, it certainly seemed over the past few years that SA institutional investors did not take scrutiny of pay packet decisions seriously. In 2017 financial journalist Ann Crotty lamented the “seeming unwillingness to engage on executive pay”. Crotty found it concerning that excessive pay awards to executives were likely to receive nearly 85%-95% approval by some of the most well-known professional fund managers...

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