Compromise to end conflicted remuneration

Original article by Tom McIlroy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 11-Feb-19

The final report of the banking royal commission recommended an end to the grandfathering of conflicted remuneration payments as soon as reasonably practical. Labor wants to see an immediate end to such payments, while the federal government has called for them to end in January 2021. Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has put forward a compromise plan that would see conflicted remuneration payments end on 1 July 2020. Labor expected to support his proposal in the Senate on 12 February.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Labor slams attack on union super

Original article by John Kehoe, Joanna Mather, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 11-Jan-19

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has criticised the Productivity Commission’s proposed changes to the default superannuation fund regime. He says restricting the default fund to a list of the 10-best performing funds is problematic, as returns can vary significantly over a period of time. The PC’s key recommendation is opposed by labour unions, while the Financial Services Council and the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia have also expressed reservations. However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the proposal has merit and is worth considering.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, FINANCIAL SERVICES COUNCIL, THE ASSOCIATION OF SUPERANNUATION FUNDS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION CUSTODIANS, SUPERANNUATION CONSUMERS’ CENTRE, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC

Rethink company strikes: Maxsted

Original article by Eli Greenblat
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 4-Jan-19

The remuneration reports of three major banks attracted large protest votes at AGMs in December, putting them at risk of a board spill in 2019. Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted says the threshold for a ‘first strike’ is too low at 25 per cent, arguing that most resolutions put to annual meetings require a minimum vote of 50 per cent. Some 88 per cent of National Australia Bank shareholders voted against its remuneration report, while Westpac’s attracted a ‘no’ vote of 64.2 per cent.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED

Rio moves to defer bonus for ex-CEO

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 15 : 3-Jan-19

Rio Tinto is seeking to further postpone the payment of Sam Walsh’s last short and long-term incentive bonuses until an investigation into a scandal associated with the Simandou iron ore project is completed. The former CEO was due to receive half of his remaining incentive bonuses at the end of 2018; Rio Tinto had advised in February 2017 that payment of the final bonuses would be deferred. International agencies are investigating Rio Tinto’s payment of $US10.5 million ($15m) to a French consultant in 2011.

CORPORATES
RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, GREAT BRITAIN. SERIOUS FRAUD OFFICE, UNITED STATES. DEPT OF JUSTICE, PERTH MINT, AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS, MITSUI AND COMPANY LIMITED

Disclosing pay cuts scares off executives

Original article by Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 2-Jan-19

It has been revealed that ANZ Bank CEO Shayne Elliott warned that people may be deterred from taking up executive roles in the sector if banks are required to reveal the reasons why executives’ pay has been reduced. Elliott expressed concern about the issue in a letter to financial services royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne in early December. Elliott himself has had his remuneration reduced by $950,000 in the current financial year.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL

Super boss says NAB vote puts all boards to the test

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 15 & 19 : 21-Dec-18

AustralianSuper CEO Ian Silk says the resounding rejection of National Australia Bank’s remuneration report shows that shareholders expect executives to be subject to long-term performance targets. NAB, Westpac and ANZ incurred large protest votes under the "two strikes" regime at their 2018 AGMs, prompting them to commit to reviewing their remuneration schemes. NAB chairman Ken Henry has acknowledged that the bank’s single variable pay structure is problematic and may need to be revised.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIANSUPER PTY LTD, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, OWNERSHIP MATTERS PTY LTD

NAB reels from exec pay revolt

Original article by Richard Gluyas
The Australian – Page: 13 & 16 : 20-Dec-18

National Australia Bank’s remuneration report was rejected by a record 88.4 per cent of shareholders at its AGM on 19 December, while 64.1 per cent also opposed a reward shares package for CEO Andrew Thorburn. Chairman Ken Henry told shareholders that NAB will review its remuneration scheme and expressed confidence that Thorburn will remain at the helm to oversee the final two years of the bank’s restructuring program. ANZ Bank also face a board spill in 2019 after 33.8 per cent of shareholders voted against its remuneration report.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, HUMAN GROUP

NAB faces even bigger remuneration strike

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 14-Dec-18

Investors who account for more than 213 million shares in Westpac abstained from voting on the bank’s remuneration report at its 2018 AGM. Had these shares been voted, the proportion of votes cast that rejected the report could have been much higher than the 63 per cent that was recorded. Meanwhile, there is speculation that the "no" vote at National Australia Bank’s AGM could be at least 70 per cent. Key issues for shareholders are likely to be the bonus received by former executive Andrew Hagger and NAB’s decision to move chairman Ken Henry to a single variable pay structure.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Westpac first to feel wrath of investors

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Paul Gardiner
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 13-Dec-18

Westpac’s remuneration report was rejected by 64.2 per cent of shareholders at its AGM on 12 December, the largest "no" vote against a top-20 stock since the "two-strikes" rule was introduced in 2011. Westpac chairman Lindsay Maxsted has acknowledged investors’ angst and says the bank will consider the issues raised at the AGM. Argo Investments CEO Jason Beddow also expects National Australia Bank and the ANZ Bank to experience a big protest vote at their upcoming AGMs, although he adds that it is uncertain whether this will lead to a significant change in remuneration policies.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, ARGO INVESTMENTS LIMITED – ASX ARG, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, TELSTRA CORPORATION LIMITED – ASX TLS

Huge taxpayer bill

Original article by Rob Harris, Claire Bickers
Herald Sun – Page: 4 : 11-Dec-18

Analysis shows that the pension, travel and office entitlements of former Australian prime ministers have cost taxpayers about $19m in total since 2010. Meanwhile, new figures show that the ousting of ex-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August has cost more than $4.5m in severance pay This includes nearly $1.9m in payouts for 35 staffers who opted not to remain in the prime minister’s office following the leadership spill.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET