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What next on top pay? Reflections on recent trends in executive pay

Against the backdrop of a fall in CEO pay, our expert panel discussed the implications

On 18 September 2019 we held an event in the House of Commons to discuss the findings of the annual High Pay Centre/CIPD survey on top pay across the FTSE 100.

The panel consisted of the following speakers-:

• Siobhain McDonagh MP

• Deborah Gilshan – Founder, the 100% Club

• Janet Williamson - Senior Policy Officer, Corporate Governance, Trades Union Congress

• Ashley Walsh - Head of Policy and Research, High Pay Centre

• Luke Hildyard – Director, High Pay Centre (Chair)

Following a presentation by Ashley, the other panel members gave their perspectives on the findings of our report, before we opened up to the floor to include the audience in the discussion.

There was general agreement that it is too soon to describe this year's drop in pay as a trend, particularly as there have been a number of fluctuations in recent years.

However, it was also noted that there is growing pressure on shareholders to challenge excessive pay, albeit not enough for any FTSE 100 company to have their remuneration policy or report voted down.

Opinion on how the government and companies should continue to address high CEO pay varied greatly, reflecting our diverse audience.

While some called for pay caps and greater unionisation to reduce pay ratios, others favoured a softer approach and that there are only a small number of companies paying sums outside what appears to be an accepted range for CEO pay.

Where the discussion is in a year's time will largely depend on who our next government is, and we would expect different approaches from all the major parties on this issue.

Ashley's presentation on our report can be found below.

Download report

Posted on 2 October 2019

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