• subs-bellGet the latest news! Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

Reject Suncorp CEO pay, shareholders urged

A European corporate governance consultancy firm has urged Suncorp shareholders to oppose the chief executive remuneration report, raising concerns that it is "contrary to best practice" and the pay may be excessive.

In a review of documents released to coincide with the company's annual general meeting later this month, Pension and Investments Research Consultants (PIRC) said the maximum potential awards for incoming group chief executive Michael Cameron may have become "excessive".

Mr Cameron took up the top job in April 2015, replacing outgoing chief executive Patrick Snowball.

"Maximum potential awards for the CEO under all incentive schemes may become excessive as awards under the long term incentive schemes are not individually capped," PIRC's review said.

"These concerns are confirmed by the fact that the CEO total realised variable remuneration was 385 per cent of fixed remuneration in the year under review.

"Concerns are raised as the Company uses one performance condition for LTIP awards contrary to best practice... Based on [these] concerns expressed... an 'oppose vote' is recommended."

Examining the proposed grant of performance incentives for Suncorp's chief executive, the consultancy firm has also encouraged shareholders to pass an 'oppose vote'.


"Approval is sought for the grant of performance shares to the value of [$3 million] under the Suncorp Group Equity Incentive Plan, to the incoming Managing Director and CEO of the Company," the review said.

"Awards will be subject to one performance measure (relative TSR), which contravenes best practice as multiple performance metrics, including non-financial indicators, should be used interdependently."

Reflecting on Suncorp's board representation, PIRC said while incumbent chairman Ziggy Switkowski is "not considered independent" due to his time on the board, there is "sufficient independent representation" on the board and PIRC recommended shareholders pass a 'for vote' in favour retaining him.

Suncorp would not comment on the report.

PIRC was created by pension funds in 1986 and reviews corporate governance in the UK. According to its website, it is independently-owned and "works only for investors".