An analysis of the perceived effectiveness of remuneration committees in deciding on executive compensation in South African listed companies

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This thesis will examine the administration of executive compensation in listed companies in South Africa in order to understand the background to the topical emotion expressed by the public about the quantum of executive earnings. The Thesis attempts to explain how approaches are made to these vast payments. It commences with the history of the management of executive compensation. Before the 1990s, disclosure of directors' emoluments was limited to one amount. Companies suffered losses due to the Agency Theory where executives dominated boards. With the introduction of remuneration committees and corporate governance, control was moved to a committee of the board of -non-executive directors (a remuneration committee). The purpose of this research was to ascertain whether such a committee is effective. Interviews were held with leading executives and an analyst. An electronic survey was dispatched to the chief executive officers and chief financial officers of a large selection of listed companies. The results of the research are summarised and conclusions expressed on all such views with the addition of limited input of the author's views. The question requires an examination of the effectiveness of remuneration committees. Some suggestions are also made as to future research and actions which may be conducted. This thesis shows that remuneration committees are not as effective as they should be and will explain why this is so.

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 82-88).