Investors still have room for improvements in disclosure, transparency and shareowner influence on executive pay practices, according to an investment advocacy group.
The attention of the public, regulators, and Congress may have had a positive effect in limiting some of the more egregious pay packages, but there is more work to be done, said Kurt Schacht, managing director of the CFA Institute Centre. Given the magnitude and severity of the subprime impacts, one would expect those in charge to have likewise suffered some personal financial loss.
Schacht said it is curious to see a CEO leave a company with huge compensation arrangements, considering the extent of the subprime exposures.
Companies need to go further than managing the public relations challenges of executive compensation, said James Allen, senior policy director for the CFA Institute Centres capital markets policy group. Investors are looking for lasting changes and not just window dressing to placate the subprime moment. The recent announcement by Washington Mutual to exclude mortgage loan loss provisioning from the underlying calculations of incentive compensation does not bode well for strengthening compensation accountability.