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Risk and Reward: Where next for executive pay in the UK?

Risk and Reward: Where next for executive pay in the UK?

Monday, 18 November 2013
12:00 - 13:00
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD


• The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
• Deborah Hargreaves, Director, High Pay Centre
• Cliff Weight, Director, MM&K
• Stephen Bevan, Director, The Work Foundation
• Chair: Lucy Marcus, CEO, board director, Reuters boards and leadership columnist, host 'In the boardroom with Lucy Marcus'

The event:

Aside from the political storm around so-called ‘Fat Cat’ pay, there are real challenges for organisations where pay dispersion is widening and where ‘consent’ for high pay for top executives is being challenged by shareholders, customers and everyday employees. The Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the Public Sector, and the High Pay Commission have both examined these issues in detail and have made radical proposals for improved transparency and fairness in top pay.

In October, government changes to remuneration policy handed shareholders more power over new pay schemes and the ability to throw out existing arrangements after three years.

This event discussed the following questions:

  • How true is it that high pay is proportional because of the high risks which top executives have to take when they are appointed?
  • Does the growing pay gap undermine efforts to increase employee engagement and commitment at a time of pay restraint on the shop floor
  • Will reducing pay and bonuses cause a dangerous exodus of our top talent?
  • Should we fix the ratio between top pay and median pay?
  • What do we need to do to ensure Remuneration Committees are acting responsibly?
  • Will the new EU rules to cap bonuses, together with new shareholder voting rights being introduced by the UK government really make a difference?

  • Speakers' background

    • Vince Cable, who is leading on government plans to curb executive pay.
    • Deborah Hargreaves was the chair of the independent High Pay Commission. She is the former business editor of the Guardian and has written extensively about executive remuneration and other business issues both in print and online. She previously worked at the Financial Times where she was news editor and prior to that, financial editor. She held a variety of posts over 19 years at the FT, including personal finance editor and as a foreign correspondant in Brussels and Chicago.
    • Cliff Weight specialises in advising companies on executive directors' remuneration, annual and long term incentives and non-executive directors' fees. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the High Pay Centre, the editorial board of the Executive Compensation Briefing and a non-executive director of the remuneration committee of a successful hedge fund.
    • Stephen Bevan was an expert advisor to the Hutton Review of Fair Pay in the public sector.
    • Lucy P. Marcus  writes a column and hosts a tv series, “In the Boardroom with Lucy Marcus” for Reuters on the intersection of boards and leadership, and is a board director of Atlantia SpA and BioCity, non-executive chair of the Mobius Life Sciences Fund, and the CEO of Marcus Venture Consulting. She is Professor of Leadership and Governance at IE Business School, focusing on corporate governance, ethics and leadership. She was ranked 19th on the Reuters & Klout 50 list of “Most Influential Execs on the Web”.


Audio visual material will be available from this event shortly.

The provocation paper by Prof Stephen Bevan is available here

The presentation by Cliff Weight is here

View the photos here

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