Recent government legislation and regulations support succession planning by unlisted companies with the transfer of equity from existing owners to employees over time. Understanding these provisions and the methods of implementation allows a successful ownership transition without expensive external financing options.
Our 2020 GRG Variable Remuneration Guide analysed the short and long term variable remuneration designs and practices of companies in the ASX200. Unfortunately their practices do not always reflect the good governance and modern approaches to variable remuneration that we would expect from Australia's largest corporations. However recent encouraging signs include a rapid rise in the use of financial return metrics and the abandonment of SIPs.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis have generated questions about FY20 STVR awards both in the media and for the current AGM season. Should STVR awards be paid? Should the quantum of STVR awards otherwise payable be moderated? How can companies that received government-funded JobKeeper payments still be paying executives bonuses? The logical answers can be derived from a review of the fundamental principles that should drive all STVR awards regardless of external circumstances.
While ASX listed companies have access to publicly disclosed KMP remuneration data, using it can be a burden so most rely on the proprietary databases of consultants such as GRG. However, not all databases are equal and it's important to understand the differences so that you can have confidence in the data.
Since 2015 unlisted start-up companies have been able to access a specific tax concession for employee share schemes. Employees and directors of ASX listed Micro Resources Companies can also qualify for tax deferral on rights and options in their remuneration packages. The same provision can also apply to other small ASX listed companies in industry sectors such as technology and medical, during development stages.
Big data is arguably the buzzword of the decade, but its real power lies in how it's analysed and applied. As a case study, we use the latest market data from the largest database of KMP remuneration in Australia, to show how deep data that is also narrow can produce valid and reliable answers.
Share Purchase Loan Plan (SPLPs) are often believed to be more tax efficient for executives than Rights Plans, because SPLP share price gains are generally 50% capital gains tax free whereas Rights are 100% taxed under the employee share scheme (ESS) taxing provisions. We debunk that commonly held belief.
No business will be immune from the adverse effects of COVID-19 beyond the short term. With lessons from the GFC and the innovations since, we explore the key governance and practical issues for remuneration to be considered by boards and executives in tight times – as well as golden opportunities.
Properly weighted LTVR plans can facilitate longer term holding of equity interests by executives, but most are structured to neither assist nor compel executives to retain the equity earned. We examine practical optimisations of LTVR plans to achieve more “skin-in-the-game” for senior executives.
An emerging corporate practice is the imposition of minimum equity holding guidelines, "equity holding policies", on NEDs and senior executives. But all are not equal, and most do not deal with failure to comply or enforcement. We explore some key variables in the development of these policies and how they may be improved.