An executive director of the Ibex 35 received in 2021, on average, a remuneration of 3,273 million euros. I mean, he pocketed 60 times more than an average employee, which received about 55,000 euros. This is revealed by the data published yesterday by the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), which unravels the remuneration reality of Spanish companies as never before. Those 3.27 million euros do not include extraordinary items. The director/employee ratio is considerably lower -17 times- among companies not ibex. In the set of listed companies in the country it stands at 32 times. Get to know the specialized portal elEconomista Sustainable investment and ESG.
The market regulator made public this Monday the conclusions drawn after analyzing the annual reports on the remuneration of the directors of listed companies, as well as those of corporate governance -for its acronym, Iarc and Iagc- corresponding to the year 2021.
As far as the IARC is concerned, this has been the first year in which the companies have had to do comparisons between the remuneration of directors, the consolidated results and the average remuneration of the workers. From the regulator they warned, in a note to the media, that in these ratios there is “a high dispersion between different companies, sectors or company sizes.” Also read: Seven large Ibex 35 receive more than 10% of votes against their remuneration at the meeting.
Regarding the gender gap, the executive directors of the Ibex 35 received an average remuneration of 1.8 million euros in 2021, 44% more than their male counterparts. It is not the first time it happens; It already happened in 2021, when they pocketed 8% more. Nevertheless, in societies not ibex the men received an average remuneration of 829,000 euros, 40% more than females (In the previous two years, this difference in favor of male directors was well over 100%). There is no need to wait for the taxonomy to invest in ‘social’ funds.
More female presence
Corporate governance reports, meanwhile, showed that the female presence nearly saved the furniture. The Ibex 35 easily exceeded the recommendation of the CNMV Code of Good Governance regarding the presence of women on boards: at least 30% was required, and the companies in the reference index reached 34.2%. This is not new; It was already known since last May.
What is new is the data corresponding to the rest of the Spanish market. The listed not ibex were on the verge of complying with this recommendation, as the percentage of female directors stands at 29.3% (in 2020 they were 26.1%). It cannot be forgotten that, for the 2022 financial year, the regulator’s recommendation already rises to 40%. From the CNMV they point out that the increase in female directors was more noticeable among the independent ones.
With regard to senior management, the CNMV does not issue a specific recommendation, and this lower pressure is evident in the figures: only 22% of senior managers of Ibex companies, and barely 20% of all listed companies are female.
Among the aspects that could be improved with regard to remuneration, regulator sources pointed out that “it would be convenient to expand the explanations on the evaluation of the degree of compliance with the non-financial parameters to which the variable remuneration of the directors is linked”.
They also pointed out that the average remuneration of directors increased last year “for both executives and non-executives; the remuneration of the boards of directors increased by 13.2%, due, among other reasons, to the extraordinary remuneration derived from the dismissal of directors in a company. Without these extraordinary remunerations, the increase would have been 5.2%”. On the other hand, the average participation in the shareholders’ meetings continued to rise: it stood at 72.1%, according to the corporate governance reports of the firms Spanish.
A reformed Code in 2020
The 2021 financial year was the seventh in which the Code of Good Governance of listed companies of 2015 and the second after the modifications introduced by the review carried out in the middle of the pandemic, in June 2020.
The reform of the Code was based on four pillars: gender equality, greater relevance of non-financial information and sustainability, greater attention to reputational risks and the introduction of clarifications on the remuneration of directors. In total, the reform introduced variations in 20 of the 64 recommendations that existed, after receiving 40 writings during the public consultation period.
Remuneration issues have only gained prominence in recent years. The gaze of investors -increasingly biased towards ESG criteria, that is, environmental, social and governance- scrutinizes remuneration. And this has been strongly noted in the 2022 meeting season that has already concluded. According to data from Georgeson, the average support for the remuneration policies of the 35 Ibex rose to 85.7%. It may seem like a high percentage, but the truth is that it has not stopped decreasing in the last five years (in 2018 it was 91%).