The annual salary survey of listed companies conducted by Better Future in collaboration with the Hellenic Observatory of Corporate Governance (HOCG) shows the board remuneration levels of the Athens Stock Exchange large- & mid-capitalisation listed companies.

Remuneration levels slowed down compared to the previous year, following lower levels of variable pay received by CEOs and Executive Chairs.

In the 25 large-cap companies, the CEO total remuneration is on average €986,000, with the median at €572,000. Forty-five per cent of the large-cap listed companies awarded variable remuneration to C-Levels Executives. Variable pay was mainly based on short-term incentive schemes.

The average remuneration of Chairs in the large-cap is almost €659,000, with the median at €266,000, whilst in the mid-cap average stands at €372,000, with the median at €259,000. It seems that the crisis has led to the rationalisation of the remuneration of the senior executives of the listed companies.

However, there is a lot of room for improvement in the level of remuneration of the non execs, who must be independent and should be well remunerated, as well as in terms of linking remuneration to the results of companies and enhancing productivity. Inequality in executive pay is not justified in all cases by improved results, while the salaries of non-execs remain low.

The survey shows that 60% of Chairs are executives, although corporate governance recommendation is that Chairs of boards should not have executive duties.

Furthermore, it seems that recent legislation for listed companies to have gender representation of 25% within the board has paid off, as the percentage of women board members increased from 15% in 2020 to 23% in 2021. Similarly, the percentage of non-execs increased΄from 38% in 2020 to 42% in 2021.

Having said that only two women hold the position Chair of the board in the large- and mid-cap listed companies and only one the position of CEO!

Better Future is a consulting company with a main activity in the field of human resources development and corporate governance for the benefit of shareholders and the market. The Hellenic Observatory of Corporate Governance (HOCG) is a research and training centre based in London and activities related to the Study of Good Corporate Governance Practices in Greece. Corporate Matters is a consulting firm with an emphasis on organising seminars and training programmes as well as conducting research on corporate governance issues.

Shareholder AGM attendance

Shareholder attendance at the annual general meetings (AGMs) of the largest 300 Australian companies (ASX300) in 2021 was the highest it has been in five years, according to the Computershare Australia and Georgeson 2022 AGM Intelligence Report.

The Report shows that 26,513 shareholders attended ASX300 AGMs in 2021, with 73% joining a virtual meeting, 12% attending a hybrid meeting and 15% being present in person. The Report also reveals that 48% of shareholder proposals across all companies in the ASX300 in 2021 were climaterelated, receiving on average 57% shareholder support.

Virtual meetings continued to dominate the AGM landscape during 2021, although more companies elected to hold hybrid meetings to combine the benefits of virtual and traditional meetings and create contingencies for the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Although in-person events remain popular, where government restrictions allow them, more shareholders are now used to receiving a range of communications digitally. Shareholders are also voting via a personal mobile device.

One in five shareholders used a personal mobile device to vote during online AGMs in 2021 and the proportion of shareholders using traditional paper voting cards fell to 23%, with 77% of votes being submitted online.

The temporary legislation that currently enables Australialisted companies to hold virtual or hybrid gatherings, with some qualifications, is due to expire on 31 March 2022, but the Corporations Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament, could provide virtual AGMs with a permanent legal status, subject to certain conditions.