The tricky issue of reporting CEO pay

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The tricky issue of reporting CEO Pay

How much did new Lloyd’s Bank boss Charlie Nunn get for his first six months work?

Well, page 106 of the annual report has his “total remuneration” at £5.5 million, a figure some of us duly reported.

The bank flaks kicked in. This is inaccurate! I understand nothing!

I could listen to flaks telling me how to do my job all day. Indeed, I do.

What the bank means here is that the bigger chunk of that money is a buy out of the shares Nunn had in his previous employer HSBC.

He doesn’t get it in cash right now, in other words. A point we might make.

But that’s lost-in-banker-land stuff. If it’s a guess as to what he will eventually get, well it is the best one we have. And. It. Was. In. The. Annual. Report.

If it is an invention, it wasn’t mine. And there will be another report next year with a new load of shares and bonuses, in all likelihood.

The annual report is the once-a-year chance for hacks to shine some light on executive pay and perhaps contrast the figures with the warm words the company offers on just how much it cares about society.

Forget the exact amount, all we are really saying is: This guy is rich, something presumably even Lloyd’s wouldn’t dispute.

Overall, the amount CEOs get paid is under-reported rather than exaggerated.

And big companies want this stuff every which way in areas far beyond exec pay — Lloyds is far from the worst.

Sometimes they get cross if you at all deviate in your reporting from the official statement. And sometimes they insist the official statement is incomplete, and demand you are sensitive to nuance.

It is to our embarrassment that they too often get exactly what they seek. Occasionally we know just enough of what we are talking about to stick to our guns

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