Standard Bank execs in R400m payday

The top seven executive directors of the Standard Bank Group received over R400 million in remuneration last year (R411.6 million to be precise).

Of this, just over half – R207 million – comprised fixed remuneration (guaranteed pay) and the short-term incentive received in the year.

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The total pay is almost 50% higher than the amount paid to the top six – with the exception of the position of CEO of Insurance and Asset Management (IAM), Yuresh Maharaj, effectively the head of Liberty. 

Excluding Maharaj (and former Liberty CEO David Munro), the total remuneration received by top execs is 45% higher than last year. The biggest driver of this has been the vesting of long-term ‘performance reward plan’ (PRP) awards from 2019. 

Group CEO Sim Tshabalala received total remuneration of more than R83 million last year – with R35.7 million of this coming from his fixed pay.

Nearly R50 million of his total remuneration in 2023 came from the vesting of his long-term PRP shares (including dividends). If he had achieved his target performance, he would’ve gotten a total pay of R61 million. The maximum amount he could’ve been paid last year was R105 million. 

All the top executives of the bank have been rewarded significantly more handsomely than the amount they were paid in 2019 (pre-Covid-19 pandemic). In Tshabalala’s case, this is 70% higher than the last ‘normalised’ figure. 

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The group maintains that its headline earnings growth has outstripped that of the group CEO’s short-term incentives (bonuses) over time. It further illustrates that its headline earnings growth of 27% in 2023 was equal to the banking pool’s short-term incentive pool growth and higher than the 20% growth in the “short-term incentive increase for executive directors and prescribed officers”. 

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The bank says the PRP “plays a key role in keeping executive directors, prescribed officers and senior executives focused on the future delivery of the group’s strategy and incentivising them to achieve outcomes in the interests of shareholders and other stakeholders”.

“PRP awards only vest when stretching performance conditions aligned to long-term strategic objectives are met.”

Long-term incentives make all the difference

The group’s CFO, CEO of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), CEO of Personal and Private Banking (PRB) and COO all gained from long-term incentives valued at practically R30 million (or higher). Two of the four saw gains of over R29.5 million. 

In all, the group execs ‘only’ received an increase of 15.3% in remuneration for the year when comparing the total of fixed pay and short-term incentives. The big difference has come in long-term incentives. 

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Tshabalala received PRPs valued at over R26 million from the 2019 financial year (including dividends). For the CFO (Arno Daehnke), this totalled over R19 million. 

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Of the top execs, only Bill Blackie (CEO of Business and Commercial Banking) had a PRP award value lower than R10 million (about R9.5 million). Maharaj is excluded as his PRPs kick in from next year. 

Munro’s statutory payment

The group has disclosed that Munro received a “statutory payment” of R10.5 million on his exit from the group. This was over and above his salary for the three months to the end of March. He received a further R12.3 million under awards from the Liberty employee growth scheme and R12.8 million under the bank’s PRP.

In total, Munro got R40 million in pay last year, mostly in the form of long-term incentives that had vested. He received fixed pay of R9.149 million. 

Maharaj received total pay of R25 million in the year. He was paid over R6.2 million from that Liberty scheme and R5.3 million from the bank’s PRP. He did not receive a bonus for joining the exco. 

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Of the overall ‘Group Leadership Council’, the bank does not disclose pay for Lungisa Fuzile, the CEO of Standard Bank South Africa; David Hodnett, chief risk and corporate affairs officer; Adam Ikdal, chief strategy officer; Luvuyo Masinda, deputy CEO of CIB; Yinka Sanni, CEO of Africa Regions and Standard Bank Offshore; or Sharon Taylor, the chief people and culture officer. They are not deemed to be prescribed officers of the bank.

The most curious of this categorisation is Fuzile, who runs the single largest operation within the group. 

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William Murphy

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