FRANKFURT Feb 5 Germany's corporate governance
commission has called for stock market listed companies to put a
cap on executive pay, but stopped short of setting an absolute
"The system of remuneration should not be open-ended," said
Manfred Gentz, a former supervisory board chairman of Deutsche
Boerse, who led a review of corporate pay for the panel.
Rather than suggesting an upper limit on pay, the commission
said on Tuesday the absolute level should be set by a company's
supervisory board. In Germany, large listed companies have a
two-tier board system - a board of independent directors
oversees the management board.
Potential upper limits on pay should be made clear in annual
reports, and companies should ensure board level pay does not
swell disproportionately in comparison with rewards for other
employees, Gentz said.
Furthermore, companies should standardise the way they
disclose pay, so shareholders find it easier to make a peer
comparison, the commission said. In Germany, only the salaries
of management board members need to be disclosed.
The biggest pay check among board members was awarded to
Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn who got
17.5 million euros ($23.7 million) in salary, bonuses and profit
for 2011 for helping deliver record profit.
For 2011, Deutsche Bank co-chief executive Anshu
Jain was paid almost 10 million euros.
In April, two members of the commission said blue-chip
companies should consider a voluntary cap on executive earnings
as momentum builds for a European Union-wide clamp down on pay.
The German panel makes recommendations for inclusion in
Germany's corporate governance code. Companies which have signed
up to the code will be obliged to follow its recommendations.
($1 = 0.7392 euro)
(Reporting By Alexander Huebner and Edward Taylor; Editing by