Executive Pay

How does Director Pay compare to Executive Pay at Coast Capital?

Good question.  We don’t know because the disclosure of Executive Pay is minimal so no real comparison can be made.  The Board does not see Executive Pay disclosure as a priority.  At the 2008 AGM the Chairman of the Board in responding to a member question about greater disclosure of executive compensation said “we are working on it – expect something next year”.

In November 2012, in response to a suggestion for greater transparency, we received this response from Coast Capital:

“Regarding executive compensation, we believe that our current level of disclosure appropriately balances the interests of the members in transparency with the privacy interests of our employees. Our current practices exceed what is required by the laws applicable to us. We comply with International Financial Reporting Standards and disclose the aggregate compensation of our executives in our financial statements. We have also voluntarily disclosed our executive compensation philosophy in our annual report. Further while the Board continues to consider enhanced compensation transparency, British Columbia’s privacy legislation remains an obstacle to the disclosure of individual executive compensation.

Both director and executive compensation is established through the use of independent consultants who use appropriate market-based comparators in making recommendations to the Board. The Board is accountable to members for its decision-making through the director election process.”(my emphasis)

In other words, the Board is meeting the minimum requirements of the laws and reporting standards applicable to Coast Capital.  We believe a cooperative should be leading in good governance practices; not waiting to be forced to disclose information that commons sense says should be available to the owners who happen to be the members.

According to the BC Privacy Commissioner’s office there is no privacy breach if the compensation of the, say, top three executives is disclosed as one total amount. That is not an ideal solution but telling members how much they are paying, in total, to the top three executives, would be a big improvement.  Coast Capital says no, we won’t do that – go get the law changed and we will comply. 

The ideal solution is for the executives to waive their privacy on this matter so the level of disclosure complies with the minimum required of public companies.

Regulators around the world are pushing very hard on the disclosure issue – why are we lagging?