The relationship between directors' remuneration and financial performance : an investigation into South African JSE-listed industrial firms

Crafford, Wessel Lourens (2015-12)

Thesis (MComm)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: For the past few decades the remuneration of directors has been in the spotlight, especially in view of the corporate scandals that occurred around the turn of the 20th century. Generally, managers need to manage firms in such a way that shareholders’ value is maximised. Unfortunately, shareholders of firms and the general public have the perception that directors are over-compensated, and that there is no relationship between the remuneration of directors and the financial performance of the firms to enhance shareholders’ value. A lack of transparency, inadequate disclosure by firms and remuneration committees’ conflict of interest are reasons cited for these perceptions. Although South Africa is ranked as a global leader in terms of its corporate governance practices, many firms still do not adhere to the King reports’ principles. This research study investigated whether a relationship exists between the remuneration of directors and the financial performance of firms. The firms selected for the study included both listed and delisted firms from the Industrial Sector of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) for the time period 2002 until 2010. Ninety-three firms complied with the requirements to be included in the study. All these firms had effective remuneration strategies in place to promote financial performance and growth of the firms. Secondary data were collected for the nine consecutive years of the study period, representing a period prior to substantial changes in accounting and disclosure regulation that influenced the comparability of financial reporting of the firms. It is important to note that directors’ remuneration is not the only motivating factor for firm performance, but one of many. Directors’ remuneration and incentives should be optimally utilised to increase performance and growth in the firms, and it should not merely be a case of directors being overcompensated for services rendered. In order to operationalize directors’ remuneration, it was converted and subcategorised into four variables. These dependent variables for directors’ remuneration consisted of basic salary, bonuses (performance), gains on share purchases or share options and what was termed as “other” remuneration. “Other” remuneration included pension, medical, motor, and telephone allowances. To measure the financial performance of the firms, the following market and accounting measures were employed: turnover, earnings per share (EPS), total share return (TSR) and market value added (MVA). Analysing these variables’ data by means of selected descriptive statistical measures and inferential regression analysis, it appeared that the data were significantly skewed, but that financial performance of the firms was a strong determinant of the change in directors’ remuneration. Additional regression analyses were performed to investigate whether a lagged relationship existed between the dependent variable, namely directors’ remuneration, and the independent variables, as reflected by the various financial performance measures. Results from these regression analyses strengthened the findings of the study to show that a relationship existed between directors’ remuneration and the financial performance of the firms investigated.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Direkteursvergoeding trek vir die afgelope paar dekades gereeld aandag, veral weens die korporatiewe skandale wat aan die lig gekom het rondom ongeveer die eeuwisseling. Normaalweg stel firmas direkteure aan om aandeelhouerswelvaart te verhoog. Daar bestaan ongelukkig ʼn opvatting onder talle aandeelhouers asook die algemene publiek dat direkteure oorbetaal word, en dat daar geen verwantskap bestaan tussen direkteursvergoeding en die finansiële prestasie van firmas om aandeelhouerswelvaart te verhoog nie. Redes wat aangevoer word vir hierdie sienings sluit in die tekort aan deursigtigheid, onvoldoende openbaarmaking deur firmas en vergoedingskomitees se botsende belange. Alhoewel Suid-Afrika geklassifiseer word as ’n wêreldleier op die gebied van korporatiewe bestuur, is daar steeds firmas wat nie voldoen aan die beginsels van die King-verslae nie. Hierdie navorsingstudie ondersoek die moontlike verwantskap tussen direkteursvergoeding en die finansiële prestasie van firmas. Die geselekteerde firmas vir die studie was genoteerde en voorheen-genoteerde firmas in die nywerheidsektor op die Johannesburgse Aandelebeurs (JSE), vir die periode 2002 tot en met 2010. Drie-en-negentig firmas het voldoen aan die vereistes om ingesluit te word in die steekproef van die studie. Al die geselekteerde firmas het doeltreffende vergoedingstrategieë in plek gehad om finansiële prestasie en groei in die firmas aan te spoor. Sekondêre data is vir die nege agtereenvolgende jare van die studie ingesamel. Veranderinge in regulasies voor en na die studieperiode het dit moeilik gemaak om periodes buite hierdie tydgleuf vir vergelykingsdoeleindes in te sluit. Dit is belangrik om daarop te let dat direkteursvergoeding nie die enigste faktor is wat ʼn firma se finansiële prestasie kan beïnvloed nie, maar slegs een van vele. In die lig hiervan, moet direkteursvergoeding en ander aansporingsmaatstawwe optimaal gebruik word om finansiële prestasie in firmas aan te moedig. Om ʼn duideliker skets rakende direkteursvergoeding te verkry, is vergoeding onderverdeel in vier sub-kategorieë veranderlikes. Die afhanklike veranderlikes van direkteursvergoeding is soos volg geklassifiseer: basiese salaris, bonusse (prestasie), opbrengste uit aandeelaankope en aandeleopsies en ʼn laaste kategorie wat as “ander” vergoeding geklassifiseer is. Hierdie “ander” vergoedingskomponent het grootliks bestaan uit pensioen- en mediese bydraes asook motor-, en telefoonvoordele. Ten einde die onafhanklike veranderlike, naamlik die finansiële prestasie van firmas, te meet, is die volgende mark- en rekeningkundige maatstawwe gebruik: omset, verdienste per aandeel (VPA), markwaarde toevoeging (MWT) en aandeelopbrengs. Met die ontleding van al die veranderlikes het beskrywende statistiek en inferensiële regressietoetse aangedui dat die data ʼn merkbare skewe verspreiding het, maar dat finansiële prestasie in die firmas ʼn beduidende faktor was wanneer direkteursvergoeding aangepas is. Bykomende regressietoetse is gedoen om te ondersoek of daar vertragingstydperke was tussen die afhanklike veranderlike, naamlik direkteursvergoeding, en die onafhanklike veranderlike, finansiële prestasie van firmas. Hierdie toetse het die studie se bevindinge bevestig dat daar inderdaad ʼn verwantskap bestaan tussen direkteursvergoeding en die finansiële prestasie van firmas.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97769
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