Reward Policy and Practice

Fair Reward Policy – What Does it Mean and How is it Changing?

  • Digital Event
  • March 24, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm UTC+0

2021 will see many firms reviewing the remuneration policies that were originally planned for their triennial review in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic inevitably forced many companies to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, in the context of a new and perhaps unique set of challenges.

For many this will have created a valuable opportunity for a more wide-ranging re-think of reward policy. But either way, there will be an increased level of scrutiny on reward decisions, especially by those companies that have benefitted from taxpayer support during the pandemic. A watchful media and a sceptical public will be on the lookout for any signs of ‘excessive’ executive pay. This will require a careful balancing act around what constitutes fair reward.

Our meeting will have three distinct but related themes, which will enable members to consider the multi-faceted issue of ‘fair’ reward policy from the perspective of a wider group of stakeholders:

  1. Key changes to remuneration policy
    • What policy shifts are companies now considering in the wake of the pandemic?
    • What wider perspective on performance and greater protection against reward risk do these changes offer?
  2. What is fair and what is excessive?
    • Are decisions based on a real understanding of the market for key roles?
    • What is an acceptable level of pay ‘inequality’?
    • How do you stay on the right side of ‘outrage’?
  3. Rewarding in exceptional times
    • How can a RemCo balance the tensions arising between the need for short-term agility in the market for talent vs. long-term justifiable outcomes and transparent to stakeholders?
    • How creative can a company be in terms of reward structures and/or quantum?
    • How does a company identify and reward new business models and the critical resources for the business of tomorrow?

Our distinguished panel of speakers will offer the diverse perspectives of a senior business school professor, a RemCo chair, the chief executive of an independent think tank, and a leading remuneration consultant.


Celia Baxter

Non Executive Director and Chair of Remuneration Committees

Celia has over 30 years of commercial, international business and HR experience. Currently, Celia has a portfolio of non-executive director roles. She joined the Senior plc Board as a non-executive director in September 2013 and is the Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee, she is also a member of the Audit Committee and Nominations Committee. Celia became a non-executive director, Chair of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Nomination Committee for RHI Magnesita NV in October 2017. Celia joined the Board of D S Smith in early October 2019 as a non-executive director, Chair of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Nominations and Audit Committees and stepped down in May 2020 from the Board of Bekaert SA where she had served for four years as an independent director and member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee. Celia was Director of Group HR, Bunzl plc for 13 years until 2016. Previously, she held similar positions for Hays plc, Enterprise Oil Plc and Tate & Lyle Plc. Her early HR career was with Ford Motor Company and KPMG. Celia has a BSc (Hons) Botany, is a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a Member of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

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Torsten Bell

Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation

Torsten is the Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation, a think tank that combines analytical rigour with policy prescriptions to improve the living standards of those in Britain on low to middle incomes. He has a background in economic policy, with his current research focuses including inequality, the labour market, tax and benefits, and housing and wealth. Prior to leading the Resolution Foundation, Torsten was Director of Policy for the Labour Party. He has also worked in HM Treasury, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers during the financial crisis and as a civil servant. Torsten is a trustee of the Child Poverty Action Group and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

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Peter Boreham

UK and European Practice Leader for Executive Reward, Mercer

Peter is Mercer’s UK and European Practice Leader for executive reward, based in London. He has over twenty years’ experience advising the remuneration committees and management teams of major Peter is Mercer’s UK and European Practice Leader for executive reward, based in London. He has twenty five years’ experience advising the remuneration committees and management teams of leading companies in the UK, the rest of Europe and North America on reward, corporate governance and transactions. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

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Prof. George Feiger

Executive Dean of Aston Business School

George Feiger has been Executive Dean of Aston Business School since 2013. Previously he founded a wealth management firm; was Director of McKinsey in the US & UK; Global Head of Investment Banking for Warburg; Global Head of Onshore Private Banking for Swiss Bank and UBS; and involved in various venture capital activities. He was Lecturer of Economics at Harvard; and Associate Professor of Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has a PhD in Economics from Harvard.

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Alan Giles

Chairman of The Remuneration Consultants Group and Senior Independent Director and RemCo Chair of Foxtons

Alan is Chairman of The Remuneration Consultants Group, Senior Independent Director and Remuneration Committee Chair of Foxtons plc, and a Non-Executive Director of Murray Income Trust plc. He is also an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Visiting Professor at Bayes Business School, City, University of London, where he is Deputy Chair of the Advisory Board of the Mergers & Acquisitions Research Centre.

Alan has extensive retail sector experience, having been Chairman of Fat Face from September 2006 until July 2013. Earlier in his career he formed HMV Group as Chief Executive in 1998 as a leveraged buy-out and led the Group through its London Stock Exchange IPO in 2002 before retiring from the Group in September 2006 to develop a portfolio of non-executive and teaching roles. From 1993 to 1998 he was Managing Director of Waterstone’s, having joined WH Smith Group in 1982 and being appointed to their board in November 1995. He also served as Operations and Development Director for Do It All and General Manager (Books) for WH Smith Retail. Prior to this, he spent seven years in buying and marketing roles with Boots. He was a non-executive director of Rentokil Initial plc from 2006 to 2017, Wilson Bowden plc from 2004 to 2007 and Somerfield plc from 1993 until 2004. He was also a non-executive director of The Competition & Markets Authority until March 2019, having been a non-executive director of the Office of Fair Trading from 2007.

He attended Merton College, University of Oxford, where he graduated in Physics and holds a Masters in Management degree from The Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, California. He was awarded an OBE for services to business and the UK economy in 2018.

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