Reward Strategy

Reform of Executive Reward

  • In Person Event
  • June 19, 2024 @ 3:00 pm - 6:30 pm UTC-1


“Executive Pay must be reformed” – so the headlines have said for many decades. In other words, the basis on which top executives are hired, retained, and rewarded needs to change. What is lacking is any clear consensus around the specific problems that need to be addressed, what the process for that reform should be, and critically, what the impact will be on organisational performance.

Most of the suggestions for reform that are making the headlines will hardly be seen as new by Remuneration Committees or the more seasoned reward professionals. “Increasing Main Board accountability”, “linking incentive metrics to business priorities”, “greater transparency” and “encouraging long-term decision-making” are all ideas that have been around for years. If the solution were that simple and straightforward , it would have been done years ago.

As the London share market continues to contract, and as many sunrise businesses choose to list in the US, there is a clear need to attract high calibre, top-level executives. However, public attention (turbo-charged by media and

sometimes verging on anger) has been rising since the 2008 financial crisis. It is therefore likely that executive pay will come into even sharper focus as the economy continues to stagnate and the cost-of-living crisis bites. Attempts to bat away the criticism by saying that outrage over executive pay has been driven more by stagnating or falling living standards than an actual increase in the level of pay inequality, are unlikely to cut much ice.

The process of reform is made more complex by the number of stakeholders and breadth of performance criteria that companies are increasingly obliged to consider. There also continues to be great scepticism from the governance community about creativity in the design of reward. This all increases the pressure on companies to justify the levels of payment being recommended with evidence-based responses appropriate to their specific business contexts.

In this session we will explore the direction of travel for executive pay, evaluate the effectiveness of suggestions for its reform, and look at how companies might balance the often conflicting demands of the various stakeholders, the media, and the public.


The Royal Air Force Club, 128 Piccadilly, London W1J 7PY

Allen Powley

Senior Vice President, Reward, GSK

Allen Powley is qualified as a Solicitor and Chartered Accountant in the UK. Prior to joining GlaxoSmithKline in 1997, he worked within both the legal and accountancy professions advising many multinational clients on employee benefits and global incentive plans. At GSK he has filled various roles in compensation and reward and has been a member of the global HR leadership team since 2006. He is currently GSK’s Senior Vice President of Reward, with responsibility for the company’s global centre of excellence covering compensation and benefits. He is also responsible for GSK’s Employee Health and Wellbeing function. 

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Danny Blum

Partner at Eversheds Sutherland

Danny is a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland’s seven strong team dedicated to employee incentives/benefits and heads up the London team. He advises on all aspects of share/cash based employee incentives. He advises on the implementation of LTIPs, tax advantaged arrangements, SAYE Schemes, restricted stock awards, cash bonus plans and numerous bespoke arrangements designed to achieve tax efficiency. He advises listed companies, AIM companies, private companies, private equity houses and trust companies on issues relating to employee incentives generally, in takeover/MBO situations and on IPO. Danny also advises global corporations on extending their incentive plans into the UK, EMEA and beyond.

Experience includes advising on the employee share plan aspects of the £2bn acquisition of New Look Retail Group by Brait, on the acquisition of e2v plc by Teledyne Technologies Inc, on the acquisition of Cape plc by Altrad, and on the aborted acquisition by Capita Group plc of Xchanging plc. Danny has advised UK corporations such as AstraZeneca plc, Microgen plc, ARM, Ophir Energy plc, CPPGroup plc, Consort Medical Group plc and New Look Retail Group on extending stock awards across multiple jurisdictions. He has also advised US corporations such as Wolverine Worldwide Inc, Univar Inc, Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. and Alix Partners on extending stock awards across the globe. Finally, Danny advised on incentive arrangements in connection with the admission of Charter Court Financial Services plc, Eurocell plc, Medica Group plc and NewRiver REIT plc to trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Legal 500 describes Danny as: “a truly outstanding lawyer with unmatched client service and commerciality and exceptional technical expertise“. Chambers UK comments: Danny “is an outstanding lawyer who is both commercial and helpful. He’s very responsive, incredibly bright, and his communication is very good. He absolutely puts his shoulder to the wheel, goes the extra mile and is very strong technically.” Danny is on the Training Committee of the Share Plan Lawyers Group, is on the Share Schemes Experts Committee of the Quoted Company Alliance and is on the Employment Taxes Committee of the CBI.

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Drew Matthews

Group Head of Reward, Benefits & Wellbeing, Centrica

Drew Matthews is Group Head of Reward, Benefits & Wellbeing at Centrica. He has extensive corporate and consultancy experience gained from multinational companies across a variety of industries. He was previously at BAE Systems, BT and Tesco where he had accountability for reward, HR policies, global mobility, employee relations, HR mergers and acquisitions, and health, safety and wellbeing. Prior to becoming an HR Director, Drew worked as an independent remuneration committee adviser for a number of consultancy firms including PwC and Deloitte.

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Ed Mottley

Co-founder and Senior Executive Reward Consultant, Ellason LLP

Ed Mottley is a Senior Executive Reward Consultant with significant experience and a proven track record of being a trusted advisor to the boards of directors and senior management teams of a wide range of UK and international listed and private companies. He has technical expertise in all aspects of reward strategy, design and implementation, including for companies looking to IPO or that are subject to M&A activity. Ed co-founded Ellason LLP in 2021, where he continues to operate as a Partner. Previous to this, Ed joined Kepler Associates in 2005. 10 years later, he joined Mercer following its acquisition of Kepler, becoming a Partner and leading the UK Executive Reward practice.

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Bola Ogun

Group Leader, Total Rewards, Performance and D&I, London Stock Exchange Group

Bola leads the CoE teams that shape and deliver the global strategy, design, and governance of these critical aspects of human resources for London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). He has over 20 years of experience of working across sectors, including Financial Services (Visa), Technology (Dell/EMC), consumer products (Reckitt) and most recently prior to joining LSEG, in the Beauty sector, as Group Vice President, Total Rewards, for Natura &Co. His experience of Exec Remuneration is truly global, covering BRIC, EMEA, LATAM and APAC; and steeped in change (including IPOs, mergers, and other corporate transactions involving PE) – assisting each company he’s worked for to navigate major transformation agendas. Bola develops business-driven reward policy frameworks for purpose-driven businesses, helping drive organisation change in complex global environments. He is a distinguished relationship focused highly engaging Reward leader.

He’s also volunteered throughout his career, supporting organisations in NED roles for causes close to his heart. He is currently a NED member of Amnesty International’s Remuneration Committee, setting and overseeing the reward policy for its Secretary General and Senior Leadership Team. He was Chairman of the Windsor Fellowship, a talent-accelerator NGO focusing on young adults from underrepresented groups. 

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