Original Research

Share-based remuneration: Per-director disclosure practices of selected listed South African companies

Gretha Steenkamp, Mareli Dippenaar, Carine Fourie, Danie Franken
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 12, No 1 | a400 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v12i1.400 | © 2019 Gretha Steenkamp, Mareli Dippenaar, Carine Fourie, Danie Franken | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 July 2018 | Published: 28 May 2019

About the author(s)

Gretha Steenkamp, School of Accountancy, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Mareli Dippenaar, School of Accountancy, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Carine Fourie, School of Accountancy, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Danie Franken, School of Accountancy, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Companies Act of 2008 (the Act) and the third King Report on Corporate Governance(King III) require disclosure on the share-based remuneration of directors of listed South African companies on a per-director basis.

Research purpose: The first objective was to determine the disclosure practices of JSE-listed companies relating to share-based remuneration on a per-director basis, to examine whether the disclosure practices comply with regulatory requirements and whether share-based remuneration was disclosed consistently. Comparisons were made between companies in the three largest industries on the JSE (financial, industrial and basic materials industries) as well as between small, medium and large companies. The second objective was to develop a best-practice disclosure example that complies with the JSE listing requirements, the Act and the latest King Report (King IV).

Motivation for the study: Previous research has hinted that share-based remuneration is poorly disclosed in South African annual reports, but it has not specifically been studied.

Research approach, design and method: Data on disclosure practices were collected from annual reports. The collected data were analysed against the regulatory requirements to evaluate compliance and compared between companies to evaluate consistency.

Main findings: Some companies failed to comply with regulatory requirements (did not disclose the value of share-based remuneration and the number of instruments employed). Large companies were more likely than small companies to comply with regulatory requirements. Between-company inconsistency was noted when comparing the value of share-based remuneration disclosed by companies in the sample.

Practical/managerial implications: Non-compliance with regulatory requirements regarding the disclosure of per-director share-based remuneration was noted in the sample, which could lead to stakeholders having insufficient information for decision-making purposes. Inconsistent disclosure practices, leading to incomparability between similar companies, could hamper effective investment decisions.

Contribution/value-add: A best-practice disclosure example was developed to assist companies seeking to comply with disclosure requirements and enhance comparability between JSE-listed companies in future.


Keywords

directors’ remuneration; share-based payments; share-based remuneration; disclosure; Companies Act; King III; JSE listing requirements

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