Investec’s remuneration committee has proposed to cover the personal security costs of its top executives in South Africa amid rising crime rates.
At a recent annual general meeting on Thursday (August 4), BusinessLive reported that in light of ongoing concerns about the personal safety of senior business people in South Africa, the committee has agreed to make an additional benefit available to the executives entitling them to enhanced personal security services.
Investec saw overwhelming support for the change, with 99.79% of the vote for the change to the DLC director’s compensation policy. The DLC committee determines the salary of directors at the bank.
“This – the private security benefit – is currently a taxable benefit in South Africa and the annual cost to each driver, including income tax payable on the benefit, is expected to be in the region of £100,000.R2,000,000).”
Investec said such an advantage is essential and common for senior executives of major companies in the country due to the unfortunate risks they are exposed to when traveling within the country.
The latest crime statistics from the South African Police Service (SAPS) showed an increase in violent crime across the country. According to the SAPS, 6,083 people were murdered in the past quarter (up 22%) – the equivalent of 68 people a day – which is the highest number on record during this period in the past five years.
Investec had been planning to make this change for a while. According to the Investec Remuneration Report for 2022, all benefits provided to executive directors in addition to the value of any pension contributions were deducted from the fixed salary.
Investec said that in practice, the agreed-upon leave of fixed pay covers annual salary, fringe benefits and pension.
The new security benefit should be added in addition to other benefits such as life insurance, personal accident insurance and medical coverage
Activist group Just Share argued that executive pay at Investec was excessive and questioned why the company should bear the personal security costs of its employees, where inequality and pay gaps are increasingly common.
The bank’s remuneration report found that its chief executive officer Fani Titi earned more than R87 million a year from fixed compensation and incentives.
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