Denmark’s DKK759bn (€102bn) statutory pension fund ATP is using its clout as a shareholder to keep a lid on rising pay for top executives at Danish companies, saying the right level of remuneration for corporate leaders increases shareholder value.
Claus Berner Møller, vice president for Danish equity at the Hillerød-based pension fund, said: “In general, we are experiencing upward pressure because the level of pay is so much higher in, for example, the US and Switzerland.
“We are trying to fight against this pressure because we think that generally, the level in Denmark is appropriate.
“We are spending quite a bit of time discussing remuneration, because we believe that the right salary package for executive directors and supervisory boards increases shareholder value.”
The supplementary labour-market pension fund was also concerned about overly generous recruitment or severance deals for managers, Berner Møller said.
“Fundamentally, we don’t think that a severance package should equate to more than two years’ salary. Similarly, we are sceptical about excessively generous stay-on and sign-on bonuses, and this type of thing,” he said.
Berner Møller made the comments in an interview with Danish broadsheet Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, which were confirmed by a spokesman for the pension fund.
Pension funds in the UK have also been vocal on the matter of executive pay in recent months, with industry association the PLSA saying in January that “provocative levels” of executive pay were damaging the reputation of British business.