Investec Cuts CEO Pay 87%, Cancels Bonus After Returns Slump

Investec Plc, the owner of a bank and money manager in South Africa and the U.K., cut Chief Executive Officer Stephen Koseff’s compensation 87 percent after profit dropped and returns hit a record low.

Koseff’s, who asked not to receive a bonus for fiscal 2012, was paid 450,000 pounds ($703,305) including a basic salary of 344,791 pounds and benefits of 105,209 pounds, according to the Johannesburg- and London-based lender’s annual report, released today. For fiscal 2011, Koseff got 3.4 million pounds, excluding share awards.

“We acknowledge and value the leadership shown by three of our executive directors in asking us not to consider performance bonuses for them in respect of the 2012 financial year,” the compensation committee chairman, George Alford, wrote in the annual report, adding Investec discussed compensation with shareholders and South Africa’s central bank. “The committee has decided to rather focus compensation for these individuals on the longer term” and hasn’t adjusted the fixed salary of Koseff or Managing Director Bernard Kantor. Glynn Burger, the finance director, also didn’t take a bonus.

Koseff was South Africa’s highest-paid banker in 2011, even as Investec was the country’s fifth-largest lender with the lowest returns. In a report in February, Johannesburg-based research firm Prophet Analytics called Koseff South Africa’s most overpaid CEO. Koseff was overpaid by 30.7 million rand ($3.72 million) in 2011, Loane Sharp, a labor economist, calculated.

Investec has gained 8.5 percent this year compared with a 14 percent increase in the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index. In London, where Investec also trades, the shares are up 8.9 percent compared with a 9.2 percent rise in the FTSE 350 Banks Index.

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