SEC outlines rules to reveal top bosses pay

Oliver Smith
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AMERICAN companies may be required to disclose the paychecks of senior management and chief executives under a proposal yesterday that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chair Mary Jo White said had caused deep divisions.

The US Chamber of Commerce and the center on executive compensation have opposed the measure, calling the data costly to compile and of little use to investors.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law requires the disclosures and gives the SEC little wiggle room for changes demanded by critics. Still, the SEC tried to minimise compliance costs by giving companies flexibility in methods of calculating the total compensation of employees.

Companies say investors have little appetite for such information, citing failed efforts by shareholder activists to adopt resolutions requiring senior management pay-ratio disclosures.

The staff ratio pay proposal is one of two outstanding regulations mandated by Dodd-Frank that the SEC tackled at yesterday’s public meeting.

The agency also approved a long-awaited rule to bring the financial advisers of municipalities under federal oversight.