Fat-cat scandals are damaging corporate reputation

2004

Fat-cat pay scandals have seriously damaged the public's perception of Britain's business leaders, according to a new survey of company executives.

More than nine out of ten (91 per cent) of the 100 executives quizzed by executive communications consultancy the Aziz Corporation believe that the image of directors of is in need of improvement.

A similar proportion (92 per cent) think that better communication of their achievements are needed to stave off a growing public backlash against huge bonuses and 'rewards for failure' .

More than eight out of ten (84 per cent) also believe that companies could handle the remuneration issue better in their dealings with the media.

Khalid Aziz, chairman of the Aziz Corporation, said: "While there may be an argument that these large salaries are important in retaining top performers, these have been overshadowed by large pay packets and 'golden parachutes' for executives leaving companies which have under-performed.

"No amount of great communications will work if you've failed to do the business, however the actual policies need to be transparent."

Aziz added that companies must be able to demonstrate their worth to the public, but questioned why only half of companies have put in place polices for communicating remuneration strategies to their own shareholders..

"Behind these findings lies the issue of whether companies have strategies in place to explain pay issues," he said.

"Fifty-one per cent of the directors who took part in the research stated that their company had no specific policy for communicating executive remuneration strategies to stakeholders."