Van Lanschot Kempen has become the latest Dutch bank to come under fire for plans to raise its senior executives’ pay by a double-digit margin.
The bank is due to recommend a 20% increase in CEO Karl Guha’s wage packet at its shareholders’ meeting on May 31, in the form of shares and pension contributions. It would take Guha’s total remuneration to €1.5 million.
The bank’s other three executive board members would also receive pay rises to take their annual income over the €1 million mark. The bank says the move would bring its salaries in line with its competitors.
Van Lanschot Kempen, based in Den Bosch, specialises in wealth management for many of the Netherlands’ richest citizens. Although it is one of the smallest AEX-listed companies, with 1,685 employees and total capital reserves of €14.7 billion, it says its status means it needs to be able to compete with major Dutch firms such as ING bank, insurance company Nationale Nederlanden and chemicals firm DSM.
In a statement the bank said that the high increases were justified by ‘the successful transformation to a specialist wealth manager, with good to very good financial results’.
However, institutional investors’ group Eumedion questioned whether the proposal ‘would help to restore society’s trust in the financial sector’.