Ownership, corporate governance and top management pay in Hong Kong

Lai Sheung, Suwina CHENG, University of Bath, UK
Michael FIRTH, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Copyright © 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd .

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Top management pay has been the focus of intense scrutiny and debate in many countries. Important issues include how compensation is decided and whether it is a function of performance. The purpose of this study is to examine top management pay in Hong Kong and to investigate how it is affected by firms’ ownership and governance characteristics. A distinguishing characteristic of many listed firms in Hong Kong is the large proportion of share capital owned by the directors, and we argue that this moderates top management pay. We also investigate the role of institutional ownership and board composition in the determination of pay. We find that director and institutional ownership moderate compensation but that there is little evidence that they encourage pay-for-performance reward schemes.