CEO salaries have gone up at the country’s biggest mutual funds on robust business growth, but several smaller players making losses or little profit have also paid crores to their top executives. The disclosure follows a diktat from markets regulator Sebi to all fund houses to make public the salaries of their top managements so that investors are aware of the payouts. While top fund houses like ICICI Prudential, HDFC and Reliance MFs have made clear disclosures in this regard by the Sebi deadline of April 30 for the 2016-17 fiscal, some others appear to have made it difficult for the investors to directly access the information.
Some of them are also asking investors to provide details like folio numbers before sharing the information, while a few others are informing those trying to access the salary information that the details would be sent to them directly in a day or two. Moreover, some fund houses have enforced OTP (one-time password)/email mechanism to share the remuneration data making it inconvenient for investors to access these information.
According to an analysis of the data made public so far by the fund houses, the CEO salary given by the top four fund houses — ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, HDFC MF, Reliance MF and Birla SunLife MF — increased in 2016-17. Birla Sunlife MF, which is the fifth biggest domestic fund, had appointed Anuradha Rao as its Managing Director and CEO in August 2016 and therefore the figure is not comparable.
The salaries for Chief Investment Officers have also increased for most of them. Surprisingly, some smaller fund houses have paid higher salaries than their bigger rivals, despite making losses or marginal profit. Among the top players, HDFC Mutual Fund paid its CEO Milind Barve a salary of Rs 6.49 crore for the latest fiscal 2016-17. He had received a package of Rs 6.25 crore in the preceding fiscal.
ICICI Prudential MF paid Rs 5.96 crore to its Managing Director Nimesh Shah last fiscal, as compared to Rs 5.4 crore in the preceding financial year. Further, Sundeep Sikka, the top honcho of Reliance MF, received a pay package of Rs 5.01 crore. He had earned a salary of Rs 3.25 crore in 2015-16. A Balasubramanian, chief executive at Birla SunLife MF, got a salary of Rs 4.11 crore, a surge from Rs 3.73 crore in 2015-16.
In terms of assets under management, ICICI MF is the largest fund house with an assets base of Rs 2.43 lakh crore, followed by HDFC MF (Rs 2.37 lakh crore), Reliance MF (Rs 2.11 lakh crore) Birla Sunlife MF (Rs 1.95 lakh crore) and SBI MF (Rs 1.57 lakh crore). Last month, Sebi had directed fund houses to disclose annual remuneration of all employees earning Rs 1.02 crore or above within one month of a financial year, starting with 2016-17.
Earlier, remuneration of all employees earning Rs 60 lakh in a financial year were required to be disclosed. This is part of Sebi’s effort to promote transparency in remuneration policies so that executive salary is aligned with the interest of investors. While a few mutual fund houses have complied with Sebi’s directive and disclosed the information, others still have to comply with the rule.