Salary disclosure requirement 'non-negotiable': Sebi to Mutual Fund houses
Refusing to budge on its directive for mandatory disclosure of top-management salary by mutual funds, Sebi today told them it is a 'non-negotiable' requirement and investors must be provided date without any 'extra filters'.
Some fund houses, including HDFC, Reliance and ICICI Prudential Mutual Funds, on Monday began publishing the salary details for unit holders on their respective websites as per the directive, but many others did not do so and wanted the regulator to relax the rules or at least extend the deadline.
They made a representation through industry body AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) this evening before the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman U K Sinha, but were told in clear terms that "the requirement is non-negotiable" and must be complied with immediate effect.
Regulatory sources said, Sebi is of the view that fund houses good profitability records have been forthcoming with the disclosure requirements, but others have been resisting the move.
Sebi had earlier this year asked fund houses to disclose salary details within one month of a financial year, starting with 2015-16. Accordingly, all fund houses needed to publish the details by today, after taking into account the weekend holidays for the last two days.
Sources said the fund houses have also been told to disclose the salary details without any 'extra filters'.
While all fund houses ask for investor details like folio number and registered mobile number and email IDs for giving access to these details, a few of them have put in additional requirements such as name of the executive whose salary the investor wants to know.
In case of DSP Blackrock MF, the investors were being told that the details would be shared a few days after receipt of the request.
"Your request for information has been registered our Human Resource team will reply to you shortly," as per DSP Blackrock MF website.
In today's meeting, Sebi told the fund houses that investors in any scheme are entitled for the information and "unhelpful and unnecessary filters in providing the information should not be applied".
Asking AMFI to ensure uniform compliance by all fund houses, Sebi has told them that ESOPs or incentives pertaining. To other years may be indicated separately as an explanation.
After the meeting with Sebi Chairman, AMFI also told all its members that the fund houses that no "impediments" should be created in providing the information and the remuneration for the purpose of disclosure would include all forms of income as defined under the IT Act.
It asked all fund houses to take suitable action for disclosure by tonight itself. As per the disclosure, top fund house HDFC MF's chief Milind Barve got a total annual remuneration of Rs 26.21 crore for the latest fiscal 2015-16. This included previously granted ESOPs that were exercised during the last fiscal.
HDFC MF said that remuneration include "exceptional amounts computed on exercise of options granted under ESOP plans over the period 2008-2013".
The other executives of HDFC MF took home salaries ranging from Rs 13 crore to Rs 1 crore. As many as 38 persons received remuneration in excess of Rs 1 crore.
Sundeep Sikka, the top honcho of Reliance MF, received a pay package of Rs 13.74 crore -- which included Rs 3.5 crore as salary and over Rs 10 crore as a one-time payout. ICICI MF paid Rs 5.4 crore to its Managing Director Nimesh Shah. A total of 15 executives received remuneration of more than Rs 1 crore.