The board considers it of the utmost importance that senior executives are paid competitive, attractive remuneration at a market level, as regards both fixed and variable compensation, based on responsibilities and performance. The board’s proposed remuneration is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders from a growth perspective, since it helps motivate and retain talented and committed senior executives.
Like the guidelines adopted at the 2014 annual general meeting, the board’s proposal to the 2015 annual general meeting for guidelines for remuneration of senior executives is divided into two parts: general guidelines and supplementary guidelines.
The general guidelines are aimed at a group of around 50 senior executives and are based on performance in the previous year, linked to certain quantifiable targets set in advance. The supplementary guidelines are aimed at some of these individuals. The supplementary guidelines are based on performance compared with targets set, but are also conditional upon the senior executive remaining employed by the H&M group for at least five years.
The board’s reasoning for the supplementary guidelines is as follows: in view of H&M’s strong expansion phase and the important development phase that H&M is in, including multi-brand and multi-channel developments, the aim is to ensure that these key individuals in senior positions remain with the H&M group during this important development phase.
Below is a more detailed account of the board’s proposal to the 2015 AGM for general and supplementary guidelines:
The term "senior executives" covers the CEO, other members of executive management, country managers and certain key individuals. The number of individuals covered by the term senior executives is currently around 50.
Compensation for senior executives is based on factors such as work tasks, expertise, position, experience and performance. Senior executives are compensated at what are considered by the company to be competitive market rates. Senior executives are also entitled to the benefits provided under the H&M Incentive Program.
H&M is present in more than 40 countries excluding franchise markets and levels of compensation may therefore vary from country to country. Senior executives receive a fixed salary, pension benefits and other benefits such as car benefits. The largest portion of the remuneration consists of the fixed salary. For information on variable components, see the section below.
In addition to the ITP plan, executive management and certain key individuals are covered by either a defined benefit or defined contribution pension plan. The retirement age for these individuals varies between 60 and 65 years. Members of executive management and country managers who are employed by a subsidiary abroad are covered by local pension arrangements and a defined contribution plan. Other than the ITP plan, no defined benefit pension plans have been taken out for executive management since 2005. The retirement age for these is in accordance with local retirement age rules. The cost of these commitments is partly covered by separate insurance policies.
The period of notice for senior executives varies from three to twelve months. No severance pay agreements exist within H&M other than for the CEO.
Pension terms etc. for the CEO
The retirement age for the CEO is 65. The CEO is covered by the ITP plan and a defined contribution plan. The total pension cost shall amount in total to 30 percent of the CEO’s fixed salary. The CEO is entitled to 12 months’ notice. In the event that the company cancels the CEO’s employment contract, the CEO will also receive severance pay of an extra year’s salary.
The CEO, country managers, certain senior executives and certain key individuals are included in a bonus scheme. The size of the bonus per person is based on the fulfilment of targets in their respective areas of responsibility. The result is linked to the measurable profit targets (qualitative, quantitative, general, individual) set in advance within their respective areas of responsibility. These targets also include measurable targets for sustainability. The targets within each area of responsibility are aimed at promoting H&M’s development in both the short and the long term.
For the CEO the maximum bonus is SEK 0.9 m net after tax. For other senior executives the maximum bonus is SEK 0.3 m net after tax. Net after tax means that income tax and social security costs are not included in the calculation. The bonuses that are paid out must be invested entirely in shares in the company, which must be held for at least five years. Since H&M is present in markets with varying personal income tax rates, the net model has been chosen because it is considered fair that the recipients in the different countries should be able to purchase the same number of H&M shares for the amounts that are paid out.
In individual cases other members of executive management, key individuals and country managers may, at the discretion of the CEO and the chairman of the board, receive one-off payments of up to a maximum of 30 percent of their fixed yearly salary.
In addition to the general guidelines, the board has prepared supplementary guidelines for certain managers and other key individuals, such that these individuals are covered by both the general guidelines and the supplementary guidelines. The CEO is not, however, included in the supplementary guidelines.
Remuneration according to the supplementary guidelines is based on performance compared with targets set, but is also conditional upon the senior executive remaining employed by the H&M group for at least five years. The five-year rule applies with effect from the year that the annual general meeting adopted the arrangement – which was at the annual general meeting in spring 2014 – up to and including the month of May five years later, i.e. in 2019.
Provided that the abovementioned criteria are met, the senior executives covered by the supplementary guidelines are thus entitled to a cash payment after five years.
At individual level, the cash payment may vary between SEK 0.5 m and SEK 5 m net after tax; the exact distribution per individual will be decided by the CEO and the chairman of the board.
Cost to H&M: The total cost to the company is estimated at around SEK 30 m per year including social security costs over five years.
The board of directors may deviate from the guidelines for remuneration of senior executives in individual cases where there is a particular reason for doing so.
Where a board member performs work for the company in addition to his or her board work, a separate fee may be paid for this. This also applies if the work is performed by a company wholly or partly owned by the board member.