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Maximilian Behrmann , Willi Ceschinski, Martin Scholand


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Based on the global debate on the development of executive pay as well as the lack of transparent information that has prompted the implementation of far-reaching legal reforms, this paper aims to determine the quality of voluntary remuneration reporting of top management in Germany. To investigate the impact of ownership and remuneration structure on voluntary remuneration reporting, an OLS regression analysis is used. To assess the quality of remuneration reporting, we calculate a total score for 160 listed companies on the basis of a scoring model derived from four criteria. The criteria are individualized remuneration disclosure, use of the German Corporate Governance Code model table, information on the say-on-pay vote and on the role of the compensation consultant. This study comes to the result that reporting quality in Germany differs heavily and depends on ownership and remuneration structure. On the one hand, a high share of fixed remuneration shows a significant negative and the existence of family shareholders a simple negative impact on reporting quality. In contrast to this, a high percentage of the free float as well as highly variable compensation influence voluntary remuneration reporting in a positive way. Simultaneously, the company’s performance correlates significant negative while company size and leverage ratio show no effect at all. This paper extends upon prior research that has identified determinants of the voluntary individual disclosure of management remuneration in Germany (Andres and Theissen, 2007; Chizema, 2008). The new findings of this paper partly differ from former research and help to derive statements that are more current, comprehensive and go beyond the results of the previous studies. Furthermore, the insights offer implications for firms, theory, and new opportunities regarding future empirical research.

Keywords: Executive Compensation, Reporting Quality, Voluntary Remuneration Disclosure, Ownership Structure, Corporate Governance, Germany

JEL Classification: M12, G30, G32, G34

Received: 18.08.2018

Accepted: 25.10.2018

Published online: 06.11.2018

How to cite this paper: Behrmann, M., Ceschinski, W., & Scholand, M. (2018). Impact of ownership and pay structure on voluntary remuneration reporting: Evidence from Germany. Corporate Ownership & Control, 16(1), 19-32.