PwC’s Corporate Governance and Executive Pay report 2021

Investors call for ESG measures to support sound remuneration policies

To shed light on some of the current trends in executive remuneration, PwC and Diligent Institute took a closer look at the 2021 proxy season of 54 companies in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Pay for mainly financial performance:
  • Average realised LTI increased by 68%               

  • The median of realised LTI is null  

  • 88% financial KPIs for long-term incentive plans 

The work of senior executives combines great responsibility with a highly complex system of obligations. Their pay ought to reflect this. However, as corporate stakeholders increasingly demand that organisations represent not simply their financial interests but their values, questions of equality, sustainability and corporate governance (ESG) have become more important than ever as a metric of a company’s success, and of the performance of the men and women who lead it.

ESG is getting more and more attention
  • 45% of directors said ESG issues were regularly on their board’s agenda in 2020, compared to 34% the year before

  • Almost one third of the non-financial KPIs were related to the health and safety of employees

Need for succession & diversity

Board composition is considered a key aspect of ESG criteria in terms of governance. Questions of age, sex, and ethnicity are important when considering diversity as a measure of an organisation’s success in reflecting stakeholders’ values.

  • The average age of board members is approaching 60

  • 41% of board members have Belgian nationality



“Public pressure and changing norms are paving the way for business leaders to be paid based on a new set of criteria. Including ESG metrics in executive pay packages is a tangible way to close the ‘say-do’ gap for a sceptical audience, but is not without its challenges. We hope this report will represent a valuable contribution to the discussion of broadening stakeholders’ concerns in the shaping of the corporate landscape well into the future.”

Bart Van den Bussche, Director, PwC Belgium

Download the full report - updated 25/11 -

Christiaan Moeskops

Personal Tax Partner, Brussels, PwC Belgium

+32 477 50 91 99


Bart Van den Bussche

Director, Brussels, PwC Belgium

+32 474 23 93 48


Connect with PwC Belgium