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Executive team

Executive team

ACCA’s executive team led by the chief executive, is responsible for the delivery of ACCA’s agreed strategy and leading ACCA’s operations. The team consists of the chief executive, four executive directors and two non-executive advisers. Senior management is supported by a wider global leadership group of directors and other senior employees with significant operational and strategic responsibilities.

The executive team are Helen Brand, chief executive; Alan Hatfield, executive director – strategy and development;  Steve Heathcote, executive director – markets; Raymond Jack; executive director – finance and operations; and Peter Large, executive director – governance.

Executive team - gender

20% Female 80% Male

All executive team members are based in the UK.

Executive team reward plan

Payment under the reward plan is determined by performance against six strategic KPIs agreed by Council. This reward is a non-consolidated payment of up to 25% of the base salary of each Executive team member, 20% of which relates entirely to ACCA's performance, with the remaining 5% allocated for personal performance. This arrangement is structured to reward behaviour and performance that is appropriate for ACCA and focus the organisation on those elements of ACCA’s Strategy to 2020 which Council believes require the greatest focus at a particular point in time.

The Remuneration Committee determines the level of award achieved against ACCA targets for all executive directors alongside the level of award against personal targets for the chief executive. In turn, the chief executive determines how much of the 5% personal performance award is allocated to each of the executive directors. The chief executive is not present when her remuneration is discussed.

In assessing ACCA performance, the framework includes all the six measures and targets agreed by Council, all of which are externally audited. The Remuneration Committee agrees up to two ‘focus’ measures which determine the award size. The remaining four KPIs act as modifying measures – for each of these measures not achieved, 15% of the award pool released by the achievement of the focus KPIs is deducted. In this way, the Remuneration Committee seeks to ensure that it is reinforcing the importance of strong performance across ACCA’s balanced scorecard.

This is a fair, transparent reward solution which has been created in line with ACCA’s reward principles by supporting the achievement of our strategy and assessing performance over a meaningful period that reflects our focus on sustained performance, suitable for a long-term business. The basis of the award is transparent through the use of relevant and measurable performance targets that are clearly linked to driving value.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, the two focus targets are number of members (Vision) and student progression targets (Develop). The remaining four hurdle targets are net operating deficit/surplus (Our difference); number of students and affiliates (Attract); member and student satisfaction (Sustain) and brand power (Lead). 

The Remuneration Committee has complete and sole discretion to moderate (up or down – including to 0%) the level of award determined if it does not believe the level adequately reflects underlying corporate performance or for any other reason.

Executive team remuneration 

The total salary (including bonus and allowances) and benefits of the chief executive for the year ended 31 March 2018 was £415,167 (£383,915 for year ended 31 March 2017). This includes a fixed non-pensionable allowance in lieu of pension benefits, introduced in August 2013 when the chief executive agreed to vary her contract of employment following the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme and an additional allowance in lieu of pension contributions. 

The two independent non-executive advisers receive remuneration on a fixed attendance fee basis.

Executive team salaries are benchmarked annually by independent experts from Aon plc. When reviewing the salaries of the members of the Executive team, the Remuneration Committee takes into account the salary increases applying to the rest of the workforce and external benchmark data collected by Aon plc. External remuneration benchmark data is obtained primarily against general industry and also with a focus on pay in other professional membership associations (including a sub-group of accountancy associations, with a particular focus on those bodies that ACCA measures itself against in the market share element of our brand power measure). Salaries are within 80% to 120% of the benchmarked range, depending on experience, expertise and the organisation’s need to retain.

The base salaries of the chief executive and executive directors at 31 March 2018 are shown below on a banded basis:

Number of employees (2017/18)Number of employees (2016/17)

During 2017-18, reward distributed to the Executive team (including the chief executive) was £196,288, based on performance for the year ended 31 March 2017. 

Changes to the Executive team in 2018-19

The coming year will see two important changes to the Executive team. Peter Large, who has been a member of the team in various roles for 20 years, will take early retirement in September 2018. We are also creating a new post of Executive director – People, recognising the central importance of talent management to ACCA’s success. 

Detailed Corporate Governance Statement

We also publish a detailed annual Corporate Governance Statement on our integrated report website. This contains further information on the extent to which our governance arrangements meet the UK Corporate Governance Code, as issued by the UK Financial Reporting Council in September 2016, and details of the work of our various Council committees and boards. 

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