Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto, On

Brian Porter, president and CEO of Bank of Nova Scotia, exceeded his board’s expectations in 2018.

Porter made $11.2 million in direct compensation last year, a 7% increase from his 2018 targeted compensation and a 3% pay increase from 2017. “The increase in total compensation is due to increases in his base salary and variable compensation based on 2018 performance,” says the firm’s proxy circular, released today.

Porter’s variable compensation was $10 million, a $700,000 increase from his target of $9.3 million. The compensation committee attributed this increase to “the bank’s strong performance during 2018” and Porter’s achievements in “realizing significant net cost reductions” and “advancing our digital transformation and performance culture.”

Taking into account his pension, perks and other compensation, Porter made a total of $13.3 million in fiscal 2018.

Porter’s pay was by far the highest of all Scotiabank’s named executive officers in a year that saw two retirements.

  • Sean D. McGuckin, group head and CFO, earned total compensation of $3.3 million, and retired on Oct. 31, 2018. Rajagopal Viswanathan became acting CFO on May 30, 2018 and earned $1.7 million for this and his previous role of senior vice-president and chief accountant.
  • Ignacio Deschamps, group head, International Banking and Digital Transformation, earned $5.9 million in total compensation, down from $7.9 million from the year before. However, his annual incentive award is 6% higher than 2017’s.
  • Dieter W. Jentsch, group head, Global Banking and Markets, made $6.2 million in total compensation and retired on Nov. 30, 2018.
  • James P. O’Sullivan, group head, Canadian Banking, made $4.7 million in total compensation, up slightly from $4.6 million the year before.

Gender diversity

The circular notes that women hold 34% of global vice-president (or higher) positions and 39% of Canadian vice-president (or higher) positions. And of this year’s board nominees, six out of 14, or 43%, are women.

Shareholder proposals

Scotiabank is facing three shareholder proposals this year, all of which the bank advises voting against.

  1. A request that the bank revise its human rights policies to ensure that when lending, “the bank will thoroughly consider the finance recipients’ policies and practices for potential impacts on human and Indigenous Peoples’ rights.”
  2. A request that the compensation committee disclose the equity ratio it uses in its compensation-setting process.
  3. Creation of a new technology committee.

A shareholder withdrew two environment-related proposals after discussions with the bank.

Scotiabank’s annual general meeting will be held April 9, 2019.