Fund managers are some of the most highly paid executives in Australia, but can you believe their huge salaries and bonuses don’t have to be disclosed? Perpetual and other listed financial companies like AMP, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank have somehow found a way around classifying fund managers as executives.They fall into the same category as people like Eddie McGuire and Ray Martin – humble employees of PBL who are not executives and therefore don’t need to have their salaries exposed in the annual report.

Therefore, someone like Peter Morgan, the founder of 452 Capital, never appeared in the top five pay packets during his time as head of equities at Perpetual. The lad apparently left with a big payout, but this was never disclosed to the market. Now there are some people who argue he should be on the BRW Rich List because of the value of his controlling stake in 452 Capital, a CBA-aligned boutique with $4 billion under management.

After losing Morgan and watching its share price tank, Perpetual has locked up its top five to ten fund managers with a huge allocation of shares but none of this has been fully disclosed to the market. When you look through the latest Perpetual annual report, Morgan’s successor John Sevior doesn’t even appear in the top five executives when there are estimates that he will retire from the company with a net worth of more than $20 million.

The same applies at Westpac where some private equity fund managers are rumoured to have received $12 million for their efforts.

This is a complete joke. The law is an ass and should be changed so that listed companies disclose the names of the five highest paid people in their organisation. Someone like Eddie McGuire has even publicly admitted to playing a management role at times, yet his estimated $2.5 million annual deal with PBL is not revealed in the annual report.

Remember the outrage over Chris Cuffe’s $33 million termination payout from the Commonwealth Bank. Cuffe was the CEO of Colonial First State so he was an executive whose package had to be disclosed. However, his stockpicking mate Greg Perry is also believed to have made tens of millions but he was never an executive so the market will never know how much he pocketed.

Oh the irony of the very people clamping down on executive pay excesses not having to disclose their own huge packages. No wonder many small shareholders don’t trust their fund manager to do the right thing when it comes to voting their shares at AGMs.