Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto, On
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Scotiabank president and CEO Brian Porter earned $12.2 million in total compensation last year, according to the bank’s proxy circular.

In addition to a base salary of $1.3 million, Porter received variable pay comprising $5.1 million in performance share units, $2.1 million in cash and $1.3 million in stock options.

Porter’s total direct compensation (fixed plus variable pay) of $9.9 million compared to $10.6 million in 2019. His target for total direct compensation in 2020 was $11.2 million, including $9.9 million in variable compensation.

While Porter’s performance was described as “strong,” a downward adjustment in variable compensation reflected “the broader context of the pandemic impact on all stakeholder groups and the bank’s regulatory environment,” the proxy circular said.

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Porter’s pension value increased to $2.3 million from $2.02 million the year before. That, plus Porter’s total direct compensation and $3,588 in other taxable perks, resulted in Porter’s total compensation of $12.2 million. This compared to $12.6 million in 2019 and $13.3 million in 2018.

Porter’s described performance included achieving a 90% participation rate in the bank’s diversity survey. The bank’s representation of visible minorities and women exceeded labour market availability, the circular said.

Porter was also credited with improving the depth and diversity of the bank’s leadership pool (see Gender diversity below).

The board approved a $550,000 increase to Porter’s total variable compensation target for fiscal 2021, increasing his target total direct compensation to $11.75 million.

Scotiabank’s other executive officers earned the following amounts of total compensation in 2020:

  • Rajagopal Viswanathan, group head and chief financial officer: $3.9 million compared to $3.3 million in 2019
  • Ignacio Deschamps, group head, international banking and digital transformation: $5.1 million compared to $6 million in 2019
  • Jake Lawrence, CEO and group head, global banking and markets: $4.2 million compared to $3.5 million in 2019
  • Dan Rees, group head, Canadian banking: $4.1 million compared to $3.9 million in 2019

Gender diversity

“The bank’s vice-presidents and above are now comprised of 36% women globally (a 9% increase in the last 6 years) and 40% women in Canada (a 7% increase in the last 6 years),” the proxy circular said. Five of the bank’s 12 director nominees (46%) are women.

Shareholder proposals

Shareholder proposals include reporting on loans to support the circular economy (whereby waste of resources is reduced), disclosing the compensation ratio used as part of the compensation-setting process, and setting a diversity target of more than 40% for board members.

The bank advised against voting for the proposals.

Scotiabank will hold its annual shareholders meeting on April 13, 2021, via webcast.