The Remuneration Committee believes that an executive share option plan is an appropriate and necessary element of remuneration in order to execute the remuneration principles set out here, and is an effective tool to incentivise executives to deliver the long term performance needed to generate strong returns to shareholders.
The Company operates the following executive share option plans: the Signet Group plc 1993 Executive Share Option Scheme (the "1993 Scheme") under which no further options may be granted but existing options are exercisable until the scheme expires in 2013. In 2003 new plans were introduced replacing the 1993 Scheme and consist of: the Signet Group plc UK Inland Revenue Approved Share Option Plan 2003; the Signet Group plc International Share Option Plan 2003; and the Signet Group plc US Share Option Plan 2003 (the "2003 Plans"). Further details of the plans and the applicable performance conditions are set out here.
It is the policy of the Remuneration Committee that all employees, including directors, who satisfy certain qualifying conditions, should have the opportunity to participate in the equity of the Company. This is achieved through a savings-related share option plan, for which invitations are normally made annually. Under the relevant legislation the exercise of these share options is not subject to performance criteria.