Legal eagles earn a higher corporate pay perch

November 12, 2015

Compensation for S&P 500 general counsels is up almost 23 pct since 2010, a sharper rise than for CEOs and CFOs. It’s a sign that companies are choosing to handle more big deals, lawsuits and regulatory issues in-house. Outside law firms should brace for a steeper dive in demand.

VW could use bank-style clawback of CEO pay

September 23, 2015

Martin Winterkorn’s resignation clears the way for sweeping changes at the sprawling carmaker after its costly emissions scandal. He was one of Germany’s best-paid bosses. Revamping compensation, and even trying to recoup some of the CEO’s cash, would send a strong message.

Hedge fund pay hauls a political-financial shame

May 5, 2015

The top 25 managers took in $11.6 bln last year, Alpha magazine calculates. If these rewards were for building a stronger economy, the 0.001 percent’s political clout might still be troubling. But such gains for largely mediocre performance in secondary markets are shocking.

Banks risk provoking EU with bonus get-arounds

September 2, 2014

Firms are paying top staff extra “allowances” in response to European bonus caps. That avoids raising base salaries and keeps costs flexible. The risk is that successful avoidance of the rules will prompt policymakers to shift the attack to pay quantum rather than pay structure.

Buffett loses his voice – and maybe some sway

April 23, 2014

The Omaha billionaire said he didn’t vote against Coca-Cola’s controversial pay plan even though he disagreed with it, for fear of sending a wrong signal about the CEO. That’s an odd message to convey. It doesn’t mean Coke shouldn’t hear what its largest owner is saying, though.

AT&T board lets CEO off hook for bad call

February 22, 2012

Randall Stephenson’s total pay fell to $22 mln last year from $27 mln in 2010. That’s a light slap given the $4 bln break fee for the badly botched bid for T-Mobile USA. Investors can show their displeasure with directors for failing to hold the boss accountable – and should.

Globalization stops short at the corporate suite

February 28, 2012

The global war for talent is a popular justification for exorbitant CEO pay. But with few exceptions, expat chiefs are still a tiny minority. It’s bad news for shareholders in high-pay hubs like the United States and Britain who could find better-value stewards overseas.

New York Times pay structure isn’t fit to print

March 14, 2012

The venerable U.S. newspaper group revealed that it rewards bosses with fat bonuses for a mere 1.6 pct return on capital. That’s a fraction of the company’s cost of funds, and much lower than its own previous standard. A high bar for journalists doesn’t extend to management.

GE offers Citi starting point for fixing CEO pay

April 20, 2012

Investors voted against Vikram Pandit’s comp largely due to his wooly incentive plan. Facing similar discontent last year, GE added decent hurdles to better align boss Jeff Immelt’s pay to the conglomerate’s performance and shareholder returns. Citi should go a step further.

Shareholder rage at bank pay reaches tipping point

April 27, 2012

A third of shareholders failed to back remuneration reports at both Credit Suisse and Barclays - after a similar protest at Citi. It may finally shame banks into dividing the spoils more equally with investors. But governments and customers will also want their pound of flesh.