Fund managers take long view by scrapping bonuses

August 23, 2016

Star investor Neil Woodford is paying his staff fixed salaries, while former trade body head Daniel Godfrey is launching a trust on the same principle. Fund costs won't necessarily fall. But a bonus system can prompt unhelpful short-termism while ratcheting up overheads.

Boosting bank earnings requires more creativity

July 13, 2016

Trading, stock deals and mortgage refinancing picked up in the second quarter. That's a relief after a poor start to the year. But bank returns mostly remain too low and new business too scarce. It puts the emphasis on finding new ways to cut costs and harness technology.

BP’s $20 mln Dudley payout looks crass but isn’t

April 14, 2016

The oil major faces an uproar over Chief Executive Bob Dudley’s bumper remuneration package despite the company slashing jobs and recording losses last year. But the criticism may be unfair. Dudley has hit key targets and drawn a line under the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Swiss say-on-pay bodes ill for rainmaker wallets

April 2, 2015

UBS and Credit Suisse face binding shareholder votes on executive compensation for the first time. These will judge aggregate, not individual awards. But Swiss banks must also disclose their top-paid executive. That makes it harder for dealmakers to out-earn their CEOs.

UK jail-a-banker rules will hike board pay

February 25, 2015

That’s the likely upshot of Britain’s new regime to hold financiers accountable for wrongdoing. Regulators have stopped short of applying the rules to all non-executives, but half of most boards still risk incarceration. As a result, they will probably demand more money.

Rob Cox: Davos badly needs a Henry Ford moment

By Rob Cox
January 21, 2015

The widening gap between the Capital Class and the rest threatens global prosperity. Ford was a pioneer at voluntarily paying employees more, as U.S. insurer Aetna did last week. The great American auto entrepreneur would also have applauded Obama’s plan to tax workers less.

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.

Technical measures won’t curb pay extravaganza

November 22, 2011

The UK High Pay Commission has a 12-point plan to limit the “gross inequality” of corporate compensation. It’s worthy stuff – more disclosure, stronger boards and so forth. But the trend to ever more money at the top will not change until voters and citizens get really angry.

Fat cats have little to fear from Cameron curbs

January 5, 2012

The UK prime minister wants the rich to feel the nation’s pain. Good luck to him. No one can fully explain why bosses’ rewards started to rise in the 1980s, or why they fell after the Second World War. Cameron’s half-hearted nudging is unlikely to turn the social tide.

Apple ties Cook into Jobs’ boots – at a price

January 10, 2012

The maker of functional but expensive gadgets now has a $376 mln CEO retention plan to match. Tim Cook will get that if he’s around for a decade. He deserves much after standing in for Steve Jobs, and Apple needs continuity. But in future the board can pay Cook more like Jobs.