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Jul 27, 2012
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Olympics feel good value, even if they aren’t

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By Chris Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.


Olympic sentiment in the UK has undergone a sudden reversal. With the London Games opening on July 27, Britons have stopped moaning about recent bungles. The media, sensing the public mood, has swung squarely behind the occasion. Whatever goes wrong, Olympic investment is likely to feel like it was worth it – even if the finances argue otherwise.

Jul 16, 2012
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New broom wouldn’t be quick fix for G4S

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

G4S has got one thing right in its response to the Olympics security fiasco: it has admitted that Chief Executive Nick Buckles may have to quit. That may be a necessary, but not sufficient, condition of the company’s recovery.

Jul 5, 2012
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Diamond should exit Barclays with decorum not cash

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By Christopher Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Bob Diamond should exit Barclays with decorum, not with a sack of cash. On the most generous interpretation of his entitlements, the UK bank’s ex-chief executive has left behind almost 30 million pounds. But Diamond’s long-term financial interest would be served best by leaving empty handed.

Jun 21, 2012
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UK exec pay reforms set sound standards

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By Christopher Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The UK government has decided on just the right amount of meddling in executive pay. It had to respond to mounting public disquiet about perceived outsize awards for company bosses. Its final reforms on the issue, published on June 20, correctly focus on giving company owners more power to hold boards to account.

Jun 19, 2012
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Xstrata shareholders should say no

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Xstrata shareholders should vote down the $45 million three-year retention package awarded to Chief Executive Mick Davis to seal the miner’s tie-up with commodity trader Glencore. Sure, the merger would collapse, but that’s a price worth paying.

Jun 13, 2012

Memo to Sorrell: think like an owner

(Adds Context News) (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews
columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The market has
spoken. Almost 99 percent of WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders want
Martin Sorrell to stay as the advertising group’s chief
executive and nearly 60 percent think he is overpaid. Sorrell is
a big shareholder too. He says his interest in the company
guides his behaviour as the firm’s top executive. If that’s
true, he will see the financial logic in performing a U-turn on
his vigorous defence of his 13-million-pound pay package in
2011.

Jun 13, 2012

Memo to Sorrell: think like an owner

(Adds Context News) (The author is a Reuters Breakingviews
columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Chris Hughes

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The market has
spoken. Almost 99 percent of WPP (WPP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) shareholders want
Martin Sorrell to stay as the advertising group’s chief
executive and nearly 60 percent think he is overpaid. Sorrell is
a big shareholder too. He says his interest in the company
guides his behaviour as the firm’s top executive. If that’s
true, he will see the financial logic in performing a U-turn on
his vigorous defence of his 13-million-pound pay package in
2011.

Jun 11, 2012
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UK bosses play dangerous game: pay me or fire me

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By Christopher Hughes 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The O-word is causing friction between UK bosses and shareholders. Martin Sorrell says he was wounded by a shareholder who said the chief executive of advertising group WPP he had been behaving “as an owner”. Ivan Glasenberg, Sorrell’s counterpart at commodity trader Glencore, has come to his aid, saying it is hard to get a CEO to be entrepreneurial if they didn’t own a lot of stock.

Jun 6, 2012
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BP’s Russian exit would lead to existential limbo

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By Christopher Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

BP has had a lot of grief from its Russian joint venture and may now sell out of TNK-BP altogether. The UK oil major would then solve one problem by creating another. The world’s best energy assets are generally in difficult places and involve challenging partnerships. Awkward alliances are the norm for Big Oil – assuming BP wants to stay in the superleague.

May 24, 2012
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Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back

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By Chris Hughes

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Mike Lynch should try to buy Autonomy back. The software entrepreneur sealed a superb deal for shareholders when he sold the Cambridge-based firm to U.S. tech giant Hewlett Packard Co in October. But the marriage isn’t happy. Lynch was meant to be leading HP’s efforts to scale up the business. Instead, he’s leaving to do acquisitions of his own. It would make sense if Autonomy was on his list of targets.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Hughes is EMEA Editor of Reuters Breakingviews. Chris started his career as a researcher in BBC Television’s documentaries department and then became a financial journalist. He was previously Investment Banking Correspondent and Senior Corporate Reporter at the Financial Times, Financial Editor of The Independent and a companies writer at the Investors Chronicle. Chris has also worked at communications consultancy Financial Dynamics (now FTI), as an Associate Partner."
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