Bill Gross's pay at Janus kept secret

I am sure he will not be paid $200 Mio that Pimco supposedly paid him in 2011 but it will still be an eye-watering amount of money. So one can understand the concern at Janus and its refusal (Financial Times, Paywall) to publish his compensation package. The problem as I see it is that Asset Management firms should be even more upfront and 'politcially correct' about their compensation structures as they are the fiduciaries of the ordinary saver and investing public. As such they have the task to monitor the remuneration practices in the companies they invest in and should demonstrate that they are 'whiter than white'.
(21 Oct 2014)

APG Asset Management Issues Remuneration Guidelines

When a large Asset Manager like APG publishes Remuneration Guidelines in merits special attention given that APG is less conflicted than pure for-profit Money Managers. But the most important question is still waiting for an answer: How much pay is enough? 1 per cent, 10 per cent, 20 per cent (as claimed by 'alternative' fund managers, and this does not even include the basic management fee) or even more as some 'star' hedge fund managers think they are entitled to? As long as the fundamental mistake of believing in the merit of 'incentive-based' compensation is not accepted there will be no end to the ratcheting up of (senior executive) compensation. It is sad that the leading business schools and self-appointed management 'gurus' propagate and foster this myth. Commission-based compensation may work for car salesmen but do senior executives really get dangled carrots in front of their noses in order to do a good job. And why should all the success of a business be attributed to a few (mostly men) at the top of the hierarchy?
(19 Oct 2014)

Board should communicate more with shareholders

This suggestion by Sodali Chairman John Wilcox merits our attention. But is not a key problem that the (Chief) Executive has a major role in selecting his own supervisors? Naturally there are Board Chairman in several countries that are nominally in charge but still there is a dis-connect as the shareholders are rarely able - and/or willing - to play a major role in selecting board members. There may be a director tasked with the role of being the point of contact to shareholder queries but it is often all behind closed doors (thus creating conflicted investors that may obtain inside information). But again, without such a dialogue, how can one expect shareholders to 'engage' with the companies they invest in?
(17 Oct 2014)