Coops in Quebec - Model for a more Equitable Economy?

The Coop model is not new and has experienced many failures. But still worth exploring, there might be ways to improve it. Pity our Business Schools and Economics Departments at Universities do nothing but regurgitating old mantras and dogmas. They should try to develop methods to make co-operative ownership more effective.
A More Equitable Economy Exists Right Next Door | naked capitalism

Santander employs staff on contracts that guarantee just 12 hrs work a year

Deplorable? certainly, but that would include regulators, government 'experts' (SRI/ESG) in the 'Ficuciaries' that invest on our behalf. Hear no evil, see no evil? And the CEO sitting there by the grace of Nepotism is fawned on by the gullible Media.
Santander employs staff on contracts that guarantee just 12 hours work a year

Board Members overpaid?

Are board members really worth their money? An interesting take, not politically correct, but there is some truth to it, start at 41 minutes
Hitler on overpaid board members 1940

Shareholder Proxies Could Be the New Regulators

A step in the right direction. But the great majority of votes are cast by Fiduciary Investors (Pension and Mutual Funds, Asset Managers, Private Banks, Insurance Firms and Sovereign Wealth Funds), often relying on input from Proxy Advisers that are responsible to no one. So this is not going to move the Corporate Governance needle that much until there are ways that the real end investor can control how these Fiduciaries cast the votes on his behalf.
Fair Game: Shareholder Proxies Could Be the New Regulators

Pret-a-Manger criticised for offering teenagers sandwiches in exchange for work

Can anyone blame #Bridgepoint for squeezing out the last drop of blood from its employees? Someone has to pay for the outrageous (and secret) 'compensation' and salaries raked in by #PrivatEquity, in many cases in offshore #taxhavens. Time that those 'Fiduciaries' allocating to the businesses are also held to account for what the funds they invest into on behalf of ordinary savers are up to.  #Execpay #Corpgov
 Pret criticised for offering teenagers sandwiches in exchange for work to solve looming Brexit staffing crisis

Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam made £9.6 million in his first full year on the job

No particular skill in banking required, where are the regulators? all bark, no bite? He should PAY the shareholders who employ him to be allowed to learn on the job! And where are the guardians of good corporate governance? pay restraint?
Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam made £9.6 million in his first full year on the job

Binding Vote on Exec Pay - another Cop-out

Another slap in the face from our Political Class. It is absurd that the owners of a company do not have the right to control their agents, i.e. the management hierarchy. When will our sleepy fiduciaries (Asset Managers, Pension Funds, Insurance Companies and Private Banks) stand up and fight for the rights of their 'clients' (do they even know what the origin of this word is?)
Stärkung der Aktionärsrechte: Hauptversammlung darf künftig über Vorstandsvergütung abstimmen |

Thiam kassierte seit 2010 total 100 Millionen

No surprise Credit Suisse may need another capital raise. Overpaid and Underqualified - the worst CEO selection ever? Did the regulators not demand that all senior banking officials need to be qualified for the job? So a hairdresser would also be acceptable to run a bank?
Thiam kassierte seit 2010 total 100 Millionen

Legal & General speaks out on Corporate Governance

Hats off to Legal & General's Sacha Sadan, their director of corporate governance.
Fund managers must be held to account in the same way companies are
While he reiterates a clear commitment to better governance the article raises more questions than answers.

1 He states that "every pension or ISA investor can also get involved to make UK plc better". This certainly is a welcome but HOW can these investors be involved?

2 A major problem with improving governance is the sheer number of issues, companies and investors that need to be engaged. Loading gender diversity (how many investors have ever asked for this? and have they ever been surveyed at all?), climate change, cyber-security and executive pay into the discussion guarantees that little progress is made on ANY of these issues.

 3 To think that the problem of excessive executive compensation can be solved by just asking companies (nicely?) to "explain how much they pay their chief executive" is a road to nowhere as developments over the past years have amply demonstrated. The same pertains to desire to make companies more "accountable" and bring about "cultural change". All very well, but accountable to who, and what cultural change?

4 Fund managers have role to play - this is the understatement of the year. Who but they are responsible for all the problems that are raises with respect to corporate governance? The top 20-40 institutions (Asset Managers, Private Banks) can control all listed companies the moment they would congregate and agree on principles that have to be adhered to.

5 Mr. Sadan states that his firm collaborates with other fund managers and engages with companies on a regular basis. But this is so "discreet" (secretive?) as to be of little effect - even if it would have an effect, how would end-investors be able to verify this? And you may "engage" with your wife, friends etc but the investment fiduciaries act on behalf of the OWNERS, and as an owner you tell your employees - even if it is a haughty CEO - what to do on your behalf.

6 Free riders are a burden on those investment firms that try to make a serious effort with respect to corporate governance. The best solution would be a rating system. Firms will have to clearly state their governance policies and be rated accordingly. End investors could choose responsible firms. There might even be legislation to make funds that do not comply loose any tax or regulatory umbrella.

My suggestions are:

Corporate Governance needs a set of clear, simple and unambiguous rules. Independent Chair or not? Maximum Pay for CEO? Mandatory vote on Pay? to name but a few.
End Investors should be able to vote for a Proxy Advisor of their choice, similar to a party. This could mean that L&G for ex has to allocate x% of their votes to each Proxy Advisor's recommendation. Given the progress in information technology that should not be a major problem.

We would like to hear your comments and suggestions.
As always your Comments are welcome, but please no direct messages - please post your contribution here on the Blog to make sure that others can see it and participate in the debate!

CEO Pay Soars In 2016 - Wages Continue To Stagnate

Another black eye for the inept corporate governance crowd! (21-Mar-2017)
CEO Pay Soars In 2016 As Employee Wages Continue To Stagnate | Zero Hedge

Goldman links Blankfein pay to beating rivals - so what?

All very well, but still leaves the question of ABSOLUTE pay level unresolved. And how is his pay going to be 'adjusted' if he is not 'beating' rivals? and how is the beat being measured? All a meaningless game of mirrors, maybe some brownie points from gullible journalists and media. Any news is good PR? Given that the firm also is the 'fiduciary' for huge numbers of savers - who can only dream of the 'compensation' that Blankfein allows to be paid to him - one would expect a more serious effort with respect to pay reform.
Goldman links Blankfein pay to beating rivals
Trust in Big Business hits new Low (Survey)

Excessive Exec Pay: Unwanted USA Import

Corporate Governance in one country at a time of Globalisation is not going to work. Many nefarious practises (esp with respect to executive compensation) is imported from the USA. Business Schools there are regurgitating fake theories ('Incentivise Top Management a outrance and everything will be fine'), many leading asset managers and private banks are based in America and have little or no interest to adhere to local practises. The need to introduce better standards will only succeed if all major countries and fiduciaries are forced to sing to the same hymn sheet. If laws are difficult to introduce then only ratings that hurt the sales process of fund manager will be an effective interim measure.
A special relationship on high executive pay (FT, Paywall)

Non-Voting Shares Don't Have a Pretty History

History or not, they must be banned. Lame Financial 'Fiduciaries' (aka Investment Managers, Private Banks, Insurance firms, Pension and Mutual Fuds) must state their intention and be rated accordingly. Good Governance must be a first stop for any marketing and sales effort by these firms.
Non-Voting Shares Don't Have a Pretty History

Wells Fargo CEO receives pay bump despite sales scandal

Another slap in the face of the Corporate Governance movement!
Wells Fargo CEO receives pay bump despite sales scandal

Survey: People highly skeptical of the role of big business

No wonder, given that Greed seems to be the main motivator for top executives (16-March-2017)
Brunswick survey on attitudes towards business - Business Insider

Airbnb has no specific plans for IPO yet: CEO Chesky

Thank God for that. The IPO market is a huge destroyer of wealth - for the deplorables that are herded into overvalued new issues while the 0.1% run away with the proceeds. Perversion of Shareholder Democracy. And the retirement savings crisis will not be solved that way either.
Airbnb has no specific plans for IPO yet: CEO Chesky

Mark Tucker: From AIA, Goldman Sachs, and now HSBC

Given that regulators tried to improve the quality of senior managers in banking it is surprising that Tucker's appointment seems to be waved through by officials in London and Hong Kong. He never had a senior position in frontline banking. Being chief beancounter at HBOS in the period leading up to the Crash of 2007-09 is not exactly a badge of honor. What moral authority do regulators no have left? (13-March-2017)
Who is Mark Tucker: From AIA, Goldman Sachs, and now HSBC - Business Insider

HSBC names AIA boss Tucker as chairman

Most American companies do very well without a separate chairman, so why the extra expense? And how can one man really do both jobs properly? Jobs for the boys! (13-March-2017)
HSBC breaks with tradition, names AIA boss Tucker as chairman

BlackRock vows new pressure on climate, board diversity

Let us hope that this is not just a PR exercise. Climate Change is a problem that should really be left to governments. Diversity is a fuzzy word, why not also diversity with regard to religion, political inclination, overall age? And why the preponderance of older execs that just draw an extra retirement cheque?
Exclusive: BlackRock vows new pressure on climate, board diversity

Carlyle Private Equity practices under fire

Seeking profits is what drives private business. But there have to be moral and ethical rules to contain this powerful motive. When a narrow group of people and their anonymous backers in the financial investment community treat employees and the wider public in a way that raises questions they put the whole Private Equity business model under a cloud. After all, the business operates under rules set by legislation and these rules can and should be altered when the model produces one-sided results. (12-March-2017)
Carlyle's Final Screwing of Brintons' Family & Employees