Ballsy move by Cameron

There was a lot of talk about the changes that Simon Power made in the regulatory environment for business in New Zealand. His changes lacked any real gonads. David Cameron on the other hand is taking the bull by the horns and proposing dramatic companies regulation changes particularly over executive remuneration:

“Let’s empower the shareholders by having a straight, shareholder vote on top pay packages. We’ve got to deal with the merry-go-round where there’s too many cases of remuneration committee members, sitting on each other’s boards, patting each other’s backs, and handing out each other’s pay rises. We need to get to grips with that.”

Measures will include, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt, moves to give shareholders an effective veto both on high pay-and-perks packages for executives, and on the huge payouts business leaders get when they leave jobs in which they have failed badly.

Shareholders’ votes on packages when senior directors, including chief executives, join companies and when they leave are set to be made binding, rather than simply advisory, which they are at present. While plans are currently at an early stage, Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, will shortly announce a consultation on the best way of achieving this.

Mr Cameron is certain that action is needed. “The mood has changed.

“I’ve been struck that you now get the criticism of pay at the top, and of bank bonuses, from a business audience.

“There is a very strong sense that small businessmen and women working hard, grafting away, building a business and not paying themselves huge amount of money, are furious with these rewards at the top for people who aren’t taking the sort of risks they’re having to take.”


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Tony

    I think that this is good. Afterall, the owners (shareholders) of a business should decide how much the employees (executives) get paid.

  • James Stephenson

    You’ve got to wonder about the reality versus the headline though, the shareholdings will be dominated by big institutional investors who are probably just as much in the mutual back-scratching club.

  • ConwayCaptain

    I see Cameron is threatening to veto an EU move again to bring in the Tobin tax.  He says he doesnt mind if everyone world wide does it but not just the EU as it will decmate the UKs financial sector.

    Maybe he has more cojones thatn we thought.  The Poison Dwarf of the Elysee and the Valkyrie of Berlin must be hating him.

    • Gazzaw

      Oui. Perfidious Albion.

      If The City won’t back this crazy Cyprus-led proposal to bail out the Greeks then it’s fucked from the outset.

      Thank God that Maggie had the foresight to stay away from the Euro.

      • ConwayCaptain


        Cyprus is en le merde as well.  As is Malta and tghe PIIGS plus a few more on the periphery ready to top[ple.

        The EUs Foreign Service wants more money but the professioanl diplomats from the major countries have complained about the Baroness ASHTON who is a :Labourite f wit and that is the Eu saying it.

  • Gomango64

    The sentiment and objective is good, but unfortunately it is unlikely to work so long as institutional investors continue to look the other way.  Very few funds managers take an activist roole, preferring not to rock the boat.  After all high pay at corporates means high pay at funds managers once they look at the salary surveys and compare jobs.  Plus all the corporate entertainment – don’t want to miss out on wimbledon tickets, grand prix invites, fancy dinners in the westend.

    In  NZ it is even worse, the only institutional investor we had that created a fuss with underperforming corporates was Simon Botherway, but alas,  he now appears to have drunk the cool-aid and joined the greyest of all grey investors – onepath (the old ING, now fully owned by an even greyer corporate entity ANZ).  Look at the proxy voting history of investors in NZ like AMP, Tyndall, Onepath/ING, Tower, Axa etc.  Almost without exception they proxy vote as per board recommendations.  It is pathetic.

    Look at the institutional investor behaviour around the recent property trust management contract buyouts.  If that is not an exercise in mutually beneficial backscratching and transferring wealth from investors to the inner circle, then what is. 

    Just remember the institutional investors (who in NZ often own up to 90% of  a listed company) actually own that equity on behalf of their clients, yet the insto gets the vote.

  • Peter Wilson

    I wonder if the same approach could be tried with Parliamentarians?

  • ConwayCaptain

    I would recommend the Whale Army reads the Daily Telegraph in the UK and their financial commentaors to get a good grip on what is happening.  Also Daniel Hannan MEP who blogs on the DT.  Watch his You Tube clips as he and Farage rip into NVan Rumpy Pumpy and Barroso.

    Hannan and Farage are erudite well spoken and the MEP mob cannot even match them for oratory.  The speak without notes, and fluently no ummms ahhhs etc.  I would love to know where they get the interprters to handle Hannans quotes from poetry etc.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, Farage is excellent!  Haven’t seen Hannan yet, so I must check him out. 
      Farage is the kind of straight-up no-BS guy who would seem to make a bloody good PM. 

  • QUintin Hogg

    Yes, the DT is a must read for me.