Wednesday 15 August 2018

So is high executive pay good or bad?

I can't say I really follow what the mainstream media are on about these days, so consumed by identity politics and virtue-signalling, that they will run contrary stories, often in the same article.

It leaves one with a sense that they do not know what they are doing...

Take today. As ever the High Pay Centre, which claims to be neutral but is well stocked with lefties anyway, declares that CEO and Executive pay in the FTSE100 is out of control. For what its worth, this seems uncontroversial to me, the FTSE100 companies have fast been aping their American cousins in pushing up pay at the top - they corresponding feature of shorter tenure is more than compensated by this, meaning we have some very rich managers of businesses, at a time when stock market growth is flat.

However, it is also a travesty today, that women in these companies only receive 3.5% of the total pay and 7% of the roles. This is of course prima facie discrimination. Only Emma Walmsley of GSK makes it into the serious high pay bracket, which is apparently a disgrace and further proof of discrimination.

So well done Laura you are not fighting the good fight of women everywhere by taking home pay that is far to high and a disgrace too our corporate culture in the UK.

None of this makes any sense, scan google for yourself as this is the content of the report and every article. By constantly trying to shoehorn every type of victim-hood and anti-capitalist messaging into the articles written, all that is left is a riddled mess.


andrew said...

Not just in and of itself.

Money is being transferred from shareholders to managers. Thats your pension.


Money is being tranferred from the poor to the rich. This leads to the rich leading increasingly different lives which leads to a lack of understanding between the rich and poor. So somehow the poor are all theiving scroungers and the rich are all undeserving corporate pirates moving jobs to china.


People like getting paid a lot and so try to fit in with others who get paid a lot and act in the same ways. Looking in from the outside it seems like a club although it isnt. However what i dont lile is the tendency for senior managers to behave in the same sort of way. This tends to stifle innovation , risk taking and so growth.


After a decade of management salaries going up at 10%+ pa and most others going up at 3%- and profits largely flat
It is clear that they just arent worth it.

Charlie said...

It's simple - we Brits don't like success, particularly of other Brits. What we do like ("we" meaning the bien-pensant types that are over-represented in the media and jealous of anyone more successful than themselves) is someone who made a success of themselves despite not being straight, white and male, even if there were other factors that led to that success - rich parents, a private education, simple nepotism...

You could be a director of a FTSE 100 company having come from a sink estate, raised by a family of rag and bone men, having left your local comp at 14 so that you can spend more time sniffing glue, and still the media would point to your white penis and scream "privilege!".

Anyway, executive pay... it's the job of shareholders to account the companies they've invested in. However, more and more people now invest passively, through a tracker or a managed fund, because it's cheaper, less faff, and you don't have to pick winners. Executive pay that doesn't reflect company performance has coincided with a vast increase in interest in equity funds. Investors don't go to AGMs anymore, so nobody actually asks what value is being wrung from an individual who costs millions of pounds per year to remunerate.

andrew said...

The thing is it should be the job of the great and good - social and political leaders to encourage balance.
However as a mass many are more interested in their own bank balances, they do not have a lot of credibility
So the field is indeed left to identity politicisers and virtue signallers.

Anonymous said...

I give you Persimmon and their executive bonuses.
Speaking to two people over the last month who have purchased new-builds from this company and are furious with the number of unfinished/poor quality finishes and the amount of snagging required. Typically this work is done by the majority of house builders -when they agree to do it - by sub-contractors of sub-contractors to a barely good enough standard.
Persimmon are not the only ones.
It's just not good enough. Why don't they just leave a bit more in the build cost and have a little pride in their product?

Electro-Kevin said...

Charlie - "We Brits don't like success"

I really think that's a myth. We don't like hypocrites and cheats. Success ? Look how celebrities and leading entrepreneurs are... well... celebrated !

(That's where the word celebrity comes from, does it not ?)

Charlie said...

I would agree with you if I could think of a "celebrity" that had done anything worth celebrating. Unfortunately, I hear the word "celebrity" and think of Joey Essex, Jade Goody, Keith Lemon et al.

Brits love an underdog. And the British press love to build up the reputation of an underdog, wait until they achieve success, then take them apart.

Raedwald said...

Well, seeing how much the buggers are getting for a period in which company value has barely grown, productivity remains sclerotic, innovation and R&D are moribund, old patents are ending and few new ones are coming on stream and a generally geriatric FT100 is on the cusp of obsolescence, I'd love to see how much more they make during a period of actual growth and corporate success.

DJK said...

There have been plenty of studies that have found an inverse relationship between executive pay and company performance. Clearly there is a market failure at work here as the efforts of a single, fallible human being are not worth 10s of millions per year.

A large company boss can make a big difference to shareholder value, but executives can only act on the information presented to them by subordinates further down the company. Being able to choose the right course of action, given the information and options presented, is hardly a vanishingly rare skill. The value of the information gatherers and decision implementers --- i.e. everyone else in the company --- is generally overlooked.

One final point: the role of luck in executive performance is greatly underestimated, not least by executives themselves.

CityUnslicker said...

Interesting comments all. The issue I have with people 'not being worth it' is the richest people I meet.

They are often ex-bankers or lawyers. They have set up a 'fund' of sorts to trade or buy and sell companies. Often they raise money too from wealthy private families.

The funds sometimes make stupendous returns, say 20% in a year, if they manage to turnaround a business or just trade companies well. If they do this yes their investors make out, but the managers - often of whom the whole team including PA's, IT etc, is only around 7 people, make tens of millions of pounds. Each exec takes home millions personally. Think of people like Crispin Odey.

Yet in reality, they have not worked that hard or done more than get lucky buying and selling like any trader. But if you a FTSE100 exec the whole of the world hates you, you have shareholders and government to answer too etc, thousands of staff.

I don't know the answer, but the FTSE100 Execs have to deal with a lot more pressure and sacrifice their private lives to the job, get shitty letters from loons like PETA etc, all sorts. The fund types mooch around mayfair in their jumpers and no one looks twice.

We may think Execs are overpaid and studies may show that, but really they in an a much lower league compared to the private banking lot and the oligarch families that support them.

Steven_L said...

Why don't they just leave a bit more in the build cost and have a little pride in their product?

why bother when you can just lobby the government for 'help to sell' subsidies which give a young middle class man the choice of:

1) chucking his deposit against an 85% mortgage into a scruffy 2 bed in a scruffy part of town his missus won't be seen dead in
2) levering it 19:1 it at the new shiny 2 bed new build 'penthouse' his missus is demanding

OK, it's going to be sh**e, have box rooms and lose half it's value relative to (a) over the life of a mortgage, but it works.

In Aberdeen new builds on Help To Sell are literally double the cost of equivalent granite flats across the road.