April 25 2008

On the rise of majority voting measures: “Voluntarily embraced governance practices tend to avoid the complexity and arbitrary thresholds and requirements that imposed rules entail (and, in turn, the disputes that such rules and thresholds generate or the fact that their inherent arbitrariness detracts from their credibility).” In anticipation of high-profile AGMs in Nova Scotia over the next few weeks: “With several of the companies reporting a decrease in share value during 2007, analysts suggest investors may voice their displeasure not only about strategy, but also the hefty paycheques some executives are banking.” On Directors’ role in the precipitation of corporate greed: “It threatens to shove the whole world into a severe economic downturn, but not to alter in the slightest the happy state of those fabulously overpaid CEOs.”

And on the heights of Frank Stronach’s pay package: “At time when another Canadian titan sits in a U.S. prison for using a business as his “personal piggy bank” and there is a higher level of scrutiny on governance issues, it’s worth asking… if he’s really providing $70 million in value to shareholders.”

Finally, questions of independence, as Marks & Spencer much-scrutinized-of-late Chair/CEO is revealed as having invested in the business of a nominally independent M&S Director (and a member of the Compensation Committee).

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