Thursday, 30 August 2012
Jenkins appointed to lead Barclays
Interesting piece of news. Just to refer to the notion of relative competence. Mr Jenkins, who I am sure is an outstanding choice indeed, covers his everyday needs with a modest £1m but may fork out from Barclays coffers some £8m in a good year. Not sure what his targets are but the main issue is his salary is a paltry third of what Bob the supergod used to receive as incentive for steering Barclays with exceptional leadership through the tough and unforgiving world of global finance.
I spot an intellectual challenge: Mr Jenkins is a few orders less able than Mr Diamond, implying that running Barclays from now on is a piece of cake so that a much less motivated executive can very easily do the job.
The assumption is the executives are paid the right and fair amount for what they deliver for the shareholders, customers and citizens. The assumption is the quest for talent in the CEO market is so hot that if large corporations don't pay tens of millions to their supremo, she or he would be immediately snapped from under their noses. That would obviously harm the interests of the shareholders, customers and citizens. So the poor boards cough up the tens of millions, it is what anyone would logically do.
What I would like however is to invite Mr Osborne to show us how exactly are the £4-5m that Mr Jenkins will add to his (may I venture to say considerable) wealth after his first year, will lead our economic recovery in Britain. It would be tragic if through irresponsible taxation Mr Osborne drove away this vigorous wealth creator and/or Barclays. That would determine Mr Agius to look for the next CEO.
Who knows this next CEO may end up be paid only £2m as all the really strong potential candidates will have long relocated in Switzerland, US, Hong Kong or Singapore. Not even the French lured in by Mr Cameron will be around. The Lycee Francais from Kensington may have to declare bankrupcy, and so on, the list of disasters will continue.