... A loud Cheer to the British Business Secretary, Mr. Vince Cable who attempts needed reform:
  • offer binding votes to shareholder's on the companies's pay policy and on pay-outs to departing;
  • claw-backs on executive pay when they failed;
  • transparency over pay - one figure to be published (while having the number explained) and how it compares with other pay-outs such as dividends;
  • shake-out boards by hiring non-executives from a broader pool of academics, public servants, etc

Actions of two men: Patrick Byrne from Overstock and judge Rakoff inspired this story. A glimpse:

"Dear lad,

The chaps 'a told us loud and clear: 

"To quickly fix any mess,

we could deed a Hobson's choice: 

neither more, nor less...."

See the article: The King is the Lamb

Bloomberg Markets, 2006: " One share does not always equal one vote". 

Sounds incredible, does it not? The article explains thoroughly how the same 1,000 shares can be voted three times because short sales create potential records for shares on loan. What if the shares are shorted naked? Here you go: False Proxies

Phantom Shares - "The deal is rigged so bad, I can make this statement safely: You have more chance to be treated fairly in a casino in Vegas than you do in the stock market. The Street industry has so ranged the work, they can deal from the bottom of the deck regarding your stock and your money ...". That was John O'Quinn in a Bloomberg TV Emmy nominated special program: Phantom Shares.

Associated British Foods -  one step in the right direction (at least). At page 51 in ABF's 2011 Annual Report you may find the following paragraph:

Shareholding requirement
"In 2010, at the same time as approving increases to the maximum grant levels under the Share Incentive Plan, the Remuneration committee also agreed that those executives who most closely influence the sustained long-term growth of the Company should be required to demonstrate their commitment to the Company by aligning their personal interests to the success of the group and its shareholders. Consequently, from the beginning of the 2010/11 financial year, executive directors and all first line reports to the Chief Executive are expected to build up a shareholding in the Company to a value at least equal to their pre-tax base salary. In order to achieve this target, executives will be required to retain at least 50% of any post-tax shares vesting each year from 2013, until such time as the appropriate level of shareholding has been reached and then to manage their shareholding in such a way as to continue to meet the requirement.

Other executives participating in the Share Incentive Plan are now encouraged to build up a beneficial interest in the Company, but are not required to do so. No further changes are planned at the present time."