Barclays Bank's PR offensive with its fractious investors appears not to be going too well. How else to explain yesterday's unscheduled announcement of changes to the remuneration arrangements of chief executive Bob Diamond and his finance director Chris Lucas. It's all rather complicated – as ever – but the upshot is they could lose up to half of their 2011 bonuses if profitability doesn't improve quickly enough. That amounts to £1.35m in the case of Mr Diamond and £900,000 for Mr Lucas.
However, their total packages were worth £6.3m and £3.9m, respectively. So it doesn't amount to all that much. And that's if you accept the £6.3m as the correct figure for Mr Diamond's pay. Some critics will tell you the true number should be £17m. Some claim £13m. They'll probably all look at this and say "so what".
Concession it is, but a rather minor one, not least because the part of Mr Diamond's various bonuses he stands to lose were 80 per cent of the maximum the bank could have paid him in a year when Barclays' return on equity (the figure Messrs Diamond and Lucas have to improve to keep the money) came in at 6.6 per cent. Mr Diamond set a target of 13 per cent by next year and, unless he has been studying at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he won't meet that. Will the move be enough to placate the investors who have been bending the ears of his chairman, Marcus Agius, over the past few days? That's open to question.
Those investors, like Barclays, will have noted this week's vote against the pay awards made to Vikram Pandit and his pals at Citigroup. Now it isn't entirely fair to compare the two. Citi received a bailout; Barclays did not. And Citi makes Barclays look restrained when it comes to how its executive plans are structured. All the same, Citi's vote was evidence that the world has changed.
CWW deal could tax Vodafone
Sighs of relief at Cable & Wireless Worldwide. The embattled telecoms business wobbled after Tata of India pulled its bid. But Vodafone is still in the game, so executives from both sides will spend the weekend trying to get the thing done and dusted by a new deadline of noon on Monday.
To many observers the deal makes sense for Vodafone because CWW has lots of bits and pieces it doesn't. To cynics a deal makes sense because CWW has racked up billions in losses so could provide a big tax benefit.
Vodafone has been trying to dampen the debate about tax by saying it pays more than you might think. It wants to be seen as cuddly, which is perhaps why it is using Yoda, the Star Wars character, for its latest ads. It will need the Jedi master's powers if it is to quell a storm on Monday.Reuse content