LETTER: Let shareholders fix directors' pay justice in self-awarded salaries

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The Independent Online
Sir: Why are shareholders of public utilities unable to control the pay of their senior executives? Because directors fix their own pay. There is a conflict of interest, over which shareholders have no direct control.

It can be done differently. In Australia, the economist Shann Turnbull has successfully introduced "Corporate Senates", which give shareholders a veto over some directors' decisions. Like Cadbury Remuneration Committees, they can therefore control pay. But Turnbull's Senates are elected with one vote per shareholder. This means that shareholders can act as owners as well as investors.

We could thus be spared the unedifying spectacle of Messrs Wallis, Vallance and Brown defending their pay to the media without justifying it to their shareholders.

We remain, Sir, yours etc, GEORGE FREEMAN PATRICK GREEN London, SW7

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