The Swiss are voting in a referendum today on an "anti-fat cat" initiative that would allow...

The Swiss are voting in a referendum today on an "anti-fat cat" initiative that would allow investors to hold binding votes on executive pay at listed companies and allow them to block large payouts at the start or end of a manager's employment. The measure is expected to pass. Companies that will be affected include Novartis (NVS), Nestle, UBS, Credit Suisse (CS), ABB, Roche, Transocean (RIG) and Weatherford (WFT).

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Comments (13)
  • The Geoffster
    , contributor
    Comments (4293) | Send Message
    Investors have every right to bypass corrupt self serving boards and determine the pay of the hired help. The market will correct any imbalances.
    3 Mar 2013, 09:10 AM Reply Like
  • shourey
    , contributor
    Comments (143) | Send Message
    The top executives and directors of most companies act in their own best self interest. If they were allowed by law, they would steal the last penny. So for public companies, where the public have invested their money and employed them to work for the best interests of the investors, laws are required so that they do not award themselves outrageous compensation amounting to grand theft and larceny.
    3 Mar 2013, 09:39 AM Reply Like
  • old boy2
    , contributor
    Comments (37) | Send Message
    Why is it that the Swiss are so much smarter?
    3 Mar 2013, 09:52 AM Reply Like
  • nasdaqwoody
    , contributor
    Comments (185) | Send Message
    The best part about this is it will help "fat cats" decide if they are worth more than what they are being paid. Those that are will leave these behemoths and start much more interesting companies. Those that are not, will get paid for being good managers but will not be allowed to steal from shareholders.
    3 Mar 2013, 10:09 AM Reply Like
  • zagman
    , contributor
    Comments (68) | Send Message
    The vote heard around the world! This is a game changer. Get ready for more corporate raiders.
    3 Mar 2013, 11:10 AM Reply Like
  • wedmorn
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
    Its shareholder's monies. If they decide a company's success is best decided by fat bonuses and salaries, so be it.


    The implication though is the opposite, that shareholders will take a more jaundice view on extreme executive compensation, in part demanding more direct accountability for fortunes of a enterprise.
    3 Mar 2013, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • Alvin5007
    , contributor
    Comments (178) | Send Message
    I wonder how well this will work to reduce the shocking salaries paid. A problem I see is that so many shares are held by mutual funds, the managers of which may simply vote in support of the management of the companies in the time honored "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours".
    3 Mar 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • AgAuMoney
    , contributor
    Comments (4635) | Send Message
    And the missing tickers for Nestle (NSRGY) sponsored by Citibank, and Roche (RHHBY) sponsored by JPM. There is also another ticker claiming to be for Roche (RHHVF) but that one is NOT listed on the Roche web site and may not be official.
    3 Mar 2013, 02:11 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1761) | Send Message
    This is going to be really interesting.
    3 Mar 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • Lucas_Wyrsch
    , contributor
    Comments (698) | Send Message
    68 percent of the Swiss have ended the War for Talent that Malcolm Gladwell described in the New Yorker on July 22nd, 2002 as a talent myth with his famous question: "Are smart people overrated?"


    But a week ago the European Union already capped executive pay at a maximum of one annual salary!


    In an OpEd article of the New York Times, "Wall Street Smarts" Calvin Trillin published on October 13, 2009 that the global financial crisis was partially caused by too smart people!


    Switzerland is by far the most basic democratic bottom up country in the world that didn't understand why 120 million older, experienced people had to be fired to create the biggest financial turmoil and mess in human history!


    How could the neocons of the US GOP create a bigger mess with the talent mercenaries than Mao's great proletarian cultural revolution with the red guards?


    68 percent of Swiss citizen voted against corporate robbery by the talent mercenaries!
    3 Mar 2013, 08:03 PM Reply Like
  • jimc174
    , contributor
    Comments (2) | Send Message
    If I understand this correctly, it is not the shareholders voting, it is all citizens, whether they have invested anything anywhere or not.
    The press whips things up and then says the people are upset - a self fulfilling prophesy. Novartis shareholders (small vocal minority), complain about pay, moving research to Cambridge, calandars with beautiful Swiss scenery, and etc, but never about performance or empty pipelines. It appears some want low paid executives (different ones as current leave for the competition), low performance and fewer NDS submissions to the FDA. But no fear; the noisy few have limited support, as the Board received 93 percent support. But non shareholders voting - who knows - Greece, here we come.
    4 Mar 2013, 07:29 AM Reply Like
  • steffie
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    One can only hope--with real hope now--that this will pass, add some common sense to the corporate world and be one of the necessary major game-changers.
    4 Mar 2013, 08:09 AM Reply Like
  • jfxwsr
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
    Democracy and large wealth divides are mutually exclusive. It's great to see the taking the lead in preserving democracy, and having a society that has mutual common interest. Go, Switzerland!


    When does the USA get that smart?
    4 Mar 2013, 12:44 PM Reply Like
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