Executive Remuneration in Crisis: A Critical Assessment of Reforms in Europe

Journal of Corporate Law Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2010

Posted: 13 Nov 2010

See all articles by Guido Ferrarini

Guido Ferrarini

University of Genoa - Law Department and Centre for Law and Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Niamh Moloney

London School of Economics - Law Department; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Maria Cristina Ungureanu

Sodali; Genoa Centre for Law and Finance, University of Genoa; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: April 1, 2010

Abstract

This article considers the regulation “on the books” of executive pay across the EU and the evidence “in action” on corporate practice concerning executive pay (based on disclosures by FTSE Eurofirst 300 companies) in relation to the best practice recommendations set out in two key Commission Recommendations from 2004 and 2005. It finds that Member State implementation of the two Recommendations has been patchy and, in particular, that reliance on Corporate Governance Codes has not resulted in the embedding of good practices, particularly with respect to disclosure concerning executive pay, across Europe’s largest companies. It argues that if the EU is to succeed in promoting stronger alignment between shareholder and manager interests by means of the executive pay contract, closer attention is needed to remuneration governance and that a mandatory, harmonised disclosure obligation should be introduced. Although the Commission has recently adopted a 2009 Recommendation on executive pay in the corporate sector generally as part of its response to the financial crisis, the article suggests that this attempt to influence the design of executive pay is misconceived and that attention would have been better focused on the enforcement of basic disclosure obligations.

Keywords: Executive remuneration, Corporate governance, EU regulation, Disclosure

JEL Classification: G30, G35, G38, J33, K22, M12, M52

Suggested Citation

Ferrarini, Guido and Moloney, Niamh and Ungureanu, Maria Cristina, Executive Remuneration in Crisis: A Critical Assessment of Reforms in Europe (April 1, 2010). Journal of Corporate Law Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1707334

Guido Ferrarini (Contact Author)

University of Genoa - Law Department and Centre for Law and Finance ( email )

Via Balbi, 22
16126 Genova, 16100
Italy
+39 010 209 9894 (Phone)
+39 010 209 9890 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.clfge.org

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

Niamh Moloney

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Maria Cristina Ungureanu

Sodali ( email )

9 West 57th Street
26th Floor
New York, NY 10019
United States

Genoa Centre for Law and Finance, University of Genoa ( email )

Genova
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.clfge.org

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecgi.org

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