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    商業 - 金融

    華爾街高管薪酬:高,是有道理的!

    Martin Armstrong 2015年03月24日

    英國保誠集團CEO譚天忠離職的消息一經傳開,該公司市值旋即縮水近20億美元,而其新東家瑞士信貸的股價則飆漲7%。與上述數字相比,譚天忠高達1300萬美元的薪酬似乎不算什么。在人才競爭白熱化的今天,人們應該更加關注華爾街金融高管對公司和股東所做的貢獻,而不是孤立地揪住他們的薪酬不放。

    ????瑞士信貸新CEO譚天忠

    ????銀行家的薪酬一直受到滿懷妒意的關注。如果你想在引文詞典中找到對銀行家價值的正面評價,恐怕窮盡一生也找不到。

    ????自從全球金融危機在2008年爆發以來,這種關注和抱怨就不斷加劇。隨著大部分經濟體正在逐漸走出衰退,這場爭論也變得更加激烈:一些人聲稱,所謂的薪酬通脹預示著華爾街的魯莽行為再次抬頭,而正是這種輕率之舉導致房地產市場在2008年轟然塌陷,它還說明監管不力——大部分人都認為嚴格監管是一件“好事”。

    ????我認為,無論是過去,還是現在,銀行家的薪酬一直都很合理。大多數批評者的衡量標準并不正確,或者說他們根本就沒有審視衡量標準。比如,英國保誠集團首席執行官譚天忠上周二離職的消息,導致該公司市值縮水了接近20億美元。為什么?因為許多人認為譚天忠在這個位置上做得十分出色,保誠集團的股價縮水恰好證明了他的價值。而譚天忠離職后加入瑞士信貸的消息一經披露,該公司的股價即刻上漲了7%。譚天忠的薪酬待遇并未公布,不過據說他前任的薪酬為9100萬美元。相比之下,譚天忠2013年在保誠集團的薪酬僅為1300萬美元。我們可以推斷,對于保誠集團而言,由于難以提供足以媲美瑞士信貸有可能開出的薪酬,任何想要挽留他的想法都會變得難以啟齒。

    ????這里還有另外一個因素。一位備受尊敬的首席執行官的酬勞,總是與股價表現掛鉤的。為一家市場估值偏低,或是一家CEO認為自己能做出重大貢獻的企業工作,也是很有誘惑力的,這一點不容忽視。在譚天忠的案例中,他或許認為自己在保誠集團的使命已經完成。非常令人好奇的是,宣布跳槽前,瑞士信貸是否為他開出了與股價掛鉤的薪酬基準。

    ????從根本上來說,市場是由信仰和認知所決定的。想想這個簡單的等式:“認知-現實=企業價值?!比绻袌鰧镜墓乐狄幌伦咏档土?0億美元,那么高管的“價值”顯然是其薪酬的好多倍。在譚天忠的案例中,股價的下跌幅度甚至是他薪酬的15倍。對持有股票的股東來說,首席執行官突然變得極具價值。

    ????我們很容易發現是什么促成了嫉妒和批評的聲音。從外行的角度看,數百萬美元的薪酬總是顯得過多。而找個令人感動的參照物(人們經常以護士、救火隊員或警官的薪水作為比較對象)非常容易。但這種第一印象的“分析”沒有考慮到任何有意義的參照環境。為了帶領公司進軍新市場,首席執行官已經采取了什么措施?分析家如何評價公司的股票?在他們的任職期內,股價表現如何?在他們上任前,股價又表現如何?

    ????在我的公司,我們十分關注個人的投資回報率,并在公司資產負債表上單列出高管的影響力,以評價他或她是否適合從事目前的工作。這是一種有用且有益的方式,可以消除情緒因素,用十分務實的方式來評估一個人的價值。

    ????銀行、基金會和其他金融機構的首席執行官要面對來自具備競爭力的同事、董事會、股東和媒體的強大壓力。在一位極其專業的首席執行官的帶領下,一家實力強勁的金融部門能夠影響廣泛的經濟活動、帶動投資、推動稅收收入,進而促進公共部門投資。

    ????在這場關于高管酬勞的大辯論中,另一個被忽略的因素是市場就是市場。在過去,高管招聘的范圍通常局限在一國之內。而如今,各大公司都在全球各地物色人才。就像主要金融市場一樣,尋找和安置人才也在承受著巨大的競爭壓力。一切事物、一切人都是有價的——在這樣一個“沒有錢是萬萬不能的”世界上,任何試圖抑制高管財富的做法都是行不通的。如果我們給薪酬設置上限,或采取其他方式對高管薪酬加以限制,那就會給我們自己的金融機構帶來危險,那些全球領先的金融機構,將會由二流甚至三流的高管來掌舵,這會衍生許多風險,進而為整個經濟帶來嚴重后果。

    ????在我看來,我們最好還是撤回鏡頭,從更廣的范圍看看這些金融高管對他們公司的貢獻,而不是孤立地揪住他們的薪酬不放。

    ????高管離職導致股價降低的案例還有許多。約翰?邦德先生在2006年6月離開了匯豐銀行控股公司,自那以后,該公司在亞洲經濟繁榮的情況下,股價依舊下跌了50%,在一次又一次危機中艱難前行。而在華爾街和倫敦以外,也有其他的例子。英國頂級零售商特易購自從德高望重的特里?利亞離職后,也遭遇了股價跳水。安吉拉?阿倫茨在2014年離開了博柏利,導致該公司市值猛跌8.05億美元。哈利特?格林在2014年離開了航空公司托馬斯?庫克,也致使公司市值縮水了5.41億美元。

    ????因此要給招聘人員、監管人員、股東和評論員提個醒:“減少高管薪酬支出,并不意味著你的收益就會多一點?!保ㄘ敻恢形木W)

    ????作者馬丁?阿姆斯特朗是金融服務高管研究公司Armstrong International的董事長。他咨詢的范圍包括公司文化和人才問題,也是許多全球頂級首席執行官和政治家的職業生涯顧問。

    ????譯者:嚴匡正

    ????審校:任文科

    ????Bankers’ compensation have always been the subject of envious scrutiny. Search the Dictionary of Quotations for something positive on the value of bankers and you’ll probably search forever.

    ????This scrutiny and caterwauling has, if anything, intensified since the global financial crisis started in 2008. As most economies emerge from recession, the debate is compounded by the assertion that so-called inflated pay packages are symptomatic of a return to the recklessness that caused the 2008 housing market crash in the first place and a lack of regulatory rigor, which most would contend would be a ‘good thing.’

    ????My argument is that bankers are fairly rewarded and always have been. The critics are mostly looking at the wrong metrics – or not looking at metrics at all. On Tuesday, for instance, the CEO of Prudential Insurance left the business, wiping nearly $2 billion off the share price. Why? TidjaneThiam is perceived by many to have done an outstanding job at the helm, and the fall in the value of Prudential is testament to the regard in which he is held. Thiam has left Prudential for Credit Suisse , whose share price soared 7% in the wake of the announcement. Thiam’s compensation package has not yet been disclosed, but his predecessor’s package was reportedly $91 million. By comparison, Thiam’s package at Prudential was $13 million in 2013. We can assume that any thoughts that Prudential had of talking him round were hampered by the difficulty they would face in attempting to match (and disclosing) what Credit Suisse must have offered.

    ????There is another factor at play here. A highly regarded CEO has his or her remuneration linked to share price performance. The allure of working for a business that the markets are undervaluing – or one where the CEO believes a significant contribution can be made – cannot be ignored. In Thiam’s case, he might well have calculated that his work at Prudential had been done. It would be intriguing to learn whether the benchmark for share price-based remuneration was set prior to the announcement.

    ????Markets, fundamentally, are all about faith and perceptions. Consider this simple equation: ‘Perception minus reality equals enterprise value.’ If the market discounts the value of the business by $2 billion, clearly the chief executives’ ‘value’ is a huge multiple of his pay package. In Thiam’s case, the share price fall was a 15 time multiple of his package. Suddenly, to shareholders that hold his stock, he or she starts to look like outstanding value for money.

    ????It is easy to see what fuels the voices of envy and criticism. From a layperson’s perspective a multi-million dollar package is always going to look excessive. Finding an emotive comparator (the equivalent number of nurses, firemen or police officers is an established trope) is easy to do. But what this first flush ‘analysis’ misses is any useful context. What has he or she done to lead the business into new markets? How do analysts rate the stock? How has the share price performed under his or her tenure? How did it perform prior to his or her arrival?

    ????In my business, we look closely at an individual’s return on investment, separating out the impact of an executive from the corporate balance sheet to assess his or her appropriateness for a role. It is a useful and salutary exercise, stripping away the emotion and assessing an individual in a very pragmatic way.

    ????Chief executives of banks, funds and other financial institutions are under intense pressure from their competitive peers, their Boards, their shareholders and the media. A strong financial sector, led by an expert CEO, creates ripples in the wider economy, enabling investment, driving taxation receipts that enable public sector investment and more.

    ????The other missing component in the debate about executive remuneration is that markets are markets. It used to be that most recruitment for executive roles took place within borders. Headhunting now takes place on a global savannah. Finding and placing talent is subject to the same intense competitive pressures that pulsate through the major markets. Everything and everyone has a price – and any containment strategy related to executive wealth is an unhelpful intrusion by God into the world of Mammon. If we allow caps or other restrictive mechanisms to intrude too sharply into the subject of executive pay, we run the risk that our financial institutions, the boiler rooms of many of the world’s leading economies, will be run by second or third-division saints with all the incumbent risk that that creates – and with all the wider consequences for the economy as a whole.

    ????Better, in my view, to draw back the lens and look at the contribution of financial executives to their businesses more widely than remain fixated on the ambit of their pay in isolation.

    ????There are many other examples of post-departure share price decline. Sir John Bonds exited HSBC holdings in June 2006 and since then the share price has declined 50%, despite an Asian boom and has limped from crisis to crisis. Outside Wall Street and London, there are other examples. Tesco, the UK’s leading retailer, has seen its share price plummet since the departure of the highly-regarded Terry Leahy. Angela Ahrendts left Burberry in 2014, wiping $805 million off Burberry’s value. Harriet Green left Thomas Cook in 2014, the impact of which knocked $541 million off the firm’s value.

    ????A cautionary note to recruiters, regulators, shareholders and commentators: ‘less does not equal more.’

    ????Martin Armstrong is Chairman of Armstrong International, a financial services executive search firm. He advises corporations on cultural and talent-related issues and is career advisor to many leading CEOs and politicians.

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