Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Cox Review on short-termism

Labour's own review of potential policy responses to short-termism, led by former IoD head Sir George Cox, is out and can be downloaded here.

Will try to blog on it later, but notable that there is a practical proposal for dealing with the way that M&A is voted on. Rather than a specific qualifying period, the proposal is that you can only vote on a deal proposal if you were on the share register at the time the deal was announced. However Cox does seem sympathetic to a qualifying period and says that this may need to be revisited.

Notably M&A was one of the areas where the Kay Review was weakest in terms of recommendations. In addition this is one area where I suspect that many business people do think a less economically liberal approach would be worthwhile. So there's a good bit of distance between Labour and the Coalition on this.

PS. Also spotted this -

There is also an important consideration of motivation of a company’s workforce to support the pursuit of a long-term vision, accepting change en route. Trade unions argue that the best way to bring this about is by having worker representation on boards, as is the case in Germany.
However, the many arguments for and against such a move are outside the scope of this study.

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