La rémunération des dirigeants des sociétés cotées : de la morale à la réforme
The question Directors’ remuneration in listed companies is a burning issue that the legislator has been trying to address through different reforms introduced in the past years. Although these legal reforms pursue the praiseworthy goal of raising the ‘moral standards’ with regard to Directors’ remuneration in listed companies, they have not succeeded in putting and end to the abuses. However, these reforms have the merit to exist and, to a certain extent, they have strengthened the control over the management remuneration of listed companies, although their approach is not convincing. Hence, they are devoid of coherence since different rules deal each with scattered questions. Moreover, important aspects related to listed company law such as structural questions and the issue of distribution of power are left unaddressed. Following a prospective approach, this study anticipates what could be expected from those reforms and the possible orientations of the regulation in the future. The successive reforms on Directors’ remuneration did not follow the classical methods and sources of company law. They set forth a number of bans which are unusual in company law. At the same time, the role of soft law has been strengthened by the arrival in France of the Anglo-Saxon principle “comply or explain”. These different initiatives have produced unsatisfactory results. The soft law stayed in the shadow of the hard law and, with the different bans, a risk of involvement in the management of the company was created without achieving the goal of moralizing the remuneration of directors. With the limits of the current approaches of the reforms, different routes could be explored, one of which is the distribution of power between the different managing bodies of the company. Hence, from the stand point of company law, the question of the management remuneration cannot be effectively addressed without dealing with the composition of the different bodies of the company. This approach has been absent in the French public debate. However the redistribution of power between the different bodies of the company is closely connected to the question of remuneration and seems to constitute a pertinent approach against excessive remunerations. In this respect, the institutionalization of independent directors and remuneration committees appears to be a realistic and promising solution. Of course this approach is not an infallible remedy. It has however the merit to establish balancing mechanisms within the boards of companies that could make the remuneration of the managers more objective.
Volume (Year): t.XXIV (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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