Performance-Linked Bank Is No Guarantee of Good Performance

Sallie Krawcheck in Harvard Business Review:

Multiple academic studies done since the financial crisis have shown a strong correlation between “shareholder friendly” governance and compensation policies and financial distress during the crisis. The financial company executives with the biggest equity stakes at the end of 2006 were James Cayne, of Bear Stearns; Richard Fuld, of Lehman Brothers; Stan O’Neal, of Merrill Lynch; Angelo Mozilo, of Countrywide; and Robert J. Glickman, of Corus Bankshares, according to Rüdiger Fahlenbrach and René M. Stulz, the authors of one of these studies. Not exactly a great advertisement for increasing stock-based compensation.
She suggests that bank executives should be paid in bonds as well as stock as a source of further skin the game, although in light of these findings I don’t have huge confidence that fiddling with the compensation formula is some kind of magic ticket.