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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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How to profit from a Senate vote

Category : Business

How can you tell which sectors will benefit from a bill’s passage? Look at the votes of senators with the biggest vested interests.

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Next chief Lord Wolfson returns his £640,000 bonus payout

Category : Business

Next will also cut executive payouts by shrinking a separate incentive scheme that hands out bonus shares

Lord Wolfson, the chief executive of fashion chain Next, has handed back £640,000 of his long term bonus. The move by the Conservative Party adviser came as the retailer, which has maintained a reputation for fair remuneration policies despite the recent focus on executive pay, also moved to cut potential rewards paid out to its top executives by clamping down on another incentive scheme that hands executives bonus shares.

In its annual report the company said: “The value of awards that vested this year is higher than last year … The [remuneration] committee has determined that the maximum value of any LTIP [long term incentive plan] awards that vest for a participant in a year should be capped at £2.5m and, following discussions with the chief executive, this cap will be applied to his awards that have vested this year”.

Wolfson, who has headed one of the few retailers to defy the high street gloom, had been in line for more than £3.1m in shares via the LTIP scheme for his work during the years 2008 and 2009. Instead he received £1.6m during the year, with a further £900,000 to be paid this month. The size of the initial reward had been inflated by a strong rise in the group’s share price rise during the life of the scheme. In addition, for the year to the end of January 2012, Wolfson earned £1.49m in salary, annual bonus and benefits, down from £1.76m during the previous period.

Meanwhile, Next’s remuneration committee has also watered down the group’s share matching plan, that was launched with much fanfare two years ago to replace Next’s private equity-style pay schemes that never actually paid out.

Under the share matching scheme, executives will no longer be able to spend their entire cash bonus buying shares, instead being limited to between £50,000 and £125,000. Also, the company will now only give executives one share, instead of two, for every share acquired, while performance thresholds have increased.

Former RSA chief’s £500,000 golden goodbye took total pay to £4.6m

Category : Business

Andy Haste stepped down of his own accord in August after eight years at the helm

Insurer RSA, which owns the More Than car and home insurance brand, paid its former chief executive Andy Haste £4.6m last year.

Haste stepped down in August after eight years at the helm, and received a golden farewell of £500,000 in cash even though he left of his own accord at the end of the year. This catapulted his pay, benefits and bonus package to £2.8m last year, up 27% from 2010. In addition, he pocketed £1.8m from vested shares under the company’s long-term incentive plan.

An RSA spokesman said the cash payment reflected the fact that Haste’s 12-month notice period was cut short when Simon Lee, who previously ran the insurer’s international division, took the reins in December. Haste, 50, who is credited with delivering a strong recovery after RSA’s asbestos-induced crisis in 2002, has yet to find a new job.

“Is he worth it? Absolutely,” said Panmure Gordon analyst Barrie Cornes, adding that Haste had been a “superb CEO for RSA” and was “probably the most highly perceived chief executive among UK insurers”. There has been speculation that Haste could succeed Aviva boss Andrew Moss.

He was also touted as a possible chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland’s Direct Line insurance business, which has been revamped as RBSI and is expected to float later this year, but that job went to insurance industry veteran Mike Biggs, the chairman of life insurer Resolution and a former finance director of Aviva.

Haste, who quit a year after his bold stab at buying Aviva’s general insurance operations failed, received a salary of £956,000 and a cash bonus of £883,000 for 2011, as well as allowances and benefits worth £932,000, including the golden farewell. As well as the £1.8m from vested shares, he also still holds 8.6m shares worth £8.9m at Tuesday’s price of 102.8p.

RSA’s outgoing finance director George Culmer, who will join Lloyds Banking Group in May on a total package worth up to £6m after three years, forfeited his RSA bonus and unvested shares. He received £703,000 last year, down from £1.15m in 2010. Lloyds agreed to pay him nearly £2m in compensation for his lost RSA bonus and shares.

Lee received a pay and bonus package of £1.15m, up from £935,000 in 2010, as well as £809,045 from vested shares. He also holds 3.8m shares that are currently worth £3.9m.

In a shift in merger and acquisition strategy, Lee has indicated that only small bolt-on acquisitions will be considered – which Cornes described as “disappointingly restrictive given the potentially available acquisition opportunities at this point in the underwriting cycle”. Haste is thought to have left because he could not pull off a big transformational deal.

Alaska’s oil windfall

Category : Business

Alaska has a big vested interest in high oil and gas prices.

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‘Stress test’ a charade for banks

Category : World News

The editorial “Power users on the hook” (Jan. 27), wittingly or otherwise, contains a perspicacious “King’s New Clothes” revelation in the seventh paragraph: “Banks are pressuring Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) to restart the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant and to raise power rates as the conditions for new loans.”
So! The cat’s out of the bag. This whole nuclear plant “stress-test” charade has little to do with nuclear safety (an oxymoron anyway) and everything to do with providing a fig leaf for the urgent matter of getting back to nuclear business as usual under the tutelage of the banks and other vested interests. Bravo for making this clear.

Continued here: ‘Stress test’ a charade for banks

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