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Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego es un empresario mexicano, Fundador y Presidente de Grupo Salinas. Es un hombre cuyas convicciones y pensamiento se reflejan claramente en su obra así como en sus actividades empresariales. Es un hombre de familia, forjado en el valor del trabajo, la tenacidad, el esfuerzo y la pasión para alcanzar los sueños. Se considera un optimista nato.

Contador Público por el Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, cuenta con una Maestría en negocios por la Universidad de Tulane; sin embargo, no cree que los títulos académicos otorguen conocimiento por encima de la experiencia. Desde muy joven desarrolló su instinto empresarial en diversos negocios. Imposible es una palabra que no está en su diccionario.

Lector apasionado de la historia, sus personajes, el arte, la ciencia, la tecnología así como los negocios y finanzas, gusta de compartir sus intereses y no duda en manifestar su opinión sobre diversos temas de interés, como lo hace regularmente en su blog. Sus ideas las ha expuesto el Foro Económico Mundial de Davos, en The Young President’s Organization, The Economist Mexico Business Roundtable, el Instituto de las Américas, la Cámara de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, UCLA, TED, CAP, The Aspen Institute, The New York Forum, Universidad de Michigan, Universidad de Georgetown y la Escuela de Negocios de Harvard, donde usualmente trata asuntos relacionados con liderazgo, globalización, gobierno corporativo y las oportunidades en la base de la pirámide.

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The United States’ New “Public” Company

Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

In a recent entry, I touched on American corporate governance. . The topic is worth revisiting, and I will continue to do so, because structural deficiencies largely explain the causes of today’s global crisis and are partly responsible for the creation of the new “public” companies in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

It’s worth noting that the U.S. corporate governance —or “non-governance”— model, is based on many shareholders that are very short-term investors. In fact, people who hold shares for a single day count just as much and vote just the same way as someone who has invested in the company for a decade. This is absurd. Shareholders are also completely atomized. This reduces their right to a say and a vote, and delegates excessive powers in an unqualified board of directors, co-opted by management and without a long-term vision.

This type of board tends to include people who are not up to the job because of the phenomenon of adverse selection, since accepting a post involves considerable personal risk and few proportional benefits.

With a situation like this, nobody controls or directs upper management, which soon enters into conflicts of interest with shareholders regarding things like executive bonuses and luxury perks like private airplanes, US$35,000 rugs, etc.

As we watch a plethora of cases —all pathetic— of sky-high bonuses being paid out at companies on the verge of bankruptcy like AIG, we should consider that these million-dollar prizes are just the tip of the iceberg of the excesses committed by top executives at big corporations.

Another grave structural problem is top corporate executives’ lack of a long-term vision. Executives aren’t kept on if they don’t present short-term gains. This forces them to take excessive risks to show short-term “results,” and even when they fail, they’re awarded another kind of multi-million-dollar prize: the golden parachute!

All these structural problems have been attacked using excessive, often absurd regulation, with very poor results and extremely high legal and accounting costs, which also atrophy and slow down business operations. The result is a perverse, destructive dynamic for value creation.

“Public” Companies

Many of the companies that failed due to short-term outlooks and top management excesses, under the auspices of this poor system of corporate governance, will be partially or completely nationalized as part of the government bail-out to prevent complete collapse. These are the new “public” companies, making it a good time to briefly review our terminology.

In the United States and Britain, “public” companies are firms listed on the stock market, and government-owned companies are called “government-sponsored entities” (GSE).

In Mexico and Latin America, the term “public company” is used to describe both the firms owned by the government and those listed on the stock market. In my opinion, it would be better to use the term “public” to describe the firms controlled by the government, and the term “listed” to describe the companies listed on the stock market and controlled by private individuals.

But today in the United States, the big banks and other companies that are getting help from the government —or rather, the taxpayers— are now really going to be “public” companies in all the senses of the word because they will be controlled by the government, even though the mandate isn’t so clear.

“Executives” of these kinds of companies will no longer feel like they’re executives because they’ll be subject to wage ceilingsjust like their public servant counterparts. Given government track records for efficiency, we can only imagine the pending impact on performance.

All of this is very unfortunate since the current environment requires discipline and entrepreneurial vision that create value, not additional bureaucracy.

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22.March.09
Luis, USA:

Juan Pablo I read with interest your comments to this blog, and agree with you on the subject of the relativity of wealth. In the corporate world a company has to grow and expand otherwise it becomes stale and dies. But this growth has have some check and balances and reasonability otherwise we will see again a disaster cause by those who ran the companies in an environment of free for all, of no accountability and of short sidedness. On the subject of giving back I can see by looking in his website, that this man Salinas, does do his share while still at the helm of his enterprises.

22.March.09
ErreEle, Punta del Este, Uruguay:

Estoy de acuerdo con lo expresado en el artículo. Es necesaria la disciplina y la visión empresarial ; podríamos padecer de infintos traspiés si nos empeñamos en un manejo obtuso de la economía , con la propia miopía de quienes nos antecedieron. Hay muchos emprendimientos para realizar en el sur del continente, siempre y cuando el interés beneficie el desarrollo planificado. Ricardo, quedamos en contacto.·.

20.March.09
Ramsés, Tijuana:

Considero muy irresponsable la actitud de estas empresas que "premian" a sus ejecutivos por enfilar a sus compañias al desastre, forzando en cierta forma al gobierno a "entrarle al quite" para componer las cosas, y al final de cuentas ¿quien paga los platos rotos?, ¿no existe dolo de por medio?.

18.March.09
Juan Pablo , Guatemala:

Creo que es muy facil ser juez o arbitro desde el graderio, aceptemoslo los niveles de sofisticacion a que llegaron las empresas americanas en el tema de "management" han sido y creo seguiran siendo el paradigma a imitar pues sus practicas las llevaron a ser las grandes empresas que son y seguiran siendo... No nos confundamos esto es una frontera, se hablan dos idiomas por lo menos y diferentes valores, o sea es un espacio incierto y temporal... nuestros paises latinoamericanos distan mucho de llegar a esos niveles y sin embargo veremos empresas gigantes y pequeñas caer... es un nuevo orden. La pregunta es cual es el sistema sugerido? por que? a quien le funciono? a quienes beneficia? al final todos tienen que practicar uno y dudo que sea infalible, lo cierto es que los empresarios deben dejar de ver el mundo a travez del balance y estado de resultados... la riqueza es relativa... "Steve jobs felicito una vez a su rival Bill gates por su fundacion pues le dijo que al menos no sera recordado como el hombre mas rico del cementerio..." Saludos.

CERRAR

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