Monday, 29 December 2014

Poor share performance this year? It's all about bad management

It's been a year to forget for many big FTSE companies (Tesco, BP, Morrisons, Co-op, Barclays, etc.) Diving share prices for previous darlings of the sharemarket have made everyone a bit twitchy. Most of it can be blamed on bad management. The bastion of journalism that is the Daily Mail (hahahahahaha, ROFL) has gathered together a list of the retards and scum that control some of the UK's biggest companies.

It's not good reading and the biggest reason why the UK continues to flounder along. Bad management is endemic in the country. I can only guess why complete scumbags end up at the top of public companies. Here's a few reasons though:

- Clearly, almost none of management have 'skin in the game', you know real money invested in their companies so they all operate with a short term, scam-as-much-in-bonuses-as-I-can attitude. Fred the Shred Goodwin was the ultimate example of this.
- The Old Boys Network, nepotism, cronyism, etc. You name it the old pat on the back, you scratch me, I'll scratch you approach is rife in the UK. There's no meritocracy here and so the people who are least suited to leading are rewarded for their guile, cunning and poor behaviour.
- Bribery and Corruption - even companies which should be miles removed from bribery are well involved in it (GSK). You'd think the health and wellbeing of people would make you think twice about bribing people to use your products. Oh no, you thought wrong.
- The Class System - it still exists. It results in in-bred, backward idiots leaping ahead of the pack and gaining senior management positions.
- An inability of middle management to tell CEOs and corrupt boards to change their ways. Not sure why this exists but things are invariably too late when a 'whistle-blower' tells all.

I haven't even touched on the King of All Management Bastards, Bob Diamond, head of Barclays Bank who once paid himself £63M a year, decided that banks didn't need to apologise for their poor behaviours, and his bank while he was in charge was accused of rate rigging, money laundering, and tax avoidance.

These aren't just a few bad apples. They're everywhere. These are just the famous ones the media can be bothered to have a pot shot at. Every day you can check investegate and see the RNS of the public companies in the UK. I can't be bothered calculating it, but you can guarantee that about 10% of them each day are management awarding themselves additional share options, warrants, bonuses and other schemes to feather their nests.

I'm not sure why the UK tolerates it all and why workers don't demand better leadership.

Instead of whistle-blowing, rioting on the streets or burning down their offices they appear to be giving up and starting new decent companies. It's heartening to hear someone who actually might be a decent leader commenting on the growth of new companies. (it's in the last couple of paragraphs).

He adds: 'Last year there was a record number of new companies created. This year that record will be beaten. A recent survey by a quite serious authority rated Britain fourth best country in the world to start a business.'
'We've created more jobs in the private sector in this country over the last four years than the whole of the rest of the EU put together, which is an utterly remarkable statistic. It just shows that having a flexible economy with a culture that embraces entrepreneurship is a good thing.'
When Branson called 2014, the year of the Entrepreneur back in Dec 2013, it appears he may have been right.

Maybe we're heading in the right direction and these last seven years have been about getting rid of the blight that has infected the UK.

In the US, one company (Abbott Laboratories) seems to have the right idea and is training management not just on the job but in simulations too. You have to applaud the balls to try new things in management, you never know you just might find someone good. Besides they can't be as bad as the current batch.