Top CEO's 2009 Comp Said To Raise 'Serious Questions'

Reuters reports that US pay czar Ken Feinberg has said that Well Fargo CEO John Stumpf's $21.3m 2009 comp package raises 'serious questions', and he feels strongly that firms outside his jurisdiction should voluntarily adopting his recommendations on pay reform.

Feinberg also told CNBC that he wasn't 'buying it' that top talent was leaving firms with pay restrictions. He said: 'Where are these people all going ?....Show me the empirical evidence that these people are leaving'.

In the meantime, The Financial Times reports that the UK government is likely to 'reap' around $3.76bn as a result of the imposition of its one-off banker bonus tax. Left unsaid, however, is how much the UK government is likely to lose in tax revenues in the long term, as international firms look to generate business in more tax-certain regimes, and individual bankers decide that they are better-off financially plying their trade outside the UK.

The newspaper also reports that Nomura Chairman Junichi Ujiie has expressed concern about the UK tax situation, and warned against over-regulating financial markets firms. Ujiie told the FT that there was a danger that London's position as a major financial centre could be under threat if the trend continues.

And Bloomberg reports that ICAP is said to be considering shuttering its cash equities business (which employs some 200 people in eight countries), until it finds a buyer or partner, in view of a sharp drop-off in trading levels. The firm is said to have already held talks with State Street about a possible deal.

The news agency also reports that Royal Bank of Scotland has confirmed that it is in exploratory talks with a Chinese partner to establish a joint securities venture in China.

And The Wall Street Journal's Heard on the Street column has reported that Prudential PLC is 'leaving nothing to chance' as it attempts to raise $20bn via a rights issue in order to buy AIG's Asian businesses. The Pru is said to have lined up no less than 33 institutions in various roles to ensure that all goes smoothly.

Recruitment firm Michael Page International posted its 2009 results Friday, which saw pre-tax profit fall some 85% to $37.1m. The recruiter said, however, that it expected a significant improvement in its 2010 performance, as economies emerge from recent difficulties.

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Wells Fargo has said that it has the capacity to hire up to 10,000 additional financial advisors, although it wouldn't provide specific detail on its current hiring plans.

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