Today we learn that Dominic D’Alessandro, the CEO of Manulife, is attempting to make amends with his shareholders over his 2009 compensation payments. Forget about Manulife’s shareholders, when will Dominic make amends with all Canadians?
In the greater scheme of things who really cares whether Dominic D’Alessandro has or thinks he will make amends with Manulife’s shareholders by placing at risk some of his $12.6 million in compensation that he received as a windfall for five months of work in 2009, at a time when Manulife’s stock had tanked by 70%. This change in compensation is being motivated by the comment of: “I decided to take control of the situation myself, because it's my reputation that's at issue here, nobody else's”, said Dominic D’Alessandro.
Well if he’s worried about his reputation being at stake, then he has a much larger body of people to concern himself with , than Manulife shareholders, however many of them there might be, How about the 70% of Canadians who are without pensions for whom he played a key role in DEPRIVING THEM of an essential investment vehicle. An investment vehicle that gave them DIRECT INVESTMENT in the Canadian economy and that flowed taxes into Ottawa like never before. See October 27, 2006 Globe article by Steven Chase entitled “Tax cash floods in, leaving experts at a loss”. Instead Dominic D’Alessandro’s Machiavellian view of the economy was driven by all things Dominic-centric and all things Manulife-centric and meant taking away investment choices from Canadians in order to make them MORE CAPTIVE to the wares of Manulife. Instead of direct investments in Canada’s economy and a booming new issues market on the TSX, where income trusts were 50% of the new issue business, we had Manulife launching Income Plus the very week of Flaherty’s surprise income trust announcement. I wonder how much of a surprise it was to Manulife?
Manulife’s Dominic D’Alessandro would probably not have found himself in the position of having to make amends with Manulife shareholders had it not, IRONICALLY, have been for Income Plus. Dominic’s ill-fated decision to NOT HEDGE the risks associated with Income Plus turned it into a Liability Plus, and was the main cause of Manulife’s stock tanking by 70%. Of course these Manulife shareholders should be upset with a Board, that ostensibly represents shareholders ,who arbitrarily hands $12.6 million in discretionary pay to someone who made the pivotal decision to take on undisclosed risks that saw their investments drop by 70%. This is a quantum measure worse than the CEO of GM traveling to Washington for a government bailout by way of the company’s private jet. I guess Washington lawmakers know a thing or two about corporate governance and public opinion than the Board of Directors of Manulife.
As for making amends with ALL CANADIANS on his role and the role of other MANAGERS of Canadian corporations behind the scenes, that led up to Stephen Harper’s fateful betrayal of ALL TAXPAYERS on the income trusts betraya, I think the place for Dominic D’Alessandro to start, on his road to Damascus, is for him to begin by recanting the absurd and patently false testimony that he gave in Parliament, on February 1, 2007, of:
“The notion and the implication that somehow the government on this [income trust tax] file is responding to initiatives that originated with corporations is not based on reality.”
Which we know to be false because it was reported at the time of the income trust Halloween massacre in the Globe on November 1, 2006, that :
““High-profile directors and CEOs, meanwhile, had approached Mr. Flaherty personally to express their concerns: Many felt they were being pressed into trusts because of their duty to maximize shareholder value, despite their misgivings about the structure. Paul Desmarais Jr., the well-connected chairman of Power Corp. of Canada, even railed against trusts in a conversation with Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a trip to Mexico, and told him he should act quickly to stop the raft of conversions, according to sources.”
Dominic D’Alessandro and Paul Desmarais Jr, are both CEO’s of Life Companies and both serve on the Board of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives as Vice-Chairman of that self interest group of lofty business managers. How could he not have known, while at the same time he professes to speak to Parliament on behalf of what the government was doing and the activities of ALL corporations and not simply the conduct of Manulife.
Time for him to make amends to ALL CANADIANS if Dominic’s goal is to “take control of the situation myself, because it's my reputation that's at issue here, nobody else's”. In the greater scheme of things, Manulife shareholders mean nothing, and nor does Dominic’s tinkering with his compensation.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 10:41 AM