December 2, 2013
I support the Security Exchange Commissions proposed rule 953(b) to require CEO-pay-to-worker ratio disclosure.
Although I am a Senior Writer/Analyst for The Motley Fool, I am in no way representing any official stance of The Motley Fool on this issue, but rather sharing my own opinion as an individual investor.
Full transparency on material issues should be of the utmost concern to the SECs role in the public dissemination of information for public companies shareholders. Investors would still be free to weigh their own opinions regarding the data and whether they believe this ratio is significant data for their investment decisions. Increasing numbers of investors do want to weigh this factor.
Public companies provision of such material information for investors analysis and decision-making in buying stocks of public companies is more important than many critics contend. Widely disparate compensation ratios run the major risk of deteriorating employee morale and chipping away at corporations fundamental strengths.
Employees make up companies basic foundations. Endangering employees desires to work hard, increase productivity, exhibit loyalty, and aim for excellence and innovation is a major risk if wide disparities exist. Intellectual capital is a terrible intangible asset for any corporation to lose if it wants to survive over the long term.
Further, investors such disclosure allows investors to also consider outsized CEO pays impact on shareholder capital as well.
Some corporations managements and boards have already moved to disclose such information, and some have already put in place CEO compensation structures that wouldnt suffer negative publicity from this data disclosure. They already respect employees and shareholders enough to have built corporations beyond management-centric incentives.
Information is a key factor in modern investing as well as modern society. Investors in all walks of life deserve to have the options to weigh such factors, even if they are currently viewed as non-traditional.
One of my favorite quotes related to disclosure:
"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants electric light the most efficient policeman.
- Justice Louis D. Brandeis"