Thursday 23 May 2013

Fees versus our dignity

Looking at the economic system and our current business culture there are many things that capture my curiosity where changes in mentality, reform or improvement are drastically needed in how we treat each other whereby increasing respect, integrity and synergy. Many might disagree with me although, I am of the belief that this change must be linked to a renewed cohesive force in our moral behaviour, training, conscience and renewed purpose implying gentle changes and creative thinking in our corporate culture, sense of direction and business practices in the financial sector where Time MCG has its core focus.

To avoid getting carried away I would like to discuss the topic of fees. When I was in Executive Search in the Netherlands and before that in recruitment, regarding our fee structure we would charge clients on the basis of a third of the persons annual pay. I regret back then that I put price tags on people and I ended up looking at experienced professionals at how much they were worth or as a commodity as opposed to their talent.  There were often times I never acted in the interest of the candidate and only in my own interest resulting in poor misjudged advice both ways if the employer was keen to hire the person. I knew there was something wrong and towards the end of my tenure I started offering normal fees calculated on my work and contribution which in the end would allow me to look at others differently and therefore treat others with more respect. The system was not dissimilar to football and how players are bought and sold at prices that beggars belief with agents behind it.

It was also reported in the Daily Telegraph April 4th 2013, last year Anthony Salz, a veteran lawyer, investment banker and vice chairman of Rothschild’s was commissioned by Barclays last year to review their difficulties for a period of 8 months. Rothschild’s demanded €1.7million in pay from Barclays for his release.

I could imagine a future scenario whilst running a large business I walk into a chairman’s office of another large business and would ask my fellow peer if I could buy his Global Head of Lending for six months at a round figure because I may need to borrow him or her for a while. Imagine then that each person in their position had its own agent who was behind the buying and selling? Is this how desperate our economics is leading us to? Are we becoming like the footballers and their agents? Are people in their own right becoming their own profit centre?

Money on Wikipedia by definition is described as any object or record that is used in exchange for goods and services. People are not added to this definition. Since when have I become a commodity, profit centre, cost or unit, service or good or part of a human capital?  How is it possible that an intelligent or educated person in business would want to buy and sell me or even rule me this way? I am a person that is unique in me who can add value and contribute that deserves to be respected.  My value added if you like is part of my talent, my core principles, my knowledge, and my skills.  I should hope that I am very beneficial to where there is a need and to where I feel most fulfilled at my choice without any chain.
Anthony Salz is described as a veteran lawyer, surely knows full well that the abolishment of slavery act was in 1833. UK as a nation was proud of being one of the first that unshackled people.

The solutions we will need to look at; reform and renewed thinking in contract negotiations for people and how we calculate our fee structures, eliminating percentages for example and encourage others to return fees down to sensible levels based on our work and valued contribution.  Perhaps more simply put, ban these modern medieval practices in all sections of our society which only incites greed, poor conduct and weak judgement. This way we can show the rest of the world how civilised we are in Europe with our economic system. I am certain these changes will allow ourselves to further unleash our creativity and talent in our advance forward in humanity. I dare say Arsene Wenger might not mind.

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