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CME Group (CME): A Bloated Board with Absurd Consequences
Posted by: Frank Voisin (IP Logged)
Date: March 23, 2012 07:32AM
CME Group Inc (CME) operates a derivatives clearinghouse as well as futures exchanges and other trading platforms covering all major asset classes. The company is the result of a 2007 merger between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. One byproduct of this merger is that CME now operates the world’s largest futures exchange. Another consequence is that the company has an extremely bloated board of directors with more than 30 members! From the New York Times:
Quote:Normally boards comprise between seven and twelve members, with most companies at nine. This ensures reasonable coverage of needed skills and allows for consistent director engagement. The smaller the board, the less coverage you get, and the larger the board, the less engaged it becomes (e.g. it is unlikely that CME’s board meetings are three times as long as the average board, giving every director a chance to participate to the same extent!). There are other problems too:
Quote:The practicality of having so many directors even leads to some absurdities:
Quote:So despite having more representatives than perhaps any other company in America, shareholders of CME have less insight into who their representatives are and what skills they possess. Is that an advanced degree in accounting, or pipefitting? According to the proxy statement, never you mind.
Ok, perhaps this is too touchy-feely for MBA types, so let’s get down to brass tacks: money. As you would expect, having more than three times the regular number of directors does not mean each director is only paid a third of what a director at a regular company would earn:
Quote:Yikes! Fortunately, CME is slimming down, aiming to reduce its board from 32 to 30 this year. As the New York Times states with, I am sure, tongue firmly in cheek:
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Re CME Group CME A Bloated Board with Absurd Consequences
Posted by: C.W.R. (IP Logged)
Date: March 25, 2012 04:29AM
An out-of-the-way insight into the workings of early 21st Century American finance. Just that many more foxes watching out for the hen house.