Allister Heath writes on the excessive response of the regulator in this instance:
Thiam’s decision not to tell the FSA about his attempted bid for AIA for two weeks – he was worried the story would leak if too many people knew about it, and it eventually did – means he is the only FTSE 100 financial chief executive to receive a sanction – and his firm is being hit with the FSA’s fifth-largest fine ever. At best, this is case of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The regulators need to do their real jobs, something they spent many years failing to do, not go after the likes of Thiam.
“The UK is becoming an increasingly unsafe regulatory environment for CEOs. This is a classic example of retrospective punitive legislation, and it is bad legislation...because those who are subject to it learn little from this decision about where their obligations lie,” he said.
“Few, if any, could have identified from the FSA’s vague principles the precise point at which notification should have been made,” he added.
Seven executive directors including Thiam were paid over £1.8m, totalling over £33m (an average of £4.8m per executive director).