Unintended consequences: Europe's shift to the left
A French client recently asked me to guide the buyer of his company toward cash retention bonuses rather than options. I asked him why. He said that options are viewed as "a capitalist tool invented in America to benefit the rich." He also said that options may be regulated out of existence in France. Now that Hollande has won the election, his prediction may come true. Some of my smartest, hardest working clients have been French, but they operate in a culture of unions and entitlement, rather than ownership. Silicon Valley was built on small salaries and big equity grants. Ironically, trending away from ownership as an incentive will ultimately increase the power of capital in France by creating an unfair advantage for companies and investors with sufficient capital to fund cash incentives, while undermining the companies with innovative ideas but small capital.
Posted by NatBurgess, President on 30 May 2012