The debate on executive pay has reached the point where political inaction is no longer an option, but the coalition should remember the old adage: no situation is so dire that government intervention cannot make it worse. As the chances rise of an ill-considered Dangerous Directors Act hitting the statute book, here’s one sensible voice .

Dominic Rossi proposes a three-point plan. No lightweight he. As chief investment officer, equities, at Fidelity Worldwide, he’s near the top of the $200 billion asset pile that the group manages. He suggests that boards should be obliged to seek prior shareholder approval for directors’ rewards beyond their base salary, put as a special resolution needing 75% approval.

This sounds pretty draconian, but there’s more. If a revised proposal also failed to reach the threshhold, the chairman of the remuneration committee would have to resign. This may be a concession too far for smaller companies, where a single substantial outside shareholder might have an effective veto over board pay. Even so, Rossi has concentrated a few minds, including that of our dear Prime Minister. Next Tuesday Vince Cable is due to reveal the result. Let’s see.

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