Company Law Reform Bill [HL]
Lord Sharman (Spokesperson in the Lords, Trade & Industry; Liberal Democrat)
My Lords, I wish to make a couple of comments on what the noble Lord, Lord Lea, has said. He chose the Netherlands as his comparator. I know that country well; I lived and worked there for the best part of 10 years and I sit on the supervisory board of two Dutch companies. My two observations are as follows. First, the oft quoted justification regarding international business concerns the movement of executives, particularly between here and the United States, and around the world. Very few senior executives in major companies in the Netherlands are not Dutch, whereas a considerable number of executives in the US are Dutch. That shows us that there has been movement out of the Netherlands. The problem of executive drain is becoming apparent. Secondly, it is always argued that further transparency is needed to keep remuneration under control. There is far less transparency on remuneration in the Netherlands than there is in this country.