Pension Funds Fight $100 Million Cash Grab

Dec. 14, 2011 – Pension fund stockholders of Nabors Industries are up in arms about the $100 million to be awarded to chief executive Eugene Isenberg. Through a loophole in his contract, giving up his title of chief executive officer triggered this large cash payment even though he has no intention of giving up control of the company.

“Expropriating the corporate treasury to fund egregious CEO pay packages at shareholder expense is both a symptom and a consequence of Nabors’s entrenched board,” New York City Comptroller John C. Liu told Joann S. Lublin of the Wall Street Journal. The pension funds trying to force changes of corporate governance are from California, New York, Connecticut and North Carolina.

The Houston based company is registered in Bermuda, a common tax-dodging strategy some companies employ. Other large shareholders have introduced similar measures to bring honesty to the board, including “Norway’s sovereign wealth fund,” according to the article.

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