Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

One of the truly chilling aspects of the Steinhoff collapse is the huge number of ordinary people, as opposed to high-flying institutional investor-types, who were invested in the company. After the company’s recent AGM they may have understood there is little chance of realising value from their investment. Inevitably, given the way these things go, they may not even be comforted by prospects of retribution. Perhaps this contributed to the outrage about the proposed fees to be paid to Steinhoff supervisory board members for their work since the shocking announcement in December. And perhaps it is because I did not lose money in Steinhoff that I can afford to believe this is one instance in which director pay seems reasonable. Heather Sonn’s chairing of the meeting was the most impressive performance I have seen in decades of attending shareholder meetings. But that’s not what would have justified the proposed fees.There seems little doubt that the structure currently holding Steinh...

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