In an article dated June 13 2017, just two days before the Renault AGM in Paris, Reuters revealed that the French group was contemplating a special bonus plan designed by investment banker Ardea “to channel millions of euros in additional undisclosed bonuses to Carlos Ghosn and to other managers” of Renault-Nissan : such scheme would use a special purpose a Dutch foundation (SPDF) to receive some 8% of the group synergies from the joint-subsidiary Renault Nissan BV, chaired by the chairman of both Renault and of Nissan Carlos Ghosn. , an amount estimated by the banker to 80 millions euro a year… to be further distributed without any public information.
This scandal was also an unexpecetd follow-up on the initioative of several investors questionaing the French authorities about a worrisome power concentration at the top of this group.
At the AGM Ghosn, while strongly attacked by the press, spoke actually little of the case and escaped.
To the unique question of activist fund Phitrust he shouted its indignation against Reuters, which has only deceived the unaccustomed.
In spite of his denials, it remains probable that this secret bonus plan was actually being tested by some renault Directors, although neither the
Board nor the executive committee had ever been consulted.
Clearly the signals for the success of the Alliance are at best: this unique synergies machine for the production and marketing of cars, with real active international cooperation, actually works very well under Goshn.
The governance North Korean style apperaed barely more open and the order prevailed: journalists and cameras were prohibited of entry, the CFO has read her full presentation on a prompter, and, a sign of real concern, the on-line video retransmission of the meeting was interrupted at the beginning of the question-and-answer session…
“Mr. President,” this “leader maximo”, who “does not believe in the opposition of powers”, always pushes for “win-win” situations. He presented unusual charm inflections at the AGM, reckognizing fairly the merits of his “non-competitors” like Tesla, inviting the indicidual sharehodlers for a closing cocktail and responding with less drought to the rare free questions of the floor as most of these”Spontaneous questions” were prepared and pointed by Mouna Sepehry , the General secretary..
Was Carlos Ghosn convincing when questioned by Phitrust on his bonus payment plan?
His criticisms of Reuters for shunning a business banker’s proposal and his indignant protests about this”miserable” trial about what was only a proposal, one among many others, not at all wanted ror adopted by Renault, have not really convinced. Attacking the Press is barely a fine strategy.
More revealing were the clarifications made on RNBV, the joint company at the AGM and in response to the written questions, as a “forum of exchanges” finally very incidental, employing about forty collaborators and leaving the power on operations to both Renault and Nissan.
Carlos Ghosn confirmed us paradoxically that this joint company is indeed a very active operating unit: RNBV is fortunately not a simple “forum for exchanges”, as stated, but in reality it plays an essential pivot role thanks of the powers obtained from the two original car makers on the production and marketing of both groups. RNBV is the heart of the Alliance’s reactor and of its transfer pricing, but it is now beyond the control of the Renault SA Directors.
Paris 19 June 2017