Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Simon Evans: Goliath stoned BP proves that smaller may be better

I wasn't surprised to hear BP chief Tony Hayward admit in last week's Congressional inquisition that he didn't know key details about the recent well, set up to deal with the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

On many levels big organisations are too unwieldy and it's difficult for the bosses to keep in touch with the detail. The risks for top management in such companies are there for all to see – that's why they get the big bucks.

To be good, big firms need extra controls to deal with the added complexity and conflicts that arise. They weren't there at BP. Clearly big didn't work for most of the world's banks either. Smaller, more efficient City and Wall Street firms have avoided the pitfalls of their larger peers.

Size can often matter but perhaps small is beautiful.

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