Companies are the wealth creators of western economies, but who controls them? In theory, the directors are appointed by shareholders and they in turn appoint the senior executives, who run the company on a day-to-day basis. Critics say it is an old-boys network, that shareholders fail to exercise proper controls and there is constant concern about inequalities and high pay. What happens in practice and what is the point of performance-related pay? What drives pay in the private sector, what do pay policies try to achieve, and why has executive pay become so high?