Friday, June 15, 2007

TIAA-CREF investors to set executive compensation

TIAA-CREF, an active campaigner for better corporate governance and reasonable executive pay packages for companies in its portfolio, is now going to let its investors have a say in its own compensation policies.
From an article in the Financial Times: " Officials stressed that policyholders would be asked to vote on the company’s policies and disclosure on compensation rather than the level of pay of (..) executives. "

This move is an unprecendented and welcome one. TIAA-CREF is so far the only company in the US to allow shareholders to have a say in setting compensation policies.
According to the article:

" Only one US company, the health insurer Aflac, has voluntarily agreed to hold an advisory vote on pay but only in 2009.
Shareholders in four other groups, including telecoms groups, Verizon and Motorola, have voted in favour of such a ballot but the companies have the right to ignore such requests.
Allowing policyholders to vote on executive pay will give TIAA-CREF, which is unlisted, more leverage in asking companies to introduce the measure."

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