US - The US$246bn California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has gained high profile support for its proposal to allow shareholders to have a say on executive pay at Tech Data Corporation.
RiskMetrics said: "The advisory vote would be a confidence vote on the work of the compensation committee and would encourage constructive dialogue between the committee and investors on any contentious pay issues. An advisory vote is another step forward in enhancing board accountability."
The supporters said there were strong precedents for allowing shareholders to influence executive pay elsewhere in the world.
Egan-Jones pointed to the "director's remuneration report" in the UK. RiskMetrics said Sweden and Australia had similar non-binding agreements, while the Netherlands required a binding vote on the issue.
The proposal was first put forward by CalPERS earlier this month (www.globalpensions.com; 14 May 2008), following claims the company had consistently underperformed competitors and peers.
CalPERS said compared to the Russell 3000 Index, Tech Data had underperformed the industry by 32% and its peers by 84% over the five year period ending 30 April 2008.
This week's edition of Professional Pensions is out now.
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