Say on pay – still needed?

While shareholder groups press for greater involvement in executive compensation, opponents say new CSA rules will improve pay for performance
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2008

Early this year, at the annual general meetings of five Canadian banks, shareholder resolutions pushed for “say on pay” — an advisory shareholder vote on executive compensation. The result: About 40 per cent voted in favour, on average.

The numbers were higher than expected and an indication of growing concerns about exorbitant executive compensation packages and questionable links to performance.

It’s not about denying a really good executive a really good pay day, but about giving shareholders the right to respond to the board of directors about pay package proposals, says Laura O’Neill, director of law and policy at the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) of Vancouver, which put forward the resolutions along with Meritas Mutual Funds of Cambridge, Ont.