Collaboration helps ‘say-on-pay’ movement

13 financial institutions agree to same resolution policy
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/30/2009

With 13 major financial institutions in Canada agreeing to use the same policy when it comes to shareholder advisory votes, the “say-on-pay” movement continues to gain steam. And a recent report from the United Kingdom, which adopted the say-on-pay approach six years ago, suggests the effect will be largely positive for Canada.

A model say-on-pay policy was presented by the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) at the end of October and, thus far, companies such as CIBC, the Bank of Montreal, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, Sun Life Financial and Manulife Financial have come together and agreed on the direction of the policy.

“We decided it would be in all of our shareholders’ interest if we actually had a common resolution,” said Deborah Alexander, executive vice-president, general counsel and secretary at the Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto. “The true motivation was to try and make it a level playing field, so that if you are a shareholder at some of the banks and insurance companies, when you went to vote on that resolution, you were voting on the same standard for each.”