More shareholders voting against executive comp packages: Survey

Strong opposition at companies such as CPR, Barrick Gold

Canadian shareholders are increasingly critical of the excessive nature of executive pay, according to a report from the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE).

There is strong shareholder opposition at companies such as Canadian Natural Resources and Canadian Pacific Railway, including an 85 per cent vote against Barrick Gold’s executive pay package last year, found the 2013 Canadian Key Proxy Vote Survey.

“More and more shareholders are voting against executive compensation packages,” said Catherine Smith, author of the report and manager of proxy voting services at SHARE. “Although the majority of shareholders continue to vote with management, votes against executive compensation packages are on the rise. The average vote against compensation at Canadian companies was 10 per cent in 2013, compared to eight per cent in 2012 and six per cent in 2011.”

The survey analyzes the voting records of 40 firms with combined Canadian equity holdings of more than $70 billion. Each year, the survey examines the voting decisions of investment managers and proxy voting services on selected issues that were particularly controversial or that raised critical corporate governance issues.

The proxy voting decisions of the participating fund managers and proxy service firms can be found online at

The Canadian Key Proxy Vote Survey is a project of the Columbia Institute, Fonds de solidarité (FTQ) and SHARE.

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