Boston, MA - At the 2009 annual general shareholder meeting of Prudential Financial on May 12, in Newark, NJ, company stockholders voiced their approval of a proposed "Say on Pay" vote on executive compensation. The proposal received a 61.5% majority vote, according to preliminary results.
William Creighton of Freeport, Maine submitted the proposal as a Prudential shareholder and member of Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy in Boston. Responsible Wealth is a national network of 700 members who use their voices as upper-income taxpayers and shareholders to advocate for progressive tax policies and corporate accountability.
"This strong majority vote reflects the feeling of shareholders around the country that they want a voice on executive compensation," says Mike Lapham, Project Director of Responsible Wealth. "While Prudential's executives continue to receive lavish compensation packages, shareholders have seen the company's stock plummet in recent months. They want to have a say in the matter."
"Say on Pay" resolutions call for a nonbinding advisory vote for shareholders to express their approval or disapproval of how a company pays its top executives. CEO pay has become a controversial issue especially during the economic crisis, with the government's allocation of taxpayer money to bail out struggling financial institutions intensifying public scrutiny of executive bonuses and compensation packages at all U.S. corporations.
The full text of the resolution may be found here.
Responsible Wealth's resolution on executive compensation at Prudential was the first of four such resolutions Responsible Wealth is presenting at annual meetings around the country, with proposals at Target, Yahoo!, and FedEx still to come. Responsible Wealth is part of a broad coalition of groups, led by Walden Asset Management and AFSCME, that have submitted over 100 similar resolutions at public companies across the country.
In addition, the Treasury Department has mandated that companies receiving TARP funds implement an Advisory Vote, leading to about 300 such votes this year.
Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy, is a national network of businesspeople, investors and affluent Americans who are concerned about deepening economic inequality and using their influence to advocate for widespread prosperity.
Mike Lapham, Responsible Wealth at 617-423-2148 x112 or [email protected].
Tim Smith, Vice President, Walden Asset Management, at 617-726-7155 or [email protected].