So far, investors have been overwhelmingly receptive to management recommendations for annual “say on pay” votes.
At the 65 U.S. companies that endorsed pay votes every year (and where vote results are available), investors have heeded management’s advice every time, according to ISS data as of April 19. Among those companies are Walt Disney, Apple, Starbucks, and Goodyear Tire & Rubber.
It’s also worth noting that a board recommendation for future annual votes did not sway investors from voting against management during this year’s advisory vote on compensation. Hewlett-Packard, Ameron International, Beazer Homes USA, and Shuffle Master all backed annual votes but failed to obtain majority approval for their pay practices.
Given the strong investor preference for annual votes, it’s not surprising that companies have had less luck getting approval for triennial votes. So far, investors at just 29 out of 92 issuers have followed those management recommendations, a 32 percent success rate. Most of the 29 companies, which include Tyson Foods and Viacom, had either dual-class equity structures or large management-friendly shareholders.
Meanwhile, 11 firms recommended biennial votes, but just two insider-dominated companies, Hormel Foods and Dolby Laboratories, have obtained majority support for that frequency.
At the nine companies with no management recommendation, investors backed annual votes each time, except at Greif Inc. Finally, there have been 10 companies so far where no frequency obtained majority approval.
Edward Kamonjoh, ISS Specialty Research, contributed to this posting.