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Thirty Institutional Investors Demand “Say on Pay”

|Includes: AXP, BAC, BBT, BK, C, CMA, FITB, GS, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), KEY, MS, NTRS, PNC, RF, STI, STT, USB, WDR, WFC

Joining a longer list of signees, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) recently added its support to a letter urging a number of financial companies to adopt the “Say on Pay” policy, which would enact a “shareholder advisory vote on executive compensation.” According to a CalPERS press release, CalPERS believes that the letter, signed by nearly thirty institutional investors, including Trilium Asset Management, TIAA-CREF Investment Management, Walden Asset Management, and Pax World Management, will “significantly advance sound governance goals of improved accountability to investors and the creation of long-term share value.”

The open letter, addressed to seventeen financial companies -- JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo(NYSE:WFC), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), Waddell & Reed (NYSE:WDR), Northern Trust (BTRS), BB&T (NYSE:BBT), Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), American Express (NYSE:AXP), PNC Financial Services (NYSE:PNC), SunTrust (NYSE:STI), Fifth Third Bancor (NASDAQ:FITB), Comercia (NYSE:CMA), KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY), and Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) -- was coordinated by Walden Asset Management and the State of Connecticut Treasurer’s Office. Asserting that enacting a shareholder vote is “a timely and needed corporate governance reform” and “a reasonable and modest step compared to other remedies under consideration to address executive compensation in the industry,” the letter ask the financial services companies in question to follow the lead of other companies, including Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), State Street (NYSE:STT) and Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BNY), who have already voluntarily adopted the practice.

CalPERS and the other signees conclude in the letter that “the opportunity for investors to have an annual advisory vote, coupled with investor engagement with management or boards, is an important communication vehicle for investors and companies alike.” More info on shareholder activists can be found In HedgeTracker's Shareholder Activist Directory.

Disclosure: Disclosure: Long AXP, JPM, USB