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For links to both the summary and full report, the article and the advocacy organization referenced in the article below, see


Mercury News, September 12, 2008 article




Jack Davis on the stories behind Silicon Valley’s paper trail

Survey saying institutional investors against Say-On-Pay draws critics


A study of the nation’s largest institutional investors says that the “majority” of them do not support “say-on-pay” efforts to require shareholder votes on executive compensation, according to the Center on Executive Compensation, which says it is “dedicated to developing and promoting principled pay and governance practices and advocating compensation policies that serve the best interests of shareholders and other corporate stakeholders.”

In fact, “only a quarter of the institutions” queried were in favor of say-on-pay proposals.” The study also claims that large institutional investors are “not generally” concerned with the level of executive pay, provided it is “clearly and appropriately linked to company results.”

The study, which was conducted by Cornell University professor Kevin Hallock who held “one-on-one interviews with senior representatives from 20 of the 25 largest investors”, is now subject to criticism, according to an article posted at that contained allegations that the newly formed association that commissioned the survey is a “front group” that “represents executives in the compensation debate”.

The Web site for the Center on Executive Compensation states that:

“In today’s emotionally charged world of executive pay,” states the center’s Web site, ” the Center believes that a reasoned voice on the proper design and governance of executive compensation is needed to ensure that today’s cure for yesterday’s curse does not become tomorrow’s crisis.”

Other findings of the survey were that about three-quarters of the investors had no real concerns about current levels of executive pay, and less than half said they think compensation consultants should be independent.

Also, one-third of the survey respondents raised “unsolicited concerns” over the influence of proxy advisory services have on the proxy voting process, including compensation matters.






This Forum program is open, free of charge, to anyone concerned with investor interests relating to shareholder advisory voting on executive compensation, referred to by activists as "Say on Pay." As stated in the posted Conditions of Participation, the Forum's purpose is to provide decision-makers with access to information and a free exchange of views on the issues presented in the program's Forum Summary. Each participant is expected to make independent use of information obtained through the Forum, subject to the privacy rights of other participants.  It is a Forum rule that participants will not be identified or quoted without their explicit permission.

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