Investors urge Verizon to adopt say-on-pay
WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Institutional
investors sent a letter to Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N:
urging the phone company to give shareholders more say over the pay
packages of executives.
In May, shareholders narrowly voted in favor
of asking Verizon to adopt a policy that would give shareholders an annual
vote on senior executives' compensation packages.
"More than half of the people who you
represent on the board of directors sent you a message that we want more
transparency and accountability in executive pay at our company," the
investors said in the letter, dated Oct. 17.
"As institutional investors, we are concerned
by the disconnect between executive pay and corporate performance at
Verizon and other public companies."
The letter was signed by the North Carolina
state treasurer, Connecticut deputy treasurer, the New York State
Teachers' Retirement System, the City of Cincinnati Retirement System,
Walden Asset Management, Marianist Province of the United States, and
Boston Common Asset Management.
In the letter, the investors said Verizon
creates the appearance that its pay practices reward performance.
"If you truly intend executive pay to reward
superior performance, serious adjustments to Verizon's pay practices are
in order," the letter said.
The Australian Council of Superannuation
Investors, an association of pension funds, also sent Verizon a letter
asking it to implement a shareholder vote on executive pay.
A spokesman for Verizon said the board
continues to evaluate the "say on pay" issue and has not made a decision