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Evolving Views of Advisory Voting on Executive Compensation


            Relating to the Forum project initiated in December 2006 to consider advisory voting on executive compensation, a “Roundtable” meeting was conducted yesterday by Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, hosted by Pfizer in New York,[*] to present views of experts relating to what has been transformed into an increasingly politicized “Say on Pay” campaign.


The 164 registered participants included investor, corporate and professional representatives of the “governance industry” concerned primarily with shareholder voting decisions.  Although many of the panel members and other participants supported widely publicized “activist” positions, others raised questions about how the adaptation of advisory voting might increase reliance on commercial proxy voting services and bureaucratic decision-making.  Two of the papers presented – one supporting company-specific adaptation rather than universal regulatory imposition, and the other supporting alternative processes for shareholder communication – have been posted on the Forum web site: 

Yale’s Millstein Center plans to present a full report later this year on advisory voting and related shareholder-board communication practices.


GL – April 9, 2008


Gary Lutin

Lutin & Company

575 Madison Avenue, 10th Floor

New York, New York 10022

Tel: 212/605-0335



[*] The meeting was organized by Stephen M. Davis, Ph.D., Project Director of Yale’s Millstein Center for Corporate Governance, who was invited in February 2007 to assume responsibility for defining the issues raised in the Forum’s advisory voting project.  The meeting’s host, Pfizer, has been represented in the Forum’s Advisory Panel.




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