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Dow Jones Newswires, March 20, 2007 article


The Wall Street Journal  

March 20, 2007 3:28 p.m. EDT


House Panel Slated To Vote On 'Say On Pay' Measure

March 20, 2007 3:28 p.m.

   By Siobhan Hughes 

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that would give shareholders some say over executive pay at U.S. public companies.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., introduced the bill earlier this month. Under the measure, companies would be required to include in their annual proxy filings a non-binding, advisory vote on pay to top executives. Shareholders would also be entitled to an advisory vote on pay granted in connection with transactions such as mergers.

"What's odd is that this is controversial," Frank told the Council of Institutional Investors in a speech Monday. "We have proposed that the shareholders get to say 'we approve or disapprove.'" He said that "if the board of directors want to ignore the shareholders, they can do that."

Investors say that an advisory vote would pressure corporate boards to take shareholder interests into account. Businesses say that such a vote would be a distraction for board directors, and take away time that should be devoted to running businesses.

-By Siobhan Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6654;

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