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The article copied below appeared in  Global Proxy Watch, a private weekly newsletter covering international corporate governance developments which is published by Newsmarkets LLC and edited by Stephen M. Davis.


For Pfizer's press release announcing its plans for the referenced meeting, and for links to related statements and other reports, see

Note: Pfizer has been represented on the Forum Advisory Panel that proposed principles for shared management and investor interests in equity-based compensation practices, and Dr. Davis has been preparing a research paper relating to that Forum program's project addressing advisory voting.





Talking Point

Who knew that talking could be such a hit? By all accounts, investors came away thrilled at Wednesday’s confidential first-ever meeting between Pfizer board directors and top officials of some 20 of the firm’s largest long-term institutional shareowners. Among US companies only UnitedHealth and Home Depot have initiated similar high-level outreach exercises. Wednesday’s topic was Pfizer’s governance practices—including executive pay, which was a sore point under ex-CEO Hank McKinnell. The move is the first major governance innovation since Jeff Kindler became combined chairman and CEO and Constance Horner Lead Director. Both attended. The event won Pfizer goodwill and valuable investor insights, though the company itself won’t comment. For the market as a whole, the dialogue might have set a new model for how US boards relate to major shareowners. Wachtell, Lipton’s Martin Lipton, however, has famously branded Kindler’s outreach “governance run amuck” and is now campaigning among corporate clients to scuttle the spread of Pfizer-style talking.






GLOBAL PROXY WATCH © 2007 Newsmarkets All rights reserved ISSN 1534-8822 Oct. 26 2007

Stephen Davis, editor; Aaron Bernstein, contributor. T +1 203 245 2288 E For subscriptions:





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