Four proxy-voting advisory services — Proxy Governance, Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Egan-Jones Proxy Services — recommended that their clients support a proposal by CalPERS at Shaw Group Inc., Baton Rouge, La. The proposal by the $228.4 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, seeks shareholder ratification of senior executives' severance packages valued at more than 2.99 times an executive's salary and target bonus.
Proxy Governance also recommends withholding votes for re-election of directors L. Lane Grigsby and David W. Hoyle, who were on the compensation committee when an employment contract and potential associated severance benefits were approved in 2001 for J.M. Bernhard Jr., Shaw chairman, president and CEO. Proxy Governance calls the pay and severance package "overly generous," noting that Mr. Bernhard's average three-year pay is 71% above the median paid to CEOs at peer companies. Glass Lewis recommends withholding votes for re-election of directors James F. Barker, Albert P. McAlister and Charles E. Roemer III as well as Messrs. Grigsby and Hoyle. ISS and Egan-Jones recommend supporting all the directors.
CalPERS plans to vote for all directors.
Shaw's annual meeting is Jan. 30.