Shareholders have voted on average 91% to ratify executive compensation in non-binding say-pay-pay voting at U.S. companies so far this proxy season, up from 89% in all of 2012, according to a Towers Watson study of 333 companies in the Russell 3000 index from Jan. 1 through April 26 that was released Wednesday.
Six companies had a majority of shareholder votes rejecting their executive compensation programs, the study said.
According to Institutional Shareholder Services, the six are Biglari Holdings Inc., Cogent Communications Group Inc., Dendreon Corp., Digital Generation Inc., Navistar International Corp. and Nuance Communications Inc.
In all of 2012, 61 companies received less than a majority of votes, the Towers Watson study said.
Of the 333 companies so far in 2013, the vast majority saw more than 70% of votes cast in favor of their executive pay policies. However, at 5% of companies, supporting votes ranged from 50% to 70%, down from last year with 7% of companies.
“Overall, most companies continue to obtain strong support for their pay programs,” the study said.