Two pension funds, a money manager and a proxy-voting advisory firm have lined up in their shareholder voting on opposing sides of Coca-Cola Co.'s proxy proposals on election of directors, executive pay programs, but most support a proposal for an independent chairman.
CalSTRS will vote against the pay package of Coca-Cola Co.'s Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, and other top executives. It also will vote against the election of all five members of Coca-Cola's board of directors' compensation committee, according to its proxy voting disclosure.
The $180.8 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, will vote in support of Coca-Cola's proposed 2014 executive equity compensation plan, which requires shareholder approval, and in favor of a shareholder proposal calling for an independent chairman.
CalSTRS holds 6.9 million Coca-Cola shares, according to a CalSTRS Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The shares are valued at $268 million and account for 0.15% of the company's 4.4 billion shares outstanding.
The C$201.5 billion ($185.1 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, will vote against the equity pay plan, while voting in favor of elections on all directors as well as voting in favor of the pay package for the CEO and other top executives, and in favor of the independent chairman proposal, according to its proxy-voting disclosure.
CPPIB holds 5.9 million Coca-Cola shares, according to an OTPP SEC filing. They are valued at $229 million.
Wintergreen Advisers will vote against the equity plan, confirmed spokeswoman Claire M. Currie.
Wintergreen criticized the plan, calling it “Coca-Cola's big grab, enriching management, shortchanging shareholders,” according to its SEC filing. The plan is “potentially highly dilutive to shareholders” and “unsupported by any strategic rationale,” the Wintergreen filing states.
Ms. Currie declined to disclose how Wintergreen will vote on election of directors or other proposals.
Wintergreen holds 2.4 million Coca-Cola shares, according to a Wintergreen SEC filing. They are valued at $93.3 million.
Institutional Shareholders Services recommends its clients vote in favor of all directors, the proposed equity plan, the pay packages of the CEO and other top executives, and the proposal calling for an independent chairman.
The equity “plan terms are within industry norms,” according to an ISS report on Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola's annual meeting is April 23.