FedEx Corp. shareholders face separate proxy proposals from the New York City Retirement Systems and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters General Fund, calling for, respectively, disclosure of the company's political contributions and an end to paying personal taxes executives owe on the company's stock awards.
The C$226.8 billion (US$207 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the C$140.8 billion Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, both of Toronto, plan to vote for the New York funds' political activity disclosure proposal and against the Teamsters' executive pay tax proposal, according to their proxy-voting disclosures. Neither pension fund gave reasons for their votes.
Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co., both proxy-voting advisory firms, support the New York funds' proposal. ISS also supports the Teamsters' tax proposal, while Glass Lewis opposes it.
“The company's board and its shareholders need comprehensive disclosure to be able to fully evaluate the political use of corporate assets,” said the proposal from the New York City systems, which have a combined $150 billion in assets.
FedEx opposes the New York pension funds' proposal, saying in a statement, the “board believes that the expanded disclosure requested in this proposal could place FedEx at a competitive disadvantage by revealing its strategies and priorities.”
On the Teamsters fund proposal, Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said in a statement, “Shareholders are fed up with FedEx paying personal taxes for the company's well-compensated executives. FedEx has cut pensions and raised the costs of medical coverage for workers while continuing to lavish executives with this outdated perk.”
FedEx opposes the Teamsters fund proposal, saying in its statement, “The total target value of the award is the same as it would be if the company did not provide tax payments. Because the amount of the tax payment is included in the calculation of the target value of the restricted stock award, the officers receive fewer shares of each award by an amount equal in value to the tax payment.”
The New York funds own a combined 669,548 FedEx shares, valued at $106 million.
The Teamsters fund owns 176 FedEx shares, valued at $28,087. The fund's total assets were not available, said Galen Munroe, Teamsters press secretary.
The CPPIB, OTPP, and Glass Lewis also oppose the other shareholder proposals at FedEx, calling for proxy access to enable shareholders to use corporate proxy material to nominate directors; exclude abstentions in vote counting; and prohibit directors and executives hedging or pledging transactions involving FedEx shares from equity-based compensation plans.
ISS recommends supporting the hedging proposal, while it opposes the proposals on proxy access and excluding abstentions in vote counting.
The company opposes these three proposals.
The Memphis-based company's annual meeting is Sept. 29.