Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan are lining up on different sides on whether to approve the executive compensation packages of the top executives of Twenty-First Century Fox Corp.
Proxy-voting advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis also take opposite sides on the executive pay issue.
The C$268.8 billion ($205.5 billion) CPPIB plans to vote in favor of the executive compensation program, while the C$154.4 OTPP plans to oppose it, said their proxy-voting disclosures. Both plans are based in Toronto.
ISS recommends its clients vote in favor of the pay package, while Glass Lewis recommends its clients vote against it, according to their reports.
Christian Brothers Investment Services plans to vote in support of the executive pay package, according to its proxy-voting disclosure.
“We continue to have significant concerns over compensation arrangements at the company,” OTPP said in a statement accompanying its disclosure. “In our view, the level of total compensation remains significant given the company's performance against its peers. Furthermore, we note that compensation is more heavily weighted to the short term (cash and bonus), which we believe to not be consistent with a long-term view. Therefore, we cannot support this proposal.”
Dan Madge, CPPIB spokesman said executives have no comment on the vote.
ISS called the executive compensation package a “reasonable alignment between pay and performance. However, shareholders would benefit from full disclosure of the goals attached to performance-based equity awards in order to assess the rigor of those goals.”
Glass Lewis said, “Shareholders should firstly be aware that, for fiscal 2016, the company has determined that (K. Rupert) Murdoch will be eligible to receive the entirety of his current employment arrangements, despite the change in his role … we consider his salary to be excessive, ranking among the highest paid to executives at publicly traded U.S. companies.”
The total compensation of Mr. Murdoch, who was named executive chairman July 1, after serving as chairman and CEO, was $27.8 million for the fiscal year ended last June 30, a total pay drop of 5.3% from the previous year. For James R. Murdoch, who replaced his father as CEO, after serving as co-chief operating officer, his total compensation was $15 million, down 19.4%.
The shareholder vote on executive pay is non-binding.
The Twenty-First Century Fox meeting is Nov. 12.