It’s emerged that some of the largest pension funds in the US and Canada voted against Citigroup’s executive pay proposals at the bank’s annual meeting.
The bank unexpectedly lost the non-binding vote at the meeting in Dallas today (April 17).
Two of the largest domestic funds, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the Florida State Board of Administration, have both disclosed that they voted against the pay deal.
The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) also voted against the motion, as did faith investor Christian Brothers Investment Services, according to voting disclosures on their websites.
The news comes as the New York-based banking titan failed to gain overall shareholder support to ratify named executives’ compensation, according to news agency reports.Just 45% of shareholders endorsed the plan, Citigroup’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Michael Helfer was quoted as saying.
Chairman Richard Parsons told the meeting the result of the vote was a “serious matter” according to a Reuters report. He added the board would engage with shareholders on the issue.
Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit was awarded around $15m in total pay for last year, despite the shares declining by more than 40%.
Proxy voting advisory firms Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Service had reportedly advised clients to vote against the pay motion.
It was not immediately clear how the other proposals on the Citigroup proxy had fared.
Eyes will now be on rivals such as J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs, which hold their AGMs on May 15 and May 24 respectively.