Eumedion's comments in Financial Times
This year's shareholder season much time was again spend on discussion on remuneration and bonusses. Many Dutch shareholders showed their concern in their dialogue with listed companies. In the United Kingdom a comparable concern is growing, as the Financial Times describes in its article of October 2, 2011. 'Escalating executive pay levels and the mismatch between remuneration and company performance are causing increasing concern among shareholders, regulators, the general public and even politicians.'
Eumedion's executive director was also quoted in this article.
Calls mount for action on executive pay awards, by Ruth Sullivan
[...]In the Netherlands, one of the first countries to introduce a binding shareholder vote on remuneration in 2004, Rients Abma, executive director of Eumedion, the Dutch corporate governance forum for institutional investors, says there is “a better relation between pay and performance and better dialogue [between shareholders and companies] but only since 2008”.
Given about 75 per cent of Dutch-listed companies are owned by foreign shareholders, change was not immediate but making the vote mandatory led to an up-front increase in transparency on remuneration, Mr Abma adds.
He points to the say-on-pay regime resulting in several landmark cases, the first in 2008, when shareholders at Philips Electronics general meeting rejected a proposal to change the long-term incentive plan, largely because the supervisory board wanted to remove the performance criteria for granting stock options.
Shareholder rejection of executive pay packages at other quoted companies followed. “This is the power of a binding vote,” says Mr Abma. “If shareholders in UK companies vote down a remuneration package they have no legal power as it is only an advisory vote.”[...]