The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees released a report Tuesday calling AllianceBernstein, Barclays Global Investors and AIM “pay enablers.”
In conjunction with The Corporate Library, AFSCME examined the 2006 proxy vote records on executive pay measures for 29 mutual fund families.
“These mutual funs are failing to protect the assets of their clients,” said Gerald W. McEntee, president of the 1.4 million-member union. “CEOs should be paid for performance. Investors in these mutual funds should be outraged that their assets are being used to prop up undeserved CEO pay.”
The report, titled “Failing Fiduciaries,” maintains that mutual fund managers have failed to use their proxy power to limit executive pay.
In 2006, funds supported management proposals 75.8% of the time, compared to 75.6% in 2005. When it came to pay-related packages, shareholder proposals won support in only 46.5% of cases. Meanwhile, the median compensation among chief executives of companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 increased 23.8% compared to 2005 rates. Median compensation rose 9.3% at the 1,048 companies The Corporate Library tracks.
AllianceBernstein supported 94.8% of management compensation proposals, and 31.1% of shareholder proposals. Barclays supported executive pay bids 94.7% of the time and 33.8% of investor proposals, and AIM voted with management in 91.1% of proposals, and supported 35.7% of shareholder proposals.
Merrill Lynch, on the other hand, increased its inclination to vote with management by more than 5%.
Fidelity never once supported a shareholder measure.
“The wide variation among finds’ voting records also dispels the notion, advanced during the debate over mutual fund proxy voting disclosure, that finds would vote in lockstep according to proxy advisors’ recommendation if disclosure was required,” said Beth Young, author of the study.