FedEx ($FDX) is one of the stocks in my portfolio. Their annual meeting is coming up on 9/24/2012. ProxyDemocracy.org had collected the votes of four funds when I voted on 9/18/2012. (A fifth fund is now reporting.) I voted with management 69% of the time.
I generally vote against pay packages where NEOs were paid above median in the previous year but make exceptions where something obviously warrants different treatment. According to Bebchuk, Lucian A. and Grinstein, Yaniv (The Growth of Executive Pay, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol. 21, Issue 2, pp. 283-303, 2005), aggregate compensation by public companies to NEO increased from 5 percent in 1993-1995 to about 10 percent in 2001-2003.
Few firms want to admit to having average executives. They survey executive compensation at corporations and then set compensation packages that are above average for their “peer group,” which is often chosen aspirationally. While the “Lake Woebegone effect” may be nice in fictional towns, “where all the children are above average,” it doesn’t work well for society to have all CEOs considered above average and their collective pay spiraling out of control. We need to slow the pace of money going to the 1% if our economy is not to become third-world.
My policy is that when I vote against the pay plan I also vote against the compensation committee members, in this case: Steven R. Loranger, Shirley Ann Jackson, Susan C. Schwab, and Paul S. Walsh. I also voted in favor of measures to split the chair/CEO positions and report political contributions.