By Ross Kerber and Simon Jessop
BOSTON/LONDON (Reuters) – Vanguard Group Inc said it voted against the pay of Alphabet Inc executives, including new CEO Sundar Pichai, one of several examples of proxy voting the top mutual fund firm gave in a report to be released on Tuesday as it names a new stewardship chief.
The parent of search engine Google <GOOGL.O> paid Pichai’s stock awards valued at $276.6 million for 2019, according to the company’s proxy, accounting for nearly all his compensation.
Vanguard said in the report it “found a misalignment between pay and performance” and would have liked to see more long-term compensation tied to metrics like relative total shareholder return.
In an advisory ballot at Alphabet’s annual meeting in June 25% of votes cast were “against” the pay. An Alphabet spokeswoman declined to comment on Vanguard’s votes.
Vanguard also opposed Alphabet’s executive pay in prior years. But like other fund firms lately, Vanguard has begun to disclose more details about its reasoning behind specific proxy votes on topics like director elections, social issues or climate policies.
John Galloway, whom Vanguard will name as its new head of stewardship on Tuesday, said an argument to keep the talks behind closed doors would be to have more candid conversations with company executives. But he is more concerned about making Vanguard’s views transparent to its clients, as many votes are decided for subtle reasons.
“How we evaluate nuance is really important and certainly outstrips other concerns,” Galloway said in a telephone interview.
In another example, in Britain, Vanguard said it declined to back a shareholder resolution at Barclays <BARC.L> aimed at pushing the bank to phase out financial activities in the energy and utilities sectors.
Instead, after talking to management, Vanguard wrote that it backed the company’s own climate-related proposal as “we determined that management’s approach was in the best interest of long-term shareholders.”
(Reporting by Ross Kerber in Boston and by Simon Jessop in London; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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What Is a Jumbo CD?
A certificate of deposit, more commonly known as a CD, is a type of bank account that pays interest in exchange for the depositor leaving their funds in the account until it matures. A jumbo CD functions in the same way, … Continue reading ->The post What Is a Jumbo CD? appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Germany pays tribute to victims of 1980 Oktoberfest bombing
BERLIN (AP) — Senior officials and survivors paid tribute Saturday to the victims of a deadly neo-Nazi attack on Munich’s Oktoberfest 40 years ago, as Germany’s president warned that far-right extremism remains a persistent problem in the country.
The bombing on the evening of Sept. 26, 1980, claimed 13 lives, including that of three children and the attacker, student Gundolf Koehler, a supporter of a banned far-right group. More than 200 people were wounded.
“Right-wing extremism has deep roots in our society,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a memorial event in the Bavarian capital. Germany has seen a number of further attacks inspired by anti-Semitism, hatred of foreigners and neo-Nazi ideology in recent years, including a series of far-right killings that police initially attributed to migrant gangs.
Steinmeier said the perpetrators weren’t “disturbed people,” but rather part of “networks that we need to investigate.”
An initial investigation of the Oktoberfest attack concluded that Koehler acted alone, out of personal frustration. But in 2014, federal prosecutors revisited the case after a previously unknown witness surfaced.
In July, prosecutors said the witness’ indications that there may have been co-conspirators hadn’t been corroborated, but that it was clear Koehler had been motivated by far-right extremism. Victims’ lawyers say there are still many unanswered questions about the attack.
Bavaria’s governor, Markus Soeder, apologized to survivors and the victims’ families for mistakes made during the initial investigation.
Earlier this week, the German government announced it was setting up a 1.2 million-euro ($1.4 million) fund to help survivors of the attack.
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