The majority of Ameriprise Financial shareholders — 75% — gave a thumbs-down to the firm’s executive pay plan for 2017. The financial services firm acknowledged the nonbinding vote in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The vote was roughly 86 million to 29 million with about 4.5 million abstentions.
“Our average Say on Pay result over the past five years is 91.7%, and we have never had below 80% support on this advisory vote,” Ameriprise said in an earlier filing.
According to this report, CEO James Cracchiolo’s general, or summary, compensation rose from roughly $15 million in 2016 to about $22 million in 2017; his supplemental compensation grew from about $17 million in 2016 to roughly $28 million in 2017.
This year, though, a handful of shareholder advisory firms recommended “no” votes on the executive comp plan, including Institutional Shareholder Services.
“We believe ISS’ recommendation was in large part influenced by a specific quantitative test involving our relative three-year [total shareholder return] performance and did not take into account our exceptional operating performance,” members of the compensation and benefits committee explained in the Schedule 14A filing. “We strongly disagree with any critique of our plan as using discretion in any way that could be perceived as against shareholder interests.”
After disclosing the “no” votes, Ameriprise said in a statement that “we appreciate the constructive dialogue we have with our shareholders. The board will consider this feedback and continue to assess our program to ensure alignment between our executives’ compensation and shareholder value creation.”
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