Investors wake up to outcry over unequal pay | Published May 7, 2017

By Madison Marriage

Nearly 12 months have passed since a number of the world’s largest asset managers, including BlackRock, Vanguard, Goldman Sachs and TIAA, were heavily criticised for routinely supporting executive pay proposals at the companies they were invested in.

The voting patterns — which showed some investors were approving executive pay packages at 100 per cent of company meetings — raised concerns among academics and campaigners that asset managers were failing to act as good corporate stewards.

The fear was that highly paid fund managers felt compromised when it came to criticising high pay in other sectors, or worse, did not care about the growing divide between what CEOs and average workers earn.

Fast forward to 2017, however, and there are tangible signs that a growing number of investors are taking action to rein in excessive pay for company bosses. The consensus is that pressure from the public, politicians and clients have combined to put pressure on the investment industry to prove it is willing to push back on egregious pay packages.

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