August 4, 2009
I consider proxy votes as important as those for public office. People that own stock should understand that they have rights attached to that stock and it is imperative that they use those rights to vote appropriately on a variety of issues including compensation. I reject that we have some sort of standard for compensation, especially one set by a government. But, what I do support is that shareholders should have stronger say in how the companies they own are operated and the people that do so paid. Lower or more appropriate pay for top level executives and board members may mean a better or bigger dividend for shareholders and these issues of compensation need to be on the proxy votes in simple, easy to understand formats so that retail investors can read them and vote with confidence. Brokers should not be voting shares for clients unless asked to do so by the client. And the government needs to stay out of executive pay and let the free markets set the rate of pay along with direct input from the shareholders. I am also tired of seeing proxy votes calling for fewer members to hold a quorum, this is a time in history when we need more people involved, not fewer.