Citigroup shareholders: 'No' on proposed executive pay

A sign is displayed on the exterior of a Citibank branch office on January 18, 2011 in San Francisco, Calif.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Citigroup shareholders said 'no dice' to a hefty pay package for senior executives, including a $15 million salary for Citigroup's CEO.

John Dimsdale has more on the symbolic vote.

John Dimsdale: Fifty-five percent of Citigroup's shareholders either voted no, or abstained, in yesterday's "say on pay" tally. Pandit's $15 million may be lavish, but it's less than the pay for several other big Wall Street banks.

Charles Elson, a corporate governance professor at the University of Delaware, says the shareholder vote reflects dissatisfaction with Citigroup's poor performance, rather than a grassroots national movement.

Charles Elson: I don't see this as trend where, "Oh, we're going to vote against pay all over the country," because the numbers don't bear that out. Most of these resolutions pass pretty significantly. But there is significant discontent where you see poor results and what is perceived to be high compensation.

While the bank's not obligated to take back any pay as a result of this non-binding vote, board members say they're taking it seriously and will discuss salary modifications.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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I think this is a growing movement by shareholders to exercise their authority and influence over the executives and CEOs at the banks. The recession had a lot of tentacles in regards to its effects on people but also on society. Shareholders once the sleepy and sometimes a rubber stamp committee is now looking more at the execs. This may be a larger trends as more shareholders possibly will exert their influence. Executive compensation was big concern during the aftermath of the recession and it has taken top billing once again with this vote.


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