BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc., the Advisor to the Calvert Funds and a leading provider of sustainable and responsible investing, announced today that JPMorgan Chase and American Express each agreed to adopt an advisory vote on executive compensation as part of their proxy statements for their 2010 annual meetings. Through these advisory votes, both firms will hold a referendum on their compensation practices, providing shareholders with detailed information on salary, bonuses and benefits, and allowing them to vote to affirm or reject the package.
"Say on Pay" resolutions have become increasingly common since the financial crisis and bailout focused scrutiny on executive compensation and bonuses, especially in the financial services industry. Financial institutions that received TARP funding were required to implement advisory votes on executive pay, but now, as many of these firms have repaid TARP obligations, they are no longer legally obligated to do so. Calvert's 2010 "Say on Pay" advocacy campaign is part of a larger shareholder effort that includes urging financial institutions to implement an annual Advisory Vote on executive pay beginning with the 2010 proxy season. In addition to JPMorgan Chase and American Express, Calvert has also filed resolutions with three other financial services companies – Morgan Stanley, Waddell & Reed and Allstate Insurance – seeking an advisory vote on executive compensation. The resolutions with Waddell & Reed and Allstate were co-filed with Boston Common Asset Management and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as lead filers, respectively.
"We think that the process of disclosing compensation practices, discussing them openly and submitting them to a shareholder vote is an important part of aligning management's interests with those of shareholders," said Stu Dalheim, Director, Shareholder Advocacy, of Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc.. "We are very pleased that JPMorgan Chase and American Express have joined the growing number of companies that are implementing 'Say on Pay'."
"Having financial services companies such as JPMorgan Chase and American Express voluntarily adopt 'Say on Pay' significantly adds to the momentum building around this important investor tool," said Aditi Mohapatra, Sustainability Analyst.. "We now look to legislators to grant all shareholders a voice on executive compensation by signing a bill that requires every company to establish an annual advisory vote on pay."
Investor efforts to establish advisory votes on executive pay have been enormously successful over the last several years. In 2009, shareholders filed close to 100 of these resolutions, and votes averaged 46% in favor. To date more than 30 companies across a broad range of industries have voluntarily agreed to offer an advisory vote on executive pay, including Apple, Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft, Occidental Petroleum, Pfizer, Prudential, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Verizon, MBIA and PG&E.
About Calvert Investments
Calvert Investments is an investment management company that offers mutual funds and separate account strategies to institutional and retail investors, retirement plans, financial intermediaries and their clients. By combining rigorous analysis with independent thinking, our disciplined approach to money management goes beyond traditional factors in order to manage risk and to identify investment opportunities with greater long-term potential. We offer more than 50 equity, bond, cash, and asset allocation investment strategies, a number of which feature integrated corporate sustainability and responsibility research. Founded in 1976 and based in Bethesda, Maryland, Calvert Investments managed assets of more than $14 billion as of December 31, 2009.
A leader in Sustainable and Responsible Investments (SRI), Calvert Investments offers investors among the widest choice of SRI strategies of any investment management company in the United States. Each SRI strategy employs one of three proprietary approaches. Calvert Signature™ Strategies integrate two distinct research frameworks: a rigorous review of financial performance plus a thorough assessment of environmental, social and governance performance. Only when a company meets Calvert standards for both frameworks will we consider investing. Calvert Solution™ Strategies selectively invest in companies that produce products and services designed to solve some of today's most pressing sustainability challenges. Calvert SAGE™ Strategies emphasize strategic engagement to advance environmental, social and governance performance in companies that may not meet Calvert standards today, but have the potential to improve. More information on Calvert SRI strategies is available at www.Calvert.com/SRI.
SOURCE Calvert Asset Management Company, Inc., Bethesda, MD