“Transparency is good corporate policy”

Be sure to read this press release from a Walmart investor coalition, in support of a shareholder resolution on executive pay recoupment. A selection from the release:

Connecticut Treasurer Denise L. Nappier said, “Walmart’s board of directors must stop equivocating and embrace the merits of full disclosure of clawback pay provisions for senior executives engaged in unethical and illegal activities.  Our shareholder resolution has, at its core, the recognition that full disclosure of actions to recover executive compensation may help to deter wrong-doing that ultimately undermines the company’s ability to create sustainable shareholder value.”

Over the past 18 months, numerous companies including Northrop Grumman, Omnicare, United Technologies and Halliburton have adopted recoupment disclosure policies, and some of these companies have begun including these disclosures in their 2014 proxy statements. After shareholders registered majority support for a similar proposal sponsored by the Trust and Amalgamated Bank LongView Funds last year, major pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corporation adopted its own comprehensive clawbacks disclosure policy. Many of the companies that have adopted clawbacks disclosure policies were facing regulatory and legal scrutiny when they put the policies in place.

“In the interest of good corporate citizenship, and preserving shareholder value, we urge Walmart to follow the examples set by other companies and adopt the type of disclosure policies we are advocating for now,” says Atwood. “What are they waiting for? Transparency is good corporate policy.”

“Two years after a costly corruption scandal came to light, Walmart has yet to disclose any effort to recoup incentive pay from executives who failed to prevent grave legal and regulatory violations,” says Scott Zdrazil, Director of Corporate Governance at Amalgamated Bank. “Transparency promotes accountability. We believe disclosure would prevent future damage to shareholder value.”


What do you think?