January 28, 2011

On the same day the SEC released its say on pay guidance, Monsanto released its voting results—the first company to do so in the mandatory Dodd Frank SOP era.  ISS immediately trumpeted the fact that Monsanto’s shareholders, a significant portion of whom are institutions, rejected management’s three year recommendation by about 62-36% to adopt a one year SWOP period.  ISS’ comments can be found at here.

But, Monsanto Shareholders Ignore ISS and Approve of Executive Pay

Perhaps just as interesting, however, by about the same proportion (65 to 34%), and contrary to the recommendation of ISS against approval of the company’s executive pay practices, Monsanto shareholders approved such executive pay practices in the SOP vote.  The Company’s release of the vote is at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1110783/000095013811000036/mon-8k.htm.  While some commentators point out the high number of shareholders voting against the company on the SOP vote, it is interesting that the company’s pay practices were upheld despite the high proportion of institutional holdings of Monsanto, the ISS recommendation of a “no” vote, and the lopsided company loss on the SWOP vote.