BofA Shareholders to Get Exec Comp Veto

October 29, 2002 ( - Bank of America shareholders will get a new say in executive severance packages.

The new policy allows shareholders the opportunity to veto any severance package more than double the departing executive’s annual compensation, base salary plus bonus.

The proxy was adopted after the  April 24th shareholder meeting  approved the proposal by a 51% margin.

SEC regulations do not require corporate boards to adopt proxy resolutions, but increasing numbers of shareholders, including institutional investors, are paying attention to “golden parachutes”.

The Teamsters called for such a proposal after the severance packages given to former executives Hugh McColl and David Coulter, with McColl standing to earn $28 million in stock options and Coulter’s package totaling between $50 million and $100 million.

Other companies are feeling the same pressure.   The first 13 of 19 proposals seeking similar policies garnered an average of 39.6% of votes cast, up from 31.8% last year, according to Investor Responsibility Research Center.

The Teamsters have additional proposals on the table at Sysco Corp, Kroger Co. and Airborne Inc.   None of these have been adopted yet.