Fidelity Studies Exec. Comp Issue

June 13, 2002 ( - Trustees of Fidelity Investments' mutual funds have asked the giant fund company's legal department to study how they can best pressure corporate directors to keep a close eye on a company's executive compensation.

The move may be a prelude to a Fidelity policy of withholding votes for directors judged to have not paid enough attention to the controversial executive compensation area, according to a Reuters news report.

Fidelity already withholds votes if a company goes outside certain executive compensation parameters including the adopting of golden parachute severance plans.
Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley said the US proxy season is almost over so any changes may not come about for some time.

The question of whether corporate chiefs are overpaid has become a hot issue since it was learned that certain companies, which have collapsed or are struggling, were among the most generous.

Fidelity manages about $860 billion in assets.