Shareholders Vote For Strings on BofA 'Parachutes'

April 25, 2002 ( - Bank of America shareholders largely supported management's recommendations yesterday - but they approved a proposal to impose restrictions on executive severance packages.

The proposal, offered on behalf of the Teamsters Affiliates Pension Plan, gives shareholders veto power on any severance package that is more than double the departing officer’s annual compensation, including base salary and bonus.
According to a Teamsters press release, debate on the measure was influenced by the ‘golden parachute’ of the former CEO of NationsBank at the time of its merger with Bank of America, which was valued between $50 million and $100 million.

‘Shareholders sent a strong message to Bank of America that it needs to establish corporate accountability,’ said Carin Zelenko, Director of the Teamsters Office of Corporate Affairs. ‘This is a real indication that shareholders want executive compensation linked to performance.’

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Shareholders approved the company’s proposal for a key employee stock option plan, but turned down two shareholder proposals including changing the location of the annual meeting and the nomination process for directors.

All directors were reelected to the company’s board of directors.

Close ‘Call’

General Electric shareholders also followed management’s recommendations – rejecting all investor-sponsored proposals on issues ranging from dredging the Hudson River to pension funds.

But the vote on a proposal to require shareholder approval for adoption of any shareholder rights plans, or ‘poison pills,’ was a close call, with 53.4% against the proposal while 46.6% voted in favor.

About 8.12 billion shares were voted, representing 81.8 percent of GE’s total shares outstanding.