Teach­ers join list against Bom­bardier chair

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - ROSS MAROWITS

MONTREAL — The On­tario Teach­ers’ Pen­sion Plan has joined sev­eral large in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors in vot­ing against the re-elec­tion of Bom­bardier’s ex­ec­u­tive chair and the com­pany’s ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion plan.

“Our as­sess­ment of re­cent events con­firms the need for in­de­pen­dent board lead­er­ship,” the Toronto-based pen­sion plan said in a re­port on its web­site.

Teach­ers’ added it doesn’t typ­i­cally sup­port the role of ex­ec­u­tive chair, but did back the elec­tion last year of Pierre Beau­doin, whose fam­ily con­trols the com­pany through mul­ti­ple-vot­ing shares.

The pen­sion plan also said it has con­cerns about the board’s ap­proach to ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion de­spite Bom­bardier’s im­prov­ing per­for­mance.

“We found im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion miss­ing to sup­port the com­pen­sa­tion de­ci­sions of the board and as a re­sult find that the re­sult­ing link­age be­tween pay and per­for­mance is not suf­fi­ciently jus­ti­fied,” it stated.

Teach­ers’ also voted against the ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion plan in last year’s non-bind­ing vote.

The pen­sion plan does not dis­close its hold­ings in Bom­bardier since it is be­low its $150-mil­lion thresh­old.

The Caisse de de­pot pen­sion fund man­ager and Que­bec Fed­er­a­tion of Labour’s Sol­i­dar­ity Fund said they have cast sim­i­lar votes ahead of its an­nual meet­ing Thurs­day.

The Caisse owns more than 53 mil­lion class A and B shares in Bom­bardier. It also has a 30 per cent stake in Bom­bardier’s rail­way divi­sion.

The Bri­tish Columbia In­vest­ment Man­age­ment Corp. said it also plans to vote its nearly 7 mil­lion shares against Bom­bardier’s com­pen­sa­tion pol­icy and will op­pose non-in­de­pen­dent direc­tors.

Bom­bardier said Beau­doin will con­tinue to stand for re-elec­tion, but would not com­ment un­til the mat­ter is dis­cussed at the an­nual meet­ing.

Ot­tawa gave the com­pany a $372.5-mil­lion loan in Fe­bru­ary for re­search and de­vel­op­ment with the goal of pre­serv­ing jobs.

The an­nounce­ment came nearly two months be­fore Bom­bardier dis­closed its in­creased com­pen­sa­tion.

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