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GE to divulge all work by executive pay consultant

December 29, 2006|From Bloomberg News

General Electric Co. said Thursday that it would go beyond a new federal disclosure rule on executive pay and tell shareholders for the first time the full extent of its compensation consultant's work for the company.

The decision followed talks with the AFL-CIO, GE spokesman Peter O'Toole said. The union federation is pressing companies for evidence that consultants are giving independent advice on executive pay.

GE paid Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt about $21 million in cash and stock for 2005.

"GE is setting a precedent that other companies should follow," said Dan Pedrotty, director of the office of investments at the AFL-CIO.

The disclosure by Fairfield, Conn.-based GE may set a standard before next year's round of annual shareholder meetings. The Securities and Exchange Commission has already ordered fuller disclosure of pay and the role that consultants play.

The GE board's compensation committee uses New York-based Frederic W. Cook & Co. as its pay consultant, O'Toole said. GE participates in Cook's survey of long-term incentive pay, which in turn is used by the compensation committee, he said.

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