New York's pension funds asked Home Depot Inc., Blockbuster Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical Cos. to let shareholders vote on whether they approved of top executives' pay packages.
The formal proposal submitted by New York City Employees' Retirement System trustees, including City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, would allow investors in the three companies to cast a vote of no confidence in management.
"Institutional investors are fed up with the unbridled excesses of executive compensation in the U.S.," Thompson said in a statement. "We've had enough of bonus payments, salary increases, retirement benefits and other payoffs from equity-based plans that are often not even remotely correlated with the performance of executives."
Since the 1990s, U.S. pension funds have been offering different kinds of shareholder resolutions at annual corporate meetings in an attempt to rein in rising executive salaries.