This excerpt taken from the UNH DEF 14A filed Apr 23, 2009.
We have been informed that The Nathan Cummings Foundation, 475 Tenth Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, New York 10018, a beneficial holder of 2,100 shares of common stock and in conjunction with Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Trillium Asset Management as co-sponsors, intends to introduce at the Annual Meeting the following resolution.
This excerpt taken from the UNH DEF 14A filed Apr 28, 2008.
We have been informed that Walden Asset Management, a division of Boston Trust & Investment Management Company, One Beacon Street Boston, MA 02108, a beneficial holder of 117,500 shares of common stock, and in conjunction with the following co-sponsors: the Tides Foundation, the Funding Exchange, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Gun Denhart and Thomas Denhart, intends to introduce at the Annual Meeting the following resolution. In accordance with SEC rules, the text of the proposed shareholder resolution and supporting statement is printed verbatim from its submission.
RESOLVED, that shareholders of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated request the board of directors to adopt a policy that provides shareholders the opportunity at each annual shareholder meeting to vote on an advisory resolution, proposed by management, to ratify the compensation of the named executive officers (NEOs) set forth in the proxy statements Summary Compensation Table (the SCT) and the accompanying narrative disclosure of material factors provided to understand the SCT (but not the Compensation Discussion and Analysis). The proposal submitted to shareholders should make clear that the vote is non-binding and would not affect any compensation paid or awarded to any NEO.
The proponent has furnished the following statement:
Investors are increasingly concerned about mushrooming executive compensation which sometimes appears to be insufficiently aligned with the creation of shareholder value. As a result, in 2007 shareholders filed more than 60 say on pay resolutions with companies, averaging a 43%, vote including 42% at UnitedHealth. In fact, eight resolutions received majority votes.
In addition, the advisory vote was endorsed by the Council of Institutional Investors and a survey by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute found that 76% of its members favored giving shareholders an advisory vote. Furthermore a bill to provide for annual advisory votes on compensation passed in the House of Representatives by a 2-to-1 margin.
Aflac decided to present such a resolution to investors in 2008 and Verizon in 2009. TIAA-CREF, the largest pension fund in the world, held its first Advisory Vote in 2007 and reported it provided helpful feedback to the Board.
We believe that existing U.S. corporate governance arrangements, including SEC rules and stock exchange listing standards, do not provide shareholders with sufficient mechanisms for providing input to boards on senior executive compensation. In contrast to U.S. practices, in the United Kingdom, public companies allow shareholders to cast an advisory vote on the directors remuneration report, which discloses executive compensation. Such a vote isnt binding, but gives shareholders a clear voice that could help shape senior executive compensation.
Currently U.S. stock exchange listing standards require shareholder approval of equity-based compensation plans; those plans, however, set general parameters and accord the compensation committee substantial discretion in making awards and establishing performance thresholds for a particular year. Shareholders do not have any mechanism for providing ongoing feedback on the application of those general standards to individual pay packages.
If investors wish to register opposition to a pay package(s) in the previous year, they are forced to withhold votes from compensation committee members standing for reelection, a blunt and insufficient instrument for registering dissatisfaction.