Yamana Gold pledges to fix executive pay plan after investors vote 'no'

Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:24pm EDT
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By Susan Taylor

TORONTO, April 29 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold Inc will change its executive pay plan to better reflect performance, the mid-tier miner told shareholders on Wednesday after they voted against the plan, a day after industry leader Barrick Gold Corp made the same promise to its unhappy investors.

More than 50 percent of Yamana shareholders who voted rejected the plan, according to early returns, Chief Executive Peter Marrone said after Yamana's annual meeting in Toronto.

"We regret this result, although we have clearly understood the message," Marrone told shareholders, adding that he had made a personal decision to waive 450,000 performance share units that he was awarded last June.

"I hope that that will be seen as a positive sign of our intention and commitment to aligning our compensation to performance," Marrone said.

The stock units, which have been canceled, were related to Yamana's and fellow Canadian gold miner Agnico-Eagle's joint purchase of Osisko Mining in 2014.

Although say-on-pay shareholder votes are not mandatory in Canada, and companies are not required to take action on the outcomes, they are considered important barometers of investor attitudes.

Influential advisory firm Glass Lewis recommended against Yamana's plan, citing excessive compensation and one-off awards, with a "significant disconnect between pay and performance".

The CPP Investment Board, Canada's largest pension fund manager, voted against the Yamana plan, but supported the reelection of the company's directors. All 10 Yamana directors were reelected on Wednesday.   Continued...