UPDATE 3-Barrick faces heat from top Canadian pension funds

Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:14pm EDT
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* Funds decry $11.9 mln signing bonus for Barrick co-chairman

* Group opposes re-election of compensation committee members

* Group controls roughly 3.5 pct of Barrick's shares

* Barrick annual general meeting set for April 24

* Barrick shares close 1.1 pct higher on NYSE, TSX (Adds comment from ISS, Glass Lewis, background,)

By Euan Rocha and Julie Gordon and Allison Martell

TORONTO, April 19 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp, already under pressure from setbacks at its largest development project and a slump in the price of gold, now faces a shareholder revolt over a "troubling" payment to a member of its board.

A group of Canada's top pension funds, small but significant shareholders in the world's largest gold miner, said on Friday it opposes Barrick's $11.9 million signing bonus for co-chairman John Thornton, the man tipped as the miner's next chairman.

"This compensation is inconsistent with the governance principle of pay-for-performance and is therefore disproportionate and sets a troubling precedent in Canadian capital markets," the group said in a statement.   Continued...