Almost eight months ago, Occupy Wall Street began. Sure, they have had their ups and downs, and along the way many have questioned what they have been trying to do, but now, we might be seeing the first mark of change since they began protesting. Yesterday, Citigroup shareholders rejected the bank’s $15 million pay package for its chief executive Vikram S. Pandit. Although some people may think this isn’t a big deal, it is actually the first time that “stock owners have united in opposition to outsized compensation at a financial giant.” Pandit must be pisssssed!
It seems as though anger is rising, rising up from the everyday person who protested at Occupy Wall Street, to the “wealthy institutional investors like pension fund and mutual fund managers.” Is it possible? Has Occupy Wall Street actually made a difference? It turns out that 55 percent of the shareholders who voted were against the compensation plan for the bank’s top five executives. Who knew?!
I think Brian Wenzinger, a principal at Aronson Johnson Ortiz, said it best, “C.E.O.’s deserve good pay but there’s good pay and there’s obscene pay.” Rock the vote Wenzinger! Way to spread the wealth! Unfortunately, this vote is not binding, but Citigroup’s chairman, Richard D. Parsons, said the board will seriously consider it.
So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens, but everyone should be taking note…things are changing – even if it’s at a snail’s pace. Good luck Pandit – we’ve got our eyes on you.