Questions Being Asked about Corporate Executive Salaries

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Questions Being Asked about Corporate Executive Salaries

Toronto: Shareholders at today’s annual meeting of the Bank of Nova Scotia will be hearing a thought-provoking challenge from at least one proxy holder who’s asking questions about the salaries earned by the bank’s top executives.

William Davis is the retired Chief Financial Officer for The United Church of Canada and a long-time advocate of corporate social responsibility. He will be attending the meeting in Halifax as a shareholder and as co-filer with The United Church of Canada and NEI Investments of a motion that asked the bank to integrate vertical metrics into the calculation of executive compensation. That motion was withdrawn when the Bank of Nova Scotia indicated its willingness to take the concern seriously.

Davis says the question of excessive executive compensation has been attracting a good deal of attention in recent years, and many feel it is one of the reasons that Canada’s economy is under threat.

“Income disparity and the widening gap between those at the very top and the rest of society is hollowing out the middle class and creating stress on many workers, who are working longer for less while the savings from downsizing and hiring freezes are enriching senior staff,” comments Davis.

He explains that senior executives of major companies already rank among the highest-paid individuals in the economy. In the absence of mechanisms to assess whether levels of compensation are reasonable, the vast gap that has opened over recent years between the compensation of senior executives and other workers will continue to grow.

For further information:
Mary-Frances Denis
Media and Public Relations
The United Church of Canada
416-231-7680 ext. 2016
1-800-268-3781 ext. 2016