Canadian Manufacturing

Barrick Gold faces investor mutiny over massive bonus

MONTREAL—Some of Canada’s biggest institutional investors are hoping to block Barrick Gold Corp.’s decision to award an $11.9-million bonus payment to their co-Chairman, John L. Thornton, who only recently appointed in June 2012.

The group of investors control assets of $916 billion, say in a release that the bonus amount is unprecedented in Canada for a co-chairman of the Board and, added to other compensation for the year, total $17 million in 2012.

“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 release.

The investors promise to “vote against both the Advisory Resolution on Executive Compensation and the election of the members of the Compensation Committee at the Barrick Gold Annual General Meeting. We have expressed our concern in a letter to the Chairman of the Board.”

The investors include:

  • Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo)
    • British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC)
    • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ)
    • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
    • Hermes Equity Ownership Services (Hermes – EOS)
    • Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS)
    • Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP)
    • Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments)

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