04/24/2015 03:04 EDT | Updated 06/24/2015 05:59 EDT

Canada Pension Plan To Vote Against Barrick Gold's Executive Pay Plan

TORONTO - How Barrick Gold Corp. pays its top executives is facing opposition from some of Canada's biggest investment managers, including the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, ahead of the gold miner's annual meeting next week.

The CPPIB joined other fund managers Friday in saying Barrick hasn't adequately addressed shareholder concerns about executive chairman John Thornton's paycheque.

"We believe the company continues to inadequately address key shareholder concerns related to its chair's compensation," CPPIB says in its statement.

"We continue to be concerned with the company's practice of granting outsized awards on a largely discretionary basis, which we believe is inconsistent with the governance principle of pay-for-performance," CPPIB said in a statement Friday.

Earlier: CIBC Shareholders Vote Against Former Execs' $25-Million Package

CPPIB said it will vote against the company's non-binding "say-on-pay" resolution and will withhold its vote for the head of Barrick's committee for executive compensation, Brett Harvey.

Barrick spokesman Andy Lloyd said the company judges its executives against "a long-term scorecard" and rewards performance with shares that must held until retirement from the company.

"The result is that our leaders' personal wealth is tied to the long-term success of the business, such that they are 100 per cent incentivized to build long-term value for fellow owners," Lloyd said in a email Friday.

CPPIB was among seven major Canadian fund managers that objected to Thornton's compensation two years ago at Barrick's annual meeting, when he was co-chairman with Barrick founder Peter Munk.

Munk retired at last year's annual meeting and Barrick has made some changes to its executive compensation, but the gold miner still faces opposition from some of Canada's biggest money managers.

The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has raised concerns this year about the discretionary compensation for Thornton, as well as the makeup of Barrick's board of directors.

Teachers' said it plans to vote against the executive compensation plan and withhold its votes for all of the directors.

"Coupled with our ongoing concerns with the compensation decisions taken by the board, we have now lost confidence in the ability of the directors to effectively exercise their duties to our level of satisfaction. Therefore, we cannot support any of the director nominees," Teachers' said in a statement.

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