SOURCE: Christian Brothers Investment Services

Christian Brothers Investment Services

November 10, 2009 09:00 ET

Christian Brothers Investment Services Makes New Push for "Say on Executive Pay" at Cisco

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS), a leader in socially responsible investing (SRI) for Catholic institutions, today announced a new push for a "say on executive pay" proxy resolution at Cisco Systems. As investors become increasingly concerned about excessive executive compensation, CBIS is asking one of the leading U.S. high-tech companies to put its pay practices to an annual shareholder vote.

"Executive pay at public corporations has come under increasing scrutiny, demanding decisive action from industry leaders like Cisco," said Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at CBIS. "Our resolution urges Cisco's board to allow shareholders to provide direct feedback about senior executive compensation by establishing an annual vote. At CBIS, we and our clients believe that this is a 'best practice' in board accountability."

Surveys have shown that 90% of institutional investors and 61% of corporate directors think the current executive compensation system has overpaid executives, according to Watson Wyatt. In addition, some 75% of both directors and investors agree that the U.S. executive pay model has hurt corporate America's image.

For 2009, investors have filed approximately 100 Say on Pay proposals. Votes on these resolutions averaged more than 46% in favor, and more than 25 companies had votes over 50%, demonstrating strong shareholder support for this reform.

"Executive compensation systems should provide corporate management with the right incentives to build a successful, sustainable company, but prosperity should be shared broadly within the company," said Mary Pat LeRoy of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary U.S. Ontario Province, which is a co-sponsor of the resolution.

CBIS is presenting its resolution, backed by 804,564 shares of Cisco common stock, at Cisco's annual meeting on November 12, 2009. It sponsored a similar resolution at Cisco in 2007, receiving a strong 48% vote. Last year, CBIS withdrew that resolution after Cisco proposed to undertake a number of related initiatives, including the consideration of shareholder input on executive compensation.

This year, CBIS is re-launching its campaign to establish an annual "advisory vote" at Cisco. A nonbinding advisory vote won't override Cisco's compensation decisions, but it will allow Cisco shareholders to have a voice and encourage Cisco to explain and justify its executive pay policy to shareholders. "Given the preponderance of evidence showing a clear trend toward Say on Pay at U.S. companies, including recent legislative proposals that could mandate such policies for all public corporations, we are surprised that Cisco has not chosen to lead on the issue," continued Tanner. "In light of this, CBIS determined the need to re-file its resolution this year."

Influential proxy voting service RiskMetrics Group has recommended a vote in favor of the CBIS resolution.

More than 30 companies have adopted Advisory Votes, including Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. In addition, nearly 300 TARP participants established an Advisory Vote in 2009.

For the full text of CBIS' resolution, listed as "Proposal No. 6: Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation" on the Cisco proxy ballot, visit CBIS' Shareholder Advocacy Directory at and select "Cisco" from the list of companies.

Co-sponsors of CBIS' resolution include members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR): Community Church of New York, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, The Funding Exchange, Glenmary Home Missioners, Needmor Fund, Tides Foundation, Christus Health, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary U.S. Ontario Province, and Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P.

According to a September 24, 2009 Associated Press article, in the latest year Cisco CEO John Chambers received $14.2 million in annual compensation including salary, stock options, and a bonus, up 16% from a year earlier. At the same time, Cisco laid off about 2,000 employees during the year. The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation, and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

For more information on CBIS, or to speak with Julie Tanner, please contact Carol Graumann at (973) 732-3521 or

About Christian Brothers Investment Services

Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS) is a leader in Catholic socially responsible investing (SRI) with approximately $3.6 billion in AUM for more than 1,000 Catholic institutions worldwide, including dioceses, religious institutes, educational institutions, and health care organizations. CBIS' combination of premier institutional asset managers, diversified product offerings, and careful risk-control strategies constitutes a unique investment approach for Catholic institutions and their fiduciaries. CBIS strives to integrate faith-based values into the investment process through a disciplined approach to socially responsible investing that includes principled purchasing (stock screens), active ownership strategies (proxy voting, dialogues, and shareholder resolutions) and community investment. Visit CBIS on the Web at

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