Morgan Stanley Shareholders Approve Pay After Bonus Cut

Morgan Stanley (MS) shareholders backed the bank’s executive-compensation package after the board cut Chief Executive Officer James Gorman’s pay by 7 percent and deferred bonuses for top managers.

Investors voted about 86 percent in favor of the policy in a non-binding resolution, down from about 95 percent last year, according to a preliminary tally today at the company’s annual meeting in Purchase, New York. They also elected the bank’s 14 board members, including new director Thomas Glocer, the former CEO of Thomson Reuters Corp. (TRI)

Gorman’s compensation fell to $9.75 million for 2012, and was 40 percent below target based on the firm’s performance, New York-based Morgan Stanley said in a March filing. Total shareholder return, including appreciation and dividends, was 28 percent in 2012, below the 36 percent median of the bank’s nine largest peers, said the company, which owns the world’s biggest brokerage.

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. recommended voting against the plan, saying Morgan Stanley paid better than peers while performing worse. ISS Proxy Services USA on April 30 said Gorman’s pay cut was aligned with performance and advised voting for the proposal.

Gorman, 54, got no cash bonus for 2012 and 38 percent of his pay was tied to specific future performance measures, up from 18 percent for 2011, Morgan Stanley said in the March filing urging shareholders to vote for the plan. The firm’s other named officers also got no cash bonus and had at least 34 percent of their pay tied to future performance.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Moore in New York at mmoore55@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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