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Canada Pension to Oppose Barrick Gold Compensation Model

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the country’s largest pension manager, plans to oppose Barrick Gold Corp.’s executive pay practices related to Co-Chairman John Thornton.

“We believe that the company has not adequately addressed key shareholder concerns related to its Co-Chair’s compensation,” Canada Pension said in statement on its website. “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.”

The Toronto-based money manager, with C$201.5 billion ($182.8 billion) in assets, approved the miner’s board of directors while voting against the compensation model in its filing. Proxy advisory service Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended all shareholders approve the plan this month.

Canada Pension joined the country’s largest pension funds in opposing Barrick’s compensation plan last year after Thornton received an $11.9 million signing bonus. Barrick said in September it was re-examining its policies.

Thornton succeeds Peter Munk as chairman of the Toronto-based gold company when Munk retires at the 2014 annual general meeting this week.

Thornton was awarded $8.9 million for 2013 excluding pension costs, down from $16.8 million the previous year, which included an $11.9 million signing bonus, the company said in a filing last month. Thornton’s pay includes $5 million in cash to be used to buy Barrick stock.

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