20 April- A large shareholder advisory firm has rebuked Warren Buffett for awarding large pay packages to the two leading candidates to succeed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. as chief executive.
In 2020, the Vice Chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain were awarded each$ 16 million in salary and$ 3 million in bonuses, which was the same as in 2019, and said it was unclear whether any of their pay was tied to Berkshire's performance.
The firm said the continued lack of transparency raised questions about oversight by Berkshire's compensation committee and recommended that shareholders withhold votes to re-elect its members- Susan Decker, David Gottesman, Walter Scott Jr. and Meryl Witmer as Berkshire directors.
Berkshire does not grant stock options; It did not respond immediately on Tuesday to a request for comment on the ISS's April 16 report. ISS also offered cautionary support for Buffett, citing the failure of Berkshire Hathaway Energy to set greenhouse gas emissions targets or be net-zero by 2050.
Abel is non-insurance units and Jain oversees insurance units at the Berkshire- Omaha, Nebraska-based Geico Car Insurance and the BNSF railroad.
His dozens of business include Charlie Munger and vice chairman Buffett focus on capital allocation and investments.
Berkshire has recommended that shareholders reelect all 14 directors at its 1 May annual meeting and reject shareholder proposals for greater disclosure about its efforts to address climate change and promote diversity and inclusion.
Shareholders will not attend because of the COVID -- 19 pandemic, but Berkshire will let the diversity and inclusion proposal be presented remotely.
Berkshire controls close to one-third of Buffett's voting power.
That makes it difficult for shareholders to prevail on votes when he is on the opposite side.