Citigroup Inc. investors rejected the bank’s executive pay plan, a first among the six largest U.S. lenders, amid criticism it lets Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit collect millions of dollars in rewards too easily.
About 45 percent of the votes favored the plan, which Citigroup had argued would help attract and retain top talent, according to a preliminary tally at the New York-based firm’s annual meeting in Dallas today. While the vote isn’t binding, outgoing Chairman Richard Parsons said changes will be made.
The only large bank to have a compensation plan rejected by shareholders was Cleveland-based KeyCorp in 2010, she said. According to KeyCorp’s 2011 shareholder letter, the company subsequently reduced pay for then-CEO Henry L. Meyer III to $4.5 million from $5 million.