As annual meeting season begins, shareholders will experience something new: a choice. The vote on the frequency of future say-on-pay reviews, which Dodd-Frank mandates every public company include on its agenda this year, will give shareholders four options: voting on say on pay every three years, every two years, every year or "no opinion." "This is the first time in history that investors have had a multiple-choice vote," says Tim Smith, senior vice president at Walden Asset Management.

Walden and other institutional investors have been pushing companies to let shareholders review executive pay every year. Smith says with the Dodd-Frank requirement, it's looking as if this could be the year that happens.

So far, however, according to Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), which advises institutional clients, half of the companies that have announced their recommendations so far are supporting the three-year option.

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