Notice of Petition - "Compensation, Retirement Programs and Related Benefits" Gene Batali 612 Follow Through Drive Yakima, WA 98901-1527
April 19, 2013
Barry F Mardock Deputy Director, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration 1501 Farm Credit Drive McLean, VA 22102-5090
Dear Barry Mardock:
Thank you for requesting comment on the regulatory petition filed by The Farm Credit Council regarding the Agency's say on pay mandatory shareholder vote on compensation matters.
As a director of a Farm Credit System institution, I support the request contained in the Council's petition that the agency withdraw the say on pay vote requirement. Asking shareholders to vote on matters that are the purview of the board of directors is inconsistent with the Farm Credit Act, with cooperative principles, undermines the role and responsibility of directors to represent the interests of shareholders and increases litigation exposure for directors and institutions. Shareholder engagement on compensation matters already exists through the disclosure requirements that are in place and the ability of shareholders to express their views on these matters to management and boards at any time.
I have been a Farm Credit System director for 25 years, 15 on the NWFCS board and 10 on the CoBank board. During those years I have always felt that both boards were very diligent on how they handled management pay. Both organizations tied it to performance. I have never heard any negatives from shareholders and there is an old saying "IF IT ISN'T BROKEN DO NOT TRY AND FIX IT".
Please modify the final rule on compensation and benefit program disclosure to remove the requirement for say on pay voting.