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Norwegian wealth fund to vote against Elon Musk’s Tesla pay package

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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund operated by Norges Bank Investment Management said Saturday it will vote against Elon Musk’s hefty CEO compensation package during Tesla’s annual meeting on Thursday.

It’s the latest pushback over the size of the pay package, which was recently valued by the company at $44.9 billion, but in January had a value of about $56 billion. In May, two big shareholder advisory firms, ISS and Glass Lewis, recommended voting against the package.

“While we appreciate the significant value generated under Mr. Musk’s leadership since the grant date in 2018, we remain concerned about the total size of the award, the structure given performance triggers, dilution, and lack of mitigation of key person risk,” Norges Bank Investment Management said in a statement on its website. “We will continue to seek constructive dialogue with Tesla on this and other topics.”

Tesla asked shareholders to restore Musk’s pay package after it was rejected by a Delaware judge this year.

The fund, called the Government Pension Fund Global, which has a .98% stake in Tesla worth $7.72 billion, voted against the package initially in 2018.

The fund invests proceeds from the country’s oil and gas industry to secure pensions for future generations in Norway. It is worth 17.80 trillion Norwegian Krone ($1.67 trillion). Because of its sheer size, the fund does not reinvest all its money in Norway, or it would overheat the economy. It invests in 72 countries worldwide.

The fund also plans to vote for several shareholder policies that management has recommended shareholders vote against, including a proposal to adopt a noninterference policy respecting freedom of association and collective bargaining; adopting a simple majority vote; declassifying the board of directors; and publishing reports on harassment and discrimination prevention efforts.

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