BGI says it has a team of 12 full-time staff globally who are fully dedicated to analyzing and executing corporate governance policy. Seven of those staff are located in the U.S. and are tasked with a special focus on North American assets.

Abe Friedman, BGI's global head of corporate governance, heads this group and is a managing director of the firm. Additionally, BGI claims to vote in 100% of the votes it is eligible to participate in every year. BGI also says it follows a rigorous set of proxy voting guidelines in deciding how to vote.

Given this level of staffing, it's puzzling that BGI's pro-shareholder voting record, according to Proxy Democracy, is so low. Eggers told me recently that BGI has been particularly low in supporting shareholder resolutions and proposals that aim to rein in executive compensation. According to their voting record posted on the site, BGI has supported management on executive compensation in 95.4% of the votes . That's particularly noteworthy, given last week's news that 400 senior Barclays' executives would receive a "windfall" $630.3 million payout from BlackRock for selling BGI, prompting shareholder outrage. BGI Chairman Bob Diamond will pocket $36.5 million from the sale, while BGI CEO Blake Grossman, will take home $91.2 million. If that's the example set from the top of BGI, I'm not surprised that the voting record says BGI supports management on executive compensation issues at such a high rate.

A couple of years ago, when I ran an activist campaign targeting Yahoo! ( YHOO), I reached out to all the large institutional holders of the stock leading up to the annual meeting. I had made the public argument that a few Yahoo! directors deserved to be voted off the board because of the company's poor performance and general misdirection (most of the directors I identified are still on the board, by the way).

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