During his speech, Aguilar said nothing is more important than aligning executive compensation with corporate performance, contending runaway executive pay can encourage excessive risk taking that hurts investors.

The ratio of CEO compensation to average worker pay has gone from 42 times in 1980 to over 200 times now, Aguilar noted. The widening gap between executive and rank-and-file pay raises questions of whether shareholders have benefited, he said.

He urged pension fund trustees to encourage companies they invest in to have online shareholder forums. One reason the forums have not become commonplace could be that “companies don’t want to hear what you have to say,” he told the audience.

He also urged the trustees to promote diversity in the boards of directors of the companies in which they invest.

Aguilar said diversity remains dismal, despite studies showing it adds to performance. “Staying silent is not an option if you want better performance and better returns,” he said.

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