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Largest sovereign wealth fund plans to vote against Tim Cook's $99M pay

Norway's oil fund has declared it will be voting against a pay policy that would provide Apple CEO Tim Cook a $99 million compensation package along with other proposals ahead of Apple's annual shareholder meeting.

Apple will be holding its annual shareholder meeting virtually on Friday, March 4, giving an opportunity for votes to be cast on a number of proposals. Days ahead of the event, one organization has disclosed how it intends to vote.

Norway's oil fund, the world's largest sovereign wealth fund valued at $1.3 trillion, said on Sunday it will be voting against Apple on pay policies. The disclosure includes one vote that would grant Tim Cook salary and bonuses valued at $99 million.

The fund said that a substantial part of annual pay should be provided in shares, which should be locked in for five to ten years, reports the Financial Times. It also says the board "should provide transparency on total remuneration to avoid unacceptable outcomes."

The group will also be voting against Apple in relation to transparency, forced labor, an audit of civil rights, and sustainability disclosures.

The signaling by the fund follows after another declaration from February 16, when Institutional Shareholder Services told clients to vote against the pay and bonus package. ISS cited "significant concern" with the stock award in 2021.

Norway's fund owned approximately 1 percent of the shares in Apple as of December 31, 2020. The ownership on its own isn't necessarily enough to make a difference, especially since shareholders typically follow recommendations from Apple's Board of Directors.