UPDATE 1-Barrick Gold's executive pay plan backed by proxy advisor ISS

Wed Apr 9, 2014 8:48am EDT

(Adds detail on ISS's assessment, background)

By Allison Martell

TORONTO, April 9 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp's push to improve governance has won the approval of influential proxy adviser ISS, which is recommending that clients vote with the board at the miner's annual meeting, according to a report obtained by Reuters.

Institutional Shareholder Services is recommending a vote in favor of Barrick's revamped executive compensation plan, as well as all of its board nominees, at the April 30 meeting.

Last year ISS, along with rival adviser Glass Lewis, recommended that clients vote against a non-binding pay resolution, which was soundly rejected.

Barrick in March unveiled a plan to pay the largest part of top executives' compensation in units that convert into the company's shares. Executives cannot sell the shares until they retire or leave the company.

ISS said Barrick had responded to shareholders' concerns, and the changes should improve disclosure and better link the long-term interests of management and investors.

Barrick announced a board shake-up in December, saying two longtime directors would not stand for re-election and naming four new nominees. It also confirmed that founder and Chairman Peter Munk would step down. (Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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