* Swiss to vote on executive pay plan on March 3
* Fierce campaigning by business lobby against plans
ZURICH Jan 13 The majority of Swiss voters
support a plan to impose some of the tightest limits in the
world on "fat cat" pay, a poll published on Sunday showed.
The poll, conducted by Isopublic for the Sonntags-Blick
newspaper from Thursday to Saturday, showed that 54 percent of
the 1,019 people surveyed back the plan, while 30 percent are
opposed and 16 percent are still undecided.
Swiss citizens will vote in a referendum on March 3 to
decide whether to give shareholders a binding vote on executive
pay and ban practices like "golden handshakes" - or big payouts
- for new hires and "golden parachutes" for departing managers.
The plan is the brainchild of small
businessman-turned-politician Thomas Minder, who launched his
drive for reform in 2008 after huge losses at Swiss bank UBS
were blamed on a bonus culture that drove managers to
take too many risks.
Powerful business lobby Economiesuisse has launched a huge
public campaign against the Minder's plan, arguing it risks
making Switzerland a less attractive home for big firms and
could scare away international talent.
A survey commissioned by Economiesuisse published on Friday
showed that the plan would make Switzerland the only country to
give shareholders a binding say on pay, while planned sanctions
and fines for executives would also be unique worldwide.
The Swiss government and Economiesuisse want more limited
measures to increase shareholder control over executive pay
which have already been adopted by parliament and will come into
force if the plan being put to referendum is rejected.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson. Editing by Jane Merriman)