Investors demand Big Pharma link CEO pay to global vaccine equity, including sharing technology

12 January 2022:  A group of institutional investors representing $3.5 trillion in assets under management have called on pharmaceutical companies to link their executives' pay to global vaccine equity.

The 65 participating asset managers, pension funds and insurance companies signed a letter sent to the boards of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. The letter asks them to adopt a World Health Organization (WHO) roadmap for achieving equitable vaccine access and tying it to management pay "in a meaningful, material, measurable and transparent way. "

"It should make business sense for a vaccine manufacturer to aim to vaccinate the whole world," said Frank Wagemans of Achmea Investment Management, one of the backers of the initiative. Other participating investors include Nomura, Investec, Boston Common Asset Management, Candriam, GAM, Aegon and PGGM.

Vaccine deliveries worldwide have been delayed by production problems, hoarding by governments of rich countries, export restrictions, and red tape. The investor group said key points include better participation in international vaccine programs, and the licensing and sharing of technology so that low-income countries can produce vaccines locally.

While the majority of citizens of wealthy nations are vaccinated and many are now receiving booster shots, across Africa vaccination rates average around 10%. Globally, only 8.9% of people in low-income countries have received one dose of a vaccine.

  • Read the full Reuters report here.