(Adds detail on vote tallies)
NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) - Shareholders of American International Group Inc strengthened their support for the U.S. insurance company's executive compensation plan after the board made changes to its pay packages, according to vote totals AIG released on Thursday.
Nearly 94% of the shareholder votes tallied supported the board's 2020 executive compensation plan, AIG said. That compares with votes of 55% in favor of the plan in 2019 and 62% in 2018.
AIG was criticized for excess after it received a $180 billion taxpayer bailout in 2008 while still paying executives tens of millions of dollars and paying for posh client events.
Criticism was reignited under Chief Executive Officer Brian Duperreault, who joined the U.S. insurer in May 2017 with a lucrative package and presided over pay to other executives with few strings attached.
Two proxy advisory firms, which suggest how shareholders should vote on executive pay and other proposals, gave AIG's 2020 pay plan cautious approval before the vote, saying the board had made enough changes to warrant a "yes" vote.
They noted, however, that the company's stock performance has been poor, that Duperreault is compensated more than peers, and that AIG has room to improve structural issues with executive pay.
AIG said that nearly 659.9 million shares voted in support of the pay plan, and 42.6 million against. All other AIG proposals passed during the Wednesday shareholder meeting.
A shareholder proposal to make it easier for shareholders to call special meetings was voted down 56% to 44%. The tally was 393.5 million shares against and 309 million in favor, AIG said. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis)