Insights

ISS Evaluation of Director Pay Could Lead to Negative Vote Recommendation on Select Board Members in 2019

Beginning this proxy season, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) began to examine the reasonableness of non-employee director pay. The outcome of this examination could lead ISS to issue a negative vote recommendation on incumbent directors serving on the board committee responsible for setting director pay who are standing for election in 2019.

Posted by on

Under its new proxy voting policy on non-employee director compensation, ISS will generally recommend shareholders vote AGAINST members of the board committee that are responsible for approving or setting non-employee director (NED) compensation if there is a pattern (i.e., 2…

Compensation Advisors Deliver Advice on Taxes, Culture, and Big Investors

Reprinted editorial coverage from Leading Minds of Compensation–South, which is running in the May/June 2018 issue of NACD Directorship magazine.

Posted by on

Regardless of how complex the process for setting and reporting on executive pay becomes, or how simple some critics believe the process should be, one truth reigns: money motivates. That was the theme when a panel of directors and compensation…

Preventative Care for Executive Compensation Programs

Reprinted from the May/June 2018 issue of NACD Directorship magazine

Posted by and on

In many cases, U.S. public companies receive a high level of support from shareholders for their annual advisory vote on the executive compensation program. Based on these results, companies often conclude there is no need to make any material changes…

Senate Banking Committee Requests Answers from Proxy Advisory Firms

Earlier this month, members of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee sent letters to the two major proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis (GL), requesting answers about their business practices.

Posted by on

In these letters, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and his colleagues raise questions related to each proxy advisory firm’s voting system, report inaccuracies and conflicts of interest. The letters also express concern about the proxy advisory firms’ market concentration and significantly…

NACD Leading Minds of Compensation – South

NACD's Leading Minds of Compensation program is a forum for engaged compensation committee chairs, members, and directors to exchange insights with the nation's top thought leaders.

Posted by on

Meridian was proud to be a sponsor of this unique opportunity discussing the latest executive and director compensation challenges and trends. The country’s leading compensation experts including Lead Consultant, Virginia Rhodes, provided an invaluable outlook on compensation, and then opened…

2018 Trends and Developments in Executive Compensation

Meridian provides an overview of the current executive compensation and corporate governance landscape.

Posted by on

In the past year, several factors have driven change in the executive compensation landscape in the U.S. Each year, Meridian identifies key developments regarding how companies respond to these ever changing conditions. (Read last year’s survey here.) This year share price…

Relative TSR Still Delivers Real Pay-for-Performance Alignment in the Oil & Gas Industry

Among the ten largest Oil & Gas production companies that have reported 2017-2018 compensation actions, each has either implemented or enhanced a financial returns metric for 2018 incentive compensation.

Posted by on

The menu of industry annual incentive metrics (and some long-term incentive metrics) now includes several instances of ROCE, Cash ROCE, ROIC, estimated wellhead returns, and other non-GAAP measures of investment returns. Investors may welcome the incentive accountability to financial returns,…

Status of Proposals to Link State and Local Corporate Taxes to CEO Pay Ratio

As we reported last March, several jurisdictions have proposed (and one has enacted) tax surcharges, higher corporate income tax rates or fees tied to a public company’s CEO pay ratio. Since then, these proposals seem to have gained little legislative traction. This Update examines whether the ongoing public disclosures of CEO pay ratios have proven to be a catalyst for legislative action and whether other jurisdictions have proposed similar taxes.

Posted by on

New Proposal – California Proposes Scaled Corporate Income Tax Rate Tied to a Public Company’s “Compensation Ratio” California is the sole jurisdiction to propose linking corporate income tax to a public company’s compensation ratio since last March. Submitted to the…

Long-Term Incentives: Compensation Committee Challenges

Inside America’s Boardrooms is a weekly web show that features board members and governance experts with varying perspectives and board committee experience hosted by TK Kerstetter.

Posted by on

While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has brought some positives to the economy and certainly to select individuals, it has also brought some challenges to compensation committees as they try to figure out the correct balance for long-term incentives…

ISS Guidance on Proxy Reports and Company Engagement

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently issued updated guidance related to the publication of its U.S. proxy research reports and the process for company engagements. These are timely topics for a company to consider with the 2018 Proxy Season well underway.

Posted by on

Generally, ISS issues its U.S. proxy research reports between 13 and 18 calendar days prior to the shareholder meeting date during peak U.S. proxy season from April through June. At other times of the year, ISS aims to publish its…

Hot-Button Board Compensation Issues

Corporate Board Member recently sat down with Bob Romanchek, partner with Meridian Compensation Partners to talk about board compensation.

Posted by on

Board compensation is always a hot topic for directors, with outside director compensation, lead director compensation, equity grants, the actual value of outside director pay and instances where companies have been sued for excessive outside director pay all front-burner topics. In the…

Vesting Doesn’t Make Sense

From Corporate Board Member - "Board Governance Series," Second Quarter 2018

Posted by on

It usually perks up the ears of most corporate directors when you say “board compensation.” What’s happened recently in this area, particularly with equity grants? If you take a step back, outside director compensation has generally been in a pretty…

Performance-Based Long-Term Incentives: What Have We Done?

From January/February 2018 NACDonline.org - Executive incentive design has grown incredibly complex. Boards should consider simplifying by aligning pay with long-term stock price performance.

Posted by on

Are you satisfied with the design and operation of your company’s performance-based longterm incentive program for top executives? Chances are you are not. In chasing that ever-elusive pay-for performance vehicle design, you may have gone from stock options to performance…

Avoiding Action on Director Pay

How boards can protect themselves against scrutiny - From C-Suite Magazine, an Equilar publication - Issue 26, Winter 2018

Posted by on

A wave of lawsuits surrounding director compensation surfaced a couple of years ago, often alleging “excessive” pay for boards of directors on a variety of grounds. Because boards set their own pay levels, there are potential legal ramifications due to…

Managing Incentive Plans in a Cyclical Business

As seen in Corporate Board Member First Quarter 2018 - Compensation is always tricky, but it’s even tougher in an up-and-down business, where markets—as much as the managers—run the show. Jim Wolf, managing partner at Meridian Compensation Partners, offers advice on getting it right.

Posted by on

There is no more contentious, complex or difficult issue for boards than setting up the right incentives for executives. With companies in cyclical businesses that may have commodity costs as a large portion of performance, the challenge gets even more…

Delaware Court Case May Have Far Reaching Effects on Director Compensation

Boards of public companies should closely examine the manner in which director compensation is determined in light of a recent decision by the influential Delaware Supreme Court regarding Investors Bancorp (“Bank”).

Posted by on

The upshot of the Delaware Supreme Court decision is whether equity plans of public companies should include prescribed annual limits on director compensation. According to the Court’s decision, the presence or absence of such limits will determine whether director compensation…

The CEO Pay Ratio: What to Expect This Proxy Season

From Boardroom Resources: Bob Romanchek, Partner at Meridian Compensation Partners LLC, explains that certain institutional investors (e.g., public pension plans) may use pay ratio results to form their activism efforts, engagement priorities, and proxy voting.

Posted by on

As the Dodd-Frank-mandated CEO pay ratio looms large this proxy season, many boards and compensation committees have already completed their calculations and are awaiting the impact. Added as a last-minute mandate to the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, the CEO pay…

Bringing Pay for Performance Into Focus Requires the Right Lens

By Annette Leckie and Charles Grace - Reprinted from the November/December 2017 issue of NACD Directorship magazine

Posted by and on

Savvy investors understand the value of a strong management team and are willing to pay handsomely—if company performance warrants. It’s important to design executive pay to reward great performance and penalize poor performance. In our experience, most directors strive to…