Canadian Insights

UPDATE: Draft Legislation Released Changing Tax Treatment of Stock Options Effective January 1, 2020

On June 17, the federal government released draft legislative language to implement the proposed changes to the taxation of stock options in Canada, as introduced in the 2019 Budget in March.

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The budget proposed to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of stock options, above an annual $200,000 face value, for large, long-established, mature firms. (See Meridian’s update here for details of the original proposal.) The highlights of the implementation language include:…

Horses for Courses

How compensation committees can choose the performance metrics that are right for their business.

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Incentive plans have two primary purposes: 1) To motivate behaviour and drive performance aligned with strategy and 2) To align rewards with shareholder interests. From these two simple purposes come the most difficult work of the compensation committee and an…

Compensation Challenges of a Falling Canadian Dollar

With uncertainty in the worldwide economy and commodity prices, the Canadian dollar has fallen to a six-year low versus the U.S. dollar, affecting compensation programs for a large number of Canadian companies.

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After a long period of relative stability and near parity, the Canadian dollar has fallen to about 80 cents U.S. – a six-year low. The outlook for further movement up or down, is unclear and is tied both to the…

Thinking Like an Activist—The Benefits of Looking at Executive Compensation Programs through a Critical Lens

Looking at your executive compensation program from an activist perspective will help you assess how likely it is your company will have to deal with activist investors.

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The significant increase in shareholder activism has many companies and compensation committees playing defense. While the specter of activist interest is generally viewed with concern, looking at your executive compensation programs from the perspective of an activist investor can focus…

Holiday Highlights

10 Of the Biggest Executive Compensation Stories From 2013

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2013 was a busy year for executive compensation in Canada. Here are 10 highlights from this year: 1. Pay for Performance Continues to be a Primary Focus of Compensation Committees Committees are becoming more engaged in aligning pay for performance…

Review of Horizontal Benchmarking and Its Impact on CEO Compensation and Pay Disparity

Meridian’s Analysts Share Their Findings After Surveying Academic Studies And Compensation Trends And What They Have To Say About Horizontal Benchmarking And CEO Pay

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Executive Summary Introduction Meridian was asked by a group of six Canadian banks (“the Banks”) to review horizontal benchmarking and its potential impact on CEO Compensation and pay disparity to assist with their consideration of concerns raised in shareholder proposals.…

Stress-Testing: So Many Questions to Answer

How To Stress-Test And What It Will Tell You About Your Compensation Packages

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More than just a popular governance buzz word, “stress-testing” incentive compensation designs provides valuable information for compensation committees and management alike. Stress testing incentive compensation helps organizations understand the relationship between the compensable performance range and business results and identify…

CCGG Releases New Executive Compensation Principles

The 6 new Principles Represent Best Practices for Canadian Institutional Shareholders

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The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) has released its new executive compensation principles. The CCGG represents Canadian institutional shareholders who manage almost $2 trillion of assets on behalf of major shareholders and is viewed as a leader in promoting…