Energy Insights

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Measuring E&P Capital Decisions in an Annual Incentive Plan is Complicated

Are E&P companies using the right metrics in their annual incentive programs?

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There has been a lot of attention (both from the media and investors) focused on whether E&P companies are using the right metrics in their annual incentive programs. E&P companies have been criticized for a heavy focus on production and…

Effective Use of Discretion in Annual Incentives

Analyzing bonus payout outcomes of publicly traded E&P companies.

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Going into 2015, annual incentive goal-setting was challenging for oil & gas companies, to say the least. E&P companies were wrestling with lowering production, where production growth is traditionally a cornerstone E&P bonus metric. Services and drilling companies were experiencing…

The BP Shareholder Vote: A Cautionary Tale

Despite using the "correct" process, BP shareholders still took issue with the company's compensation programs.

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Compensation is often more about the message than the money. BP’s recent shareholder vote offered some valuable lessons for other energy companies about sending the right messages to shareholders when commodity prices impact business results. On April 14th, nearly 60%…

The Impact of Lower Stock Prices on 2016 Say on Pay

Many energy companies should anticipate tripping ISS's absolute stock price test.

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The current industry downturn is already impacting compensation programs and will likely also impact the upcoming Say on Pay season. Based on our research, the market decline will cause an increased number of energy companies to trip a key ISS…

ISS Continues its Unpredictability

While ISS Remains Influential, Some of its Decisions are Inconsistent From Company to Company

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The 2014 proxy season is almost over for calendar year companies. Based on our analysis, ISS continues to play an influential role and the energy industry continues to be one of their favorite targets, but it’s getting more difficult to…

Looking for Shareholder Value Drivers

Analyzing Common Annual Bonus Metrics to Predict Shareholder Value

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Annual incentive metrics should be key drivers of long-term shareholder value. Most energy companies include this in their philosophy statements, and it sounds straightforward. But what are the drivers of long-term shareholder value? The answer to that question obviously varies…

Keeping Pace During Growth

How to Avoid the Lag in Compensation Practices That Occurs When Firms Grow Quickly

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Recent headlines of Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP receiving a $5 billion equity valuation and a flurry of energy IPOs in the last 12-24 months are reminders that change and growth can occur quickly, especially in the energy industry.…

What if there were no annual bonuses?

Removing Annual Bonuses Could Help Companies Avoid Time-Consuming Discussions

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Each February, boards and management spend thousands of hours on their annual bonus programs. Energy companies in particular can struggle to evaluate annual performance in what is inherently a long-term business. Arguing over an incremental handful of bonus points can…

Commodity Price Impact on Evaluating Performance

How to Manage Pay for Performance Measures in a Volatile Commodity Market

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Commodity prices can have a significant effect on share price and also on financial performance measures used by energy companies. This makes paying for performance at energy companies challenging because commodity price volatility can create misalignment between management efforts, management…

Assessing Long-Term Performance

Combining Absolute and Relative Measures in the Energy Industry

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Measuring long-term performance for companies in the energy industry is challenging because macro-economic factors, such as commodity prices, and company specific factors, such as particular asset portfolios, make it difficult to assess performance. A mix of absolute and relative measures…

What to Learn from Shareholder Activism

A Review of Recent Shareholder Activism in the Energy Industry

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Energy boards and management have paid close attention to activist shareholders this proxy season, including current proxy battles and investor activism at Hess Corporation (Elliott Associates), SandRidge Energy (TPG-Axon Capital) and Nabors (Pamplona Capital). Each has included a discussion of…

Telling Your Story

How to Prepare an Effective and Compelling Proxy

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Most companies are getting ready to file their 2013 proxy statements and telling the story of their 2012 compensation. Effective proxies share a clear and compelling alignment between performance and pay. For most energy companies, however, compensation does not boil…