Insights

Drafting a Modern Equity Incentive Plan

With the 2020 proxy season approaching, many public companies are readying new or amended equity plans for shareholder approval.

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These plans are a ubiquitous feature of public companies’ compensation programs. They allow companies to grant various types of equity and equity-based awards to their non- employee directors, executives and other key employees. Although equity plans are broadly similar, companies…

Report on Say on Pay and Select Shareholder Proposals For the 2019 Proxy Season

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC is pleased to provide this periodic report on key voting results for the 2019 proxy season.

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Executive Summary Specifically, this report will cover the following areas: ■ Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Say on Pay (SOP) Vote Results and Analysis; ■ Russell 3000 SOP Vote Results and Analysis; and ■ Analysis of Vote Results on Select…

2019 Say on Pay Outcomes in Oil & Gas Continue to Trail General Industry

Several oil & gas companies had a rough proxy season in 2019, with overall lukewarm shareholder support for executive pay programs in the industry.

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While many companies received kudos from investors for the addition of returns-oriented incentive metrics, others struggled to demonstrate pay-for-performance alignment or continued to make aggressive pay actions despite lackluster shareholder returns in 2018. In this posting, we take a look…

“Tis the Season…Are You Ready?

It’s hard to believe that another proxy season is upon us.

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It seems like just yesterday we were trying to figure out what the CEO pay ratio would look like, how it might compare to peers and what internal unrest would be created as a result. Although companies worried about the…

Addressing Increased Scrutiny on Director Compensation: A Call to Action

Executive compensation has long been subject to intense scrutiny from regulators, proxy advisors and investors alike.

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Until recently, outside director compensation has not been subject to similar scrutiny primarily due to the narrow range of pay practices for directors, in both pay value and design/delivery. However, a new heightened level of scrutiny is now being applied…

Avoiding Action on Director Pay

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

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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…

Despite Strong 2016 Shareholder Returns, Certain Energy Companies Struggle with Say on Pay

In 2016, the oil and gas industry generated positive returns for shareholders, but in 2017 oil and gas companies lagged general industry in Say on Pay support.

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ISS recommended against 18% of oil and gas companies vs. 12% for the entire Russell 3000, and 3% of oil and gas companies failed Say on Pay (i.e., <50% support) compared to only 1% in the Russell 3000. ISS recommended…

UPDATE – Report on Say on Pay and Select Shareholder Proposals for the 2017 Proxy Season

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC is pleased to provide this periodic report on key voting results for the 2017 proxy season.

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Specifically, this report will cover the following areas: Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Say on Pay (SOP) Vote Results and Analysis Russell 3000 SOP Vote Results and Analysis Analysis of Vote Results on Select Shareholder Proposals So far, two key…

Report on Say on Pay and Select Shareholder Proposals for the 2017 Proxy Season

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC is pleased to provide this periodic report on key voting results for the 2017 proxy season.

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About This Material Specifically, this report will cover the following areas: Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Say on Pay (SOP) Vote Results and Analysis Russell 3000 SOP Vote Results and Analysis Analysis of Vote Results on Select Shareholder Proposals Highlights…

How to Get Your Share Plan Approved

Posted in the May/June 2017 issue of NACD Directorship magazine

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Approximately 25 percent of U.S. public companies will be asking shareholders to approve a new or amended share plan this proxy season. Since most companies do not revise share plans on an annual basis, boards may want a refresher on…

Navigating the Frequency of Say-on-Pay Voting

Read analysis from Meridian featured in NACD Directorship magazine.

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This year marks the sixth year in the United States of say on pay, the rule that allows shareholders to cast non-binding votes that voice their approval—or disapproval—of a company’s executive compensation programs. Shareholders cast votes based on the perceived…

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…

Forecasting Key Compensation Issues

Experts examine current compensation trends to predict tomorrow’s top concerns.

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“The key to making a good forecast,” statistician Nate Silver noted in his 2012 book “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t,” “is not in limiting yourself to quantitative information. Rather, it’s having a good…

ISS Releases its 2016 Policy Survey

ISS’s recent Policy Survey previews potential changes in its 2016 proxy voting policies.

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Through its annual policy survey, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) seeks feedback from institutional investors, public companies and the consulting and legal communities on emerging trends in corporate governance and executive compensation and other matters as part of its policy formulation…

ISS’s Say on Pay Vote Recommendations Surprisingly Similar to Last Year

Some experts expected more "against" votes for the energy industry this year, but that did not come to fruition.

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Heading into this recently past proxy season, experts speculated that ISS might recommend “against” say on pay proposals among the energy industry at a higher rate compared to last year assuming the dramatic decline in stock prices, driven by the…

Energy Industry Influences ISS Peer Approach

ISS recently released its policy updates for the 2015 proxy season, with one notable change.

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ISS recently released its policy updates for the 2015 proxy season (Meridian summaries here and here). One notable change is ISS’s methodology for selecting peers for energy companies for use in its pay for performance analysis. This change was likely…

Setting Appropriate Performance Metrics and Goals

Executive pay has become more transparent, responsible, and aligned to performance than ever before.

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In an environment of significant public and media scrutiny, executive compensation’s evolution over the last decade has been dramatic and very visible. Executive pay has become more transparent, responsible, and aligned to performance than ever before. But in this Say-on-Pay…

Variations on “Conventional” Compensation Themes

There are many instances where a more customized approach to executive compensation is preferable and, frankly, more effective.

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Although very few companies have failed say on pay, the shareholder advisory vote on executive compensation has clearly impacted program design. Compensation committee members focus primarily on how shareholders will view a company’s pay programs. All too often, they also…