Insights

Predicting the Future of E&P Bonus Design

The current oil and gas market challenges are testing the efficacy of prevailing bonus plan structures among exploration and production (E&P) companies.

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E&P bonus plans have historically aligned with growth and investment, focusing on volume (production and reserves) and cost reduction, measures that are more controllable by management and less impacted by commodity prices than earnings-based metrics. In recent years, investors and…

COVID-19 and Short-Term Incentives

Nothing will be ordinary about 2020 or 2021.

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For many companies, it is unlikely that there will be significant (if any) payouts under the executive or managerial bonus plans for 2020. Alternatively, for those that do have payouts, it is similarly unlikely that plan mechanics alone will determine…

Survey Results: Oil & Gas Workforce and Compensation Strategies

Meridian surveyed fifty-eight companies in the E&P (n=40) and Oilfield Service (n=18) sectors in April to gauge the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and low oil price/demand on companies’ workforce and 2020 compensation programs.

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Key Takeaways In our March survey results we reported an overwhelming majority of companies focused on emergency business actions and less on compensation considerations. As of the end of April, it appears companies have taken action on their now identified…

Announced Pay Reductions

Pay reductions are as of May 16, 2020

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Meridian is currently tracking announced pay reductions within the oil and gas space. The largest number of reductions to date have been announced in the oilfield services sector. We’re planning on regularly updating this list and re-posting at https://www.meridiancp.com/insights/energy/ Oilfield…

Executive Salary Reductions in Oil & Gas: What’s the Message?

Through 4/30 we have tracked nearly 60 energy industry companies that have announced CEO salary cuts, the most of any industry group in our COVID-19 database.

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The fact that so many energy industry companies have reported salary reductions should not be surprising; the double black swans of record production and cratering demand have driven industry stock prices further down on average (-58%) than in any other…

SEC May Scale Back Proxy Advisory Firm Regulation

The Financial Times recently reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to eliminate the requirement that proxy advisory firms (PAFs) preview their vote recommendations with companies for feedback, as would be required under a proposed rule regulating PAFs. The SEC has not confirmed this report.

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On November 5, 2019, the SEC issued a proposed rule which would require PAFs to give companies either three or five days (depending on the number of days the proxy is filed in advance of the annual shareholder meeting) to…

Announced Retail Executive and Outside Director Pay Reductions

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Meridian continues to monitor the unprecedented actions taken by retailers.

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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., Meridian has monitored the unprecedented actions taken by retailers to enhance financial flexibility and offset the substantial impact to operations associated with prolonged store closures. These actions have included eliminating…

How should oil & gas companies approach their 2020 annual bonus?

“Wait and see” seems to be the mantra of the day, particularly when it comes to an energy company’s annual bonus plan.

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“Wait and see” seems to be the mantra of the day, particularly when it comes to an energy company’s annual bonus plan. We think that’s a prudent approach for the moment, as much uncertainty remains among the energy industry and…

Executive and Director Pay Reductions

This is the first in a series of Client Updates on executive compensation/governance topics related to COVID-19 that we are publishing to assist our clients as they navigate these challenging times.

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Over the last several weeks, as the global economy shut down, we have seen a steady stream of U.S. companies announcing store and facility closures, reduced hours for workers, layoffs and furloughs. In addition, in response to cash preservation needs,…

Director Compensation: Key Considerations During COVID-19

From Inside America's Boardrooms/Diligent

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Much like executive compensation, director pay will be met with institutional shareholder scrutiny in the months ahead. Investors and proxy advisors will scrutinize stock option awards, meeting fees, and whether board pay remains steady amid lay-offs and revenue declines. How should…

2020 Executive Compensation Trends and Developments

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

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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.) In 2019, numerous factors…

The $2 Trillion CARES Act Imposes Limits On Employee Pay

As seen in Corporate Board Member - The largest stimulus bill in U.S. history conditions the granting of federal loans and loan guarantees on companies’ agreement to limit employee compensation.

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On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (‘‘CARES Act”) which passed both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives earlier last week with bipartisan support. The CARES Act…

Compensation Committee Challenges Amid COVID-19

From Inside America's Boardrooms/Diligent

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Most compensation committees finalized executive compensation plans, targets, and awards at the end of February, never expecting that COVID-19 would come next. Now boards are left to navigate a crisis environment with a very unpredictable future. In this episode of…

The Impact of Recent Pay Actions on Severance Arrangements

Our recent posts have summarized a range of compensation actions across the oil and gas industry that companies have either announced or are considering in response to the current market environment.

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These actions have included pay reductions, work furloughs, and layoffs. Among other matters, companies likely need to evaluate the impact of these actions on severance benefits. Multiple types of arrangements provide for cash and other benefits in the event of…

Proxy Advisors Issue Policy Guidance on COVID-19

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis recently issued guidance on the application of their proxy voting policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Since we are now in the heart of proxy season, corporate boards and management teams have raised questions regarding whether ISS and Glass Lewis would consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in either their proxy voting policies or the…

David Bixby Joins Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC in The Woodlands, TX Office

David Bixby has joined the firm as a Lead Consultant focusing on the oil and gas industry.

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Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC (www.meridiancp.com) is delighted to announce that David Bixby  (https://www.meridiancp.com/people/david-bixby/) has joined Meridian in our Houston-area office in The Woodlands, Texas. David brings over twenty years of experience serving boards of directors in the areas of executive…