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The Impact of COVID-19 on Executive Compensation Programs

From Bank Director's BankBEYOND 2020 Online Event - November 9-11, 2020

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Given our environment, Bank Director is combining our board member and executive events into an online experience during BankBEYOND 2020! Focusing on all of the issues directors and leaders of financial institutions must know – we dive into audit and…

ISS Updates Policy Guidance on COVID-19

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently issued updated guidance on the application of their proxy voting policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (“Updated Guidance”). The Updated Guidance provides insights into how ISS will assess 2020 pay decisions (and disclosed 2021 decisions) impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and disclosed during the 2021 proxy season.

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The Updated Guidance is more specific than ISS’s initial COVID-19 guidance issued in April 2020 (see Meridian Client Update dated April 15, 2020). In its April 2020 guidance, ISS did not modify any of its proxy voting policies. At that…

Meridian Webinar: COVID-19’s Impact on Incentive Plans

COVID-19 has altered fundamental priorities for the year and significantly affected many companies’ ability to achieve the annual incentive plan and/or performance-contingent long-term incentive plan goals that were set prior to current circumstances.

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Topics for the Briefing Market Practice Update ■ Reductions to executive salaries and director fees, and other compensation actions being taken (as well as actions not expected to be taken)■ Proxy advisor views on COVID-19 related pay actions 2020 Annual…

Impact of COVID-19 on 2020 Annual and In-Flight Long Term Incentives

COVID-19 has had a far-reaching impact on Canadian businesses.

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For many companies, incentive goals set before the pandemic have become unachievable. In the short term, companies prioritized emergency planning, safety, layoffs and communications to employees and other stakeholders. A small minority of companies that had clear line of sight…

COVID-19’s Incentive Impact: While Most Companies Wait, Companies with Early FYEs are Forced to Act

We are increasingly participating in board-level discussions focused on how to ensure that management teams stay focused, engaged and properly incentivized.

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When the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the United States, boards of directors initially focused on ensuring the safety of their employees and customers and managing to stabilize their businesses for uncertain times ahead. Early on, many companies were…

COVID-19 and Short-Term Incentive Designs

The design for 2021 will hinge on how to best motivate executives in a dramatically altered business environment.

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Our Meridian Client Update published May 28, 2020 discussed the impact of COVID-19 on 2020 Short-Term Incentive (STI) plans and how Committees may determine appropriate payouts (if any) at year-end. Payout decisions for 2020 STI in many instances will be…

Announced Pay Reductions

Pay reductions are as of June 30, 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…

Boardroom Comp Under COVID-19

As seen in Corporate Board Member - Director pay will, of course, be transformed in the current environment. But what that means and how it plays out will vary widely. A roadmap.

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Pre-pandemic, board compensation practices had become static and homogeneous, even as the role of non-employee directors continued to expand—but that was before the pandemic launched a global economic crisis. CBM recently spoke with Jim Heim, a lead consultant with Meridian…

Long-Term Incentives: Before, During and After COVID-19

This Client Update addresses some of the LTI-related considerations as companies strategize next steps.

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In response to the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, companies have announced a litany of executive compensation-related actions including layoffs, furloughs, base salary reductions and much more. For long-term incentives (“LTI”), most companies have adopted a “wait and see” approach with…

Compensation Committees: What to Do With 2020 Bonus Plans?

It’s been an unprecedented year for everyone, compensation committees included.

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At the onset of COVID-19, the popular advice for adjusting annual bonus pay was to “wait and see.”  Now several weeks in, some companies have begun restructuring bonuses. What actions are they taking? In this episode, Chris Havey, Partner &…

Banking Industry Response to COVID-19

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Introduction The 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic represents one of the most significant global events in recent history, resulting in unprecedented impact on our country’s economy, its businesses and its people. For our financial services clients, initial priorities focused on the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…