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Economic Value Added—New Governance Considerations

Starting this proxy season, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) will be disclosing in U.S. and Canadian company proxy reports Economic Value Added (EVA) metrics. These metrics will be shown for informational purposes only. However, we believe it is likely that ISS will incorporate EVA metrics into its CEO pay-for-performance analysis within the next two proxy seasons, subject to investor feedback.

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ISS’s introduction of EVA metrics is likely to foster discussion among compensation committees about the nature, merit and implication of these metrics. EVA may also be of interest among institutional investors as an additional lens to assess pay and performance…

Status of Proposals to Link State and Local Corporate Taxes to CEO Pay Ratio

As we reported last March, several jurisdictions have proposed (and one has enacted) tax surcharges, higher corporate income tax rates or fees tied to a public company’s CEO pay ratio. Since then, these proposals seem to have gained little legislative traction. This Update examines whether the ongoing public disclosures of CEO pay ratios have proven to be a catalyst for legislative action and whether other jurisdictions have proposed similar taxes.

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New Proposal – California Proposes Scaled Corporate Income Tax Rate Tied to a Public Company’s “Compensation Ratio” California is the sole jurisdiction to propose linking corporate income tax to a public company’s compensation ratio since last March. Submitted to the…

Proxy Advisors and Investors Announce How They Will Use CEO Pay Ratios in 2018

The major proxy advisors and three large institutional shareholders announced that CEO pay ratios will have little to no impact on their vote recommendations and vote decisions, respectively, in 2018.

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At a recent conference hosted by CompensationStandards.com, David Kokell, Vice President of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), stated that CEO pay ratios will not have any impact on ISS’s analysis or vote recommendations in 2018. However, ISS will include the information…

ISS 2017–2018 Policy Survey Summary of Key Items

ISS’s recent Policy Survey previews potential changes in its 2018 proxy voting policies.

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Each year, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) surveys institutional investors, public companies (“issuers”) and the consulting and legal community on emerging corporate governance and executive compensation issues as part of its annual policy formulation process. Issuers and their advisors are collectively…

SEC Issues New Guidance on CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure Rule

Last Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Division of Corporation Finance issued new guidance on the CEO pay ratio disclosure rule. The issuance of the new guidance lays to rest any remaining hope that the SEC will delay or significantly modify the CEO pay ratio disclosure requirement.

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Public companies and practitioners who were hoping for a comprehensive set of new guidance to address many of the vexing issues underlying the pay ratio rule generally will be disappointed by the limited nature of the guidance. However, the guidance…

SEC Official Confirms that the SEC Will Not Delay CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure

Last Friday, an official of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed that the SEC will not delay the effective date of the CEO pay ratio disclosure rule and that the SEC staff will be issuing additional guidance on the rule.

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At the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Bill Hinman, SEC Director of the Division of Corporation Finance said that the SEC would not delay the implementation of CEO pay ratio rule. In addition, Mr. Hinman stated that SEC staff would…

House Approves Financial CHOICE Act

On June 8, 2017, the U.S. House of Representative approved the Financial CHOICE Act (“CHOICE Act”), which, if approved by the Senate and signed by President Trump, would repeal and roll back significant portions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The House vote was 233 to 186, with one Republican opposing and not a single Democrat supporting the CHOICE Act.

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As reported in Meridian Client Update of May 12, 2017, the principal focus of the CHOICE Act is the banking provisions of Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However, the CHOICE Act, if enacted, would make the following changes…

House Committee Approves Bill to Repeal Key Provisions of Dodd-Frank

On May 4, 2017, the House Financial Services Committee approved the Financial CHOICE Act (“CHOICE Act”) to repeal and roll back significant pieces of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The Committee voted to send the CHOICE Act to the House floor, 34-26, along party lines.

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The principal focus of the CHOICE Act is the banking provisions of Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In addition, the CHOICE Act includes provisions relating to agency rulemaking requirements, judicial review of agency actions and capital formation. In…

States and Municipalities Propose CEO Pay Ratio Tax

Looking to raise taxes or to make political statements, several states and municipalities have proposed tax revenue schemes tied to a public company’s proxy-disclosed CEO pay ratio.

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Although the fate of the CEO pay ratio disclosure may be uncertain, this has not deterred certain states and municipalities from proposing new taxes on public companies tied to a company’s disclosed CEO pay ratio (or some variant). In fact,…

Acting SEC Chair Signals Possible Delay in Implementation of Pay Ratio Rule

Chair Piwowar has called for public comment on rule compliance issues.

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Yesterday, Acting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Michael Piwowar issued a public statement in which he has asked for comments about delaying the implementation of the CEO pay ratio rule. Under current rules, the CEO pay ratio rule became…

ISS Issues Technical Document on Financial Performance Assessment

The technical document provides insight into how ISS will perform its analysis.

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Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for the first time will be evaluating a company’s performance relative to peer group performance against a broad spectrum of financial metrics. ISS will compare how a company’s CEO pay stacks up against the company’s relative…

SEC Issues Interpretative Guidance on the CEO Pay Ratio Rule

Meridian explains how this guidance should inform companies' calculation of the CEO pay ratio.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) staff has issued interpretive guidance on the final CEO pay ratio rule (“Final Rule”). The Final Rule requires public companies to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to the median employee pay (“Pay Ratio”).…

Beyond the Proxy

Meridian Partners weigh in on 2016 CEO pay trends in this article from Equilar's C-Suite magazine.

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A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is both the managerial leader and the figurehead of his or her company, representing it to its employees, shareholders and the general public. In times of growth and success, but also in turmoil and failure, a…

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%…

Pay Considerations When Hiring a New CEO From the Outside

Bob Romanchek, Partner, discusses external CEO hires with Corporate Board Member magazine.

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In this article from Corporate Board Member‘s Board Governance Series, Bob Romanchek, Partner, discusses pay considerations when hiring a new CEO from outside the organization. This article, which is a condensed, edited version of a webcast available online, is designed…

New York City Pension Funds Submit 72 Proxy Access Shareholder Proposals

These non-binding proposals are requesting that companies adopt proxy access bylaws.

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The New York City Pension Funds is again mounting a proxy access campaign. Similar to last proxy season, the NYC Pension Funds have filed proxy access proposals at 72 major public companies this proxy season. The proposals, which are non-binding,…

SEC ISSUES FINAL RULE ON CEO PAY RATIO

Meridian examines the requirements of the final rule and how they will apply to companies in detail.

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In our Client Update of August 5, 2015, we reported on testimony provided at a hearing of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during which the Democratic Commissioners approved a final rule that would require public companies to disclose the…

SEC Issues Final Rule on CEO Pay Ratio

Key terms of the new rule are substantially similar to the proposed rule.

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Nearly two years after issuing a proposed rule on the CEO Pay Ratio, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today approved (by a 3 to 2 vote) a final rule (“Final Rule”) that would require public companies to disclose the…

SEC Comment Letter on Pay vs. Performance Disclosure Rule

Meridian's comment on the proposed rule to implement the pay versus performance disclosure provisions of Section 953 of Dodd-Frank.

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Re: File No. S7-07-15 — Proposed Rule to Implement Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 Dear Mr. Fields: Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC (“Meridian”) is pleased to provide comments to the Securities and…

SEC Issues Proposed Rule on Mandatory Clawback

Key terms of the proposed rule were articulated in a recent hearing.

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On July 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved (by a 3 to 2 vote) a proposed rule that would require public companies to adopt and implement a mandatory clawback policy. At today’s hearing on the Proposed Rule,…