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UPDATE: Draft Legislation Released Changing Tax Treatment of Stock Options Effective January 1, 2020

On June 17, the federal government released draft legislative language to implement the proposed changes to the taxation of stock options in Canada, as introduced in the 2019 Budget in March.

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The budget proposed to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of stock options, above an annual $200,000 face value, for large, long-established, mature firms. (See Meridian’s update here for details of the original proposal.) The highlights of the implementation language include:…

House Passes Tax Reform Bill

On November 16th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its tax reform bill by a vote of 227 to 205.

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The tax reform bill approved by the full House does not substantively differ from the bill previously approved by the House Ways and Means Committee, as described in our Client Updates dated November 7, 2017 and November 10, 2017. Therefore,…

2016 Corporate Governance & Incentive Design Survey

Read Meridian's findings and learn about new market practices and trends that will inform best practices for the next year and beyond.

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Executive Summary As companies review their executive compensation programs and related corporate governance policies, it can be helpful to understand common market practices and trends that may signal “best practices.” In order to inform these perspectives, Meridian’s 2016 Corporate Governance…

Bank Regulators Issue New Proposed Rule on Incentive Compensation

The new rule applies to institutions with assets of $1 billion or more, and will likely go into effect in 2019.

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The National Credit Union Administration is the first of a group of six federal bank regulators[1] to make available a joint proposed rule on incentive compensation arrangements maintained by financial institutions. Initially, these bank regulators issued a jointly proposed rule…

SEC Comment Letter on Proposed Rule on Mandatory Clawback

Meridian's comment on the proposed rule to implement the mandatory clawback provisions of Section 954 of Dodd-Frank.

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Re: File No. S7-12-15—Proposed Rule to Implement the Mandatory Clawback Provisions of Section 954 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…

Compensation Challenges of a Falling Canadian Dollar

With uncertainty in the worldwide economy and commodity prices, the Canadian dollar has fallen to a six-year low versus the U.S. dollar, affecting compensation programs for a large number of Canadian companies.

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After a long period of relative stability and near parity, the Canadian dollar has fallen to about 80 cents U.S. – a six-year low. The outlook for further movement up or down, is unclear and is tied both to the…

Compensation When Oil is in the $40’s

With oil prices in the $40 per-barrel range, this creates an entirely new environment for oil and gas compensation decisions. Meridian analyzes the themes and realities for 2015.

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Oil prices in the $40s create an entirely new environment for oil and gas compensation decisions this year. From our vantage point across the industry we’ve noted several important themes and realities: Situations differ. Low prices impact everyone, but some…

Thinking Like an Activist—The Benefits of Looking at Executive Compensation Programs through a Critical Lens

Looking at your executive compensation program from an activist perspective will help you assess how likely it is your company will have to deal with activist investors.

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The significant increase in shareholder activism has many companies and compensation committees playing defense. While the specter of activist interest is generally viewed with concern, looking at your executive compensation programs from the perspective of an activist investor can focus…

Using Adjusted Financial Data in Incentive Plans

The key to a successful incentive design is selecting the right metrics – ideally metrics that drive shareholder value and ones that executives understand and control.

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As we move into the fall, many companies and their compensation committees will be taking a closer look at current incentive plans, ensuring they still meet company needs and properly align pay and performance. The key to a successful incentive…

Modest Increase in Compensation for Outside Directors Over Recent Years

Median total compensation paid to outside directors in the Fortune 250 increased just under 3% in the past year.

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Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC, a leading executive compensation and corporate governance consulting firm, has found that median total compensation paid to outside directors in the Fortune 250 increased just under 3% in the past year. Equity grants continue to comprise…

When Constituency Compensation Expectations Collide

NYSE Board Governance Series: Discussion Of Relative Performance, Peer/industry Indices, and Regulatory Issues for Financial Institutions

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Members of the banking industry–and other regulated industries–have different expectations than members of other industries when it comes to executive compensation consulting. Watch Meridian Compensation Partners’ Susan O’Donnell sit down with TK Kerstetter of the NYSE Governance Series to discuss…

CEO Salaries Rise Modestly

Influence of Bank Regulators Continues on Pay Design with US Bank Executives Seeing Moderate Raises

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Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC, a leading executive compensation and corporate governance consulting firm, announced the results of their analysis of 2014 bank proxies. Senior executive total compensation (cash and equity) increased only 3.2% in 2013 at 35 mid to large…

Holiday Highlights

10 Of the Biggest Executive Compensation Stories From 2013

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2013 was a busy year for executive compensation in Canada. Here are 10 highlights from this year: 1. Pay for Performance Continues to be a Primary Focus of Compensation Committees Committees are becoming more engaged in aligning pay for performance…

Designing The Bank’s Incentive Plan

Why Incentives are Important To Banks’ Shareholders And How To Make The Best Plan

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Incentive plans are a critical component of a bank’s compensation program. They help drive business results, provide competitive compensation opportunity and ensure an appropriate linkage between pay and performance. For publicly-traded banks, disclosure of incentive plans also serves as an…

Stress-Testing: So Many Questions to Answer

How To Stress-Test And What It Will Tell You About Your Compensation Packages

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More than just a popular governance buzz word, “stress-testing” incentive compensation designs provides valuable information for compensation committees and management alike. Stress testing incentive compensation helps organizations understand the relationship between the compensable performance range and business results and identify…

ISS, Glass Lewis ‘Out of Their League’ on Comp

Advisory Firms Are Micromanaging Pay In Three Critical Areas

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For several years now, ISS and Glass Lewis have wielded influence in how companies’ say-on-pay resolutions fare. In the process, they have succeeded in limiting or ending a myriad of pay practices. Most of those pay practices were likely not…

Meridian Compensation Partners Study Analyzes Equity Incentives

The Study Reveals the “Run Rate” And “Overhang” Levels for Fortune Companies

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Meridian Compensation Partners, a leading executive compensation and corporate governance consulting firm, has released a new study of annual “run rate” and “overhang” levels among Fortune 100, 250, and 500 companies. Meridian found the median annual run rate for Fortune…

CCGG Releases New Executive Compensation Principles

The 6 new Principles Represent Best Practices for Canadian Institutional Shareholders

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The Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) has released its new executive compensation principles. The CCGG represents Canadian institutional shareholders who manage almost $2 trillion of assets on behalf of major shareholders and is viewed as a leader in promoting…

Analyzing Lost Say on Pay Votes

Reporting Issues to Include, and Avoid, for ISS

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Meridian has analyzed the failed Say on Pay votes from proxy season 2012, and Jane Romweber, Partner, shares the conclusions. In some cases there are easy answers, however in other cases the reasons for a failed Say on Pay are…