2019 Federal Budget: Changes to Tax Treatment of Stock Options

One of the proposed legislative changes in the Liberal government’s 2019 Federal Budget directly affects executive compensation.

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The government has proposed to limit the preferred tax treatment for stock options. Currently options are eligible for a deduction the effect of which is to tax them at one-half the ordinary income tax rate (similar to capital gains treatment).…

Trends in Executive Compensation at the S&P/TSX 60

While actual senior executive pay has fallen in the past three years, actual and target pay have grown.

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This update reviews trends in executive pay at S&P/TSX 60 companies[1]. The general trend for the last three years has been for modest growth in actual and target pay, although actual senior executive pay fell slightly from 2013 to 2014.…

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…

Coca-Cola Announces Equity Stewardship Guidelines

Announcement is part of Coke’s rollout of its “Equity Stewardship Guidelines” which will govern the Company’s equity grant practices.

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In response to shareholder concerns over the potential dilutive impact of its 2014 Equity Plan, the Coca-Cola Company took the unusual step of announcing that it will use “substantially fewer shares for long-term equity awards” by “significantly reducing the use…

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…

Critiquing Say on Pay

More ISS, Glass Lewis Policies That Defy Logic

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Last November I argued in an Agenda op-ed that certain ISS and Glass Lewis say-on-pay policies lack solid underpinnings in compensation philosophy and practice. An example was their attempts to assess the rigor of companies’ incentive performance goals based on…

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…

House Bill Will Eliminate Tax Exemption

Congressional Interest in Curtailing the Tax Deductibility of Executive Compensation Appears to Be Heating Up

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Identical bills have been introduced in the Senate and House that would extend the reach of the $1 million deduction limit under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) to all employees and would eliminate the exemption for performance-based…

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…

Long-Term Compensation Plans

The Board’s Use of Incentives to Align Management’s Interests with Long-Term Value Creation

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For many companies, performance-based shares are the form of long-term compensation that makes the most sense. However, not every company will find this to be the case. Ryan Harvey, Partner, discusses both of these scenarios in this video from NACD…

Pay for Performance

Multiple Approaches Boards Can Utilize To Align Pay With Performance

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Meridian Compensation Partners’ Jamie McGough breaks down pay for performance and what factors companies should be looking at when they make pay for performance decisions. Performance should be measured differently for different industries, with some putting more importance on profitability…