Posts tagged Compensation Committee.
Time 1 Minute Read

As a follow-up to my post entitled "Thoughts When Linking Public Company Executive Pay to D&I Initiatives,"  I think it is important to share, at least at a high level, the legal framework for diversity, equity and inclusion programs (i.e., it is important to successfully navigate employment laws prior to the Board taking action so that the employer can avoid legal foot faults while trying to do the right thing).  One of my partners, Emily Burkhardt Vicente (co-chair of our Labor & Employment Practice), did just that when she authored an article for Banking Exchange entitled "Enhancing ...

Time 4 Minute Read

This Post will begin a series of blog entries focused on the topic of linking executive pay to a publicly-traded issuer's diversity and inclusion ("D&I") initiatives.  As background, there has been a recent push to hold executives accountable for the effectiveness of an issuer's D&I initiatives by linking their executive pay to the success of such initiatives.  Pretty straight forward (i.e., the success of the D&I initiative becomes one of the metrics in the issuer's performance-based compensation strategy).

Time 1 Minute Read

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, we will be hosting a webinar entitled "The SEC's New Human Capital Rule, Workplace Diversity and Compensation Design: Year-End Disclosures and the Board Agenda 2020".  The purpose of this webinar is to cover the SEC's new Human Capital rule and how such disclosure will interplay and impact any diversity and inclusion ("D&I") initiatives of the issuer.  In particular, the speakers will share thoughts on how top down D&I initiatives could be structured from a compensatory perspective (i.e., top down meaning D&I initiatives are incorporated into ...

Time 1 Minute Read
On July 22, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules and supplemented interpretative guidance that modify the proxy rules as applied to proxy advisory firms and clarify the fiduciary duties of investment advisers when voting proxies.  One of our rising stars (Chelsea Lomprey) did the heavy lifting in drafting a client alert on the subject, and such can be found HERE.
Time 3 Minute Read

An executive of a publicly-traded company would not have anticipated today's market volatility and depressed stock price when he or she entered into a 10b5-1 trading plan in 2019.  As a result, this executive will probably want to amend or terminate such trading plan.  The purpose of this Post is to provide a quick reminder of the applicable issues that should be considered.  This Post is Part 6 of a 7-Part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today’s economy.

Time 2 Minute Read

The purpose of this Post is remind publicly-traded companies to revisit their stock ownership policies to determine whether a temporary waiver of the policy requirements is advisable.  This Post is Part 5 of a 7-Part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today’s economy.

Stock Ownership Policies Typically Denominated in Dollars

Equity ownership goals within stock ownership policies are typically denominated in shares or dollars (the latter being a fixed ...

Time 2 Minute Read

The purpose of this Post is to highlight whether Compensation Committees should be offering retention packages to their executive officers to discourage their being poached by another company.  This Post is Part 4 of a 7-Part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today’s economy.

Background

Many executives are suffering from depressed realizable pay levels.  This makes sense because a performance-driven compensation model would weight most of an ...

Time 5 Minute Read

This post is part of a 7-part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today’s economy.  The titles of each of the 7-parts in this series are listed at the bottom of this post.   This Part 3 is entitled “Address Outstanding Performance-Based Equity Awards," and provides some alternatives that Compensation Committees could consider with respect to outstanding performance-based equity awards that have currently unachievable performance goals.  Such alternatives include (listed in no particular order, and not an exhaustive list):

Time 5 Minute Read

This post is part of a 7-part series addressing compensation adjustments that Compensation Committees could consider in order to continue to incent and retain their executive officers in today's economy.  The titles of each of the 7-parts in this series are listed at the bottom of this post.   This Part 2 is entitled "Consider Changes to Increase Cash Flow," and provides some ideas that a Compensation Committee could implement that could work to increase the company's cash flow and produce positive proxy disclosure.  Such ideas are (listed in no particular order, and not an exhaustive list):

Time 8 Minute Read

Today’s economic environment has resulted in substantial loss of value to many shareholders and executives of publicly traded companies (i.e., the latter losing substantial value in their stock holdings, and too, losing prospective realizable pay as a result of unattainable performance goals within their outstanding performance-based awards).  In most situations, the shareholders and the executives are aligned in such loss.  But a problem is that substantial loss at the executive level could increase undesired poaching and turnover of key executives at a time when executives should be focused on navigating the company through a reopening of the United States economy.  To overcome this problem, compensation committees of publicly traded companies ("Compensation Committees") will likely need to consider adjustments to the company’s compensation framework in order to continue to incent and retain executives.  To that end, this Part 1 (of a 7-part series) provides thoughts that the Compensation Committee should consider with respect to upcoming equity grants.

Time 1 Minute Read

Just a quick update that on April 8, 2020, Institutional Shareholder Services ("ISS") published policy guidance reflecting certain adjustments due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The guidance addresses how ISS's benchmark and voting policies may be applied in this new area of uncertainty.  In many cases, the guidance merely reiterates that ISS will respond to corporate actions on a case-by-case basis.  To address the topic, we published a client alert entitled "ISS Issues COVID-19 Guidance on Benchmark and Voting Policies."

On a separate note, two of my partners (Steven Haas

Time 1 Minute Read

Join us on April 9, 2020 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am Central for our FREE monthly webinar on "Executive Compensation Considerations in Light of Market Volatility, Stock Prices and the Unknown," where we will discuss compensatory issues to consider as a result of failed (or failing) performance-based compensation metrics and lost value to the issuer's long-term shareholders, including:

  • Considerations with respect to annual incentives for 2020;
  • Thoughts with respect to outstanding performance-based equity awards where the performance conditions are not likely to be attained ...
Time 8 Minute Read

Many publicly-traded issuers in today’s environment have outstanding equity awards with performance goals that are unlikely to be achieved.  In response, Compensation Committees of such issuers will need to strike a balance between incentivizing/retaining executives and dealing with the stark reality that shareholders have lost substantial value.  To that end, Compensation Committees are likely to discuss whether it makes sense to revise performance metrics for outstanding equity awards.  The purpose of this Post is to highlight that revising performance metrics of ...

Time 7 Minute Read

The purpose of this Post is to help issuers prepare for the upcoming 2020 proxy season by providing a non-exhaustive list of certain compensatory issues/topics to consider.  To that end (listed in no particular order):

ADOPT AN ANNUAL GRANT POLICY

  • Background.  It is common for Compensation Committees to initially denominate an equity award as a dollar amount, and then convert such dollar amount into a number of shares immediately prior to the date the equity is granted (e.g., executive is to receive a number of shares equal to 20% of his/her base salary).  This approach could create ...
Time 1 Minute Read
Compensation governance is a front-and-center topic with a continued focus on stock ownership and clawback policies (in part due to the voting guidelines of institutional investors, proxy advisory firms and the Dodd-Frank Act).  At 10:00 am Central on Thursday, October 10, 2019, in a webinar entitled "Stock Ownership Policies & Clawback Policies: Design Pointers," our Emily Cabrera will be providing a complete overview of stock ownership policies and clawback policies, including a deep dive into their related design choices, prevalence, best practices and disclosure ...
Time 3 Minute Read

Keeping with this evening's Halloween spirit, members of Board of Directors and Compensation Committees should be aware of an allegation that is currently floating within the ominous fog - that some executives of publicly-traded issuers are trick-or-treating with "ghost revenue."  Kidding aside, the allegation (or potential allegation) is that some executive officers are using ghost revenue (i.e., deferred revenue) in order to satisfy otherwise unattainable non-GAAP performance metrics.  A grossly-oversimplified explanation of this issue is addressed in the below portions of this post.

Time 2 Minute Read

To help preserve the business judgment rule defense and make it more difficult for a plaintiff to prove that a director breached his or her fiduciary duties, Compensation Committee members should use tally sheets (a.k.a., “placemats”) when making compensatory decisions and attach such tally sheets to the Committee’s resolutions or minutes. 

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