Posts tagged Proxy Season.
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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.
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To help issuers prepare for the upcoming proxy season, and as a follow-up to our prior post entitled "Compensation Considerations for the 2020 Proxy Season," we are hosting a FREE webinar entitled "Upcoming Proxy Season: Compensatory Thoughts from ISS (an Annual Program)" on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am Central [Register here].  The purpose of this webinar is to discuss compensatory thoughts and trends of institutional shareholder advisory services such as ISS, including:

  • New compensation pronouncements and positions of ISS since the 2019 proxy season;
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 ...
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If an issuer is looking for a primer or introductory course on Employee Stock Purchase Plans ("ESPPs"), then check out the detailed slide deck that our David Branham put together for our monthly webinar series.  The slide deck is entitled Employee Stock Purchase Plans - The Introductory Course (November 2019 Webinar) and covers the following:

  • Requirements under the tax law,
  • Must have document requirements,
  • Tax consequences to employees and to employers,
  • Compliance requirements with respect to federal securities laws, and
  • International workforce considerations.
The slide ...
Time 4 Minute Read

The purpose of this post is to highlight compensatory action items that publicly-traded issuers should consider this proxy season.  Such considerations include:

  • Chase the Say-on-Pay Vote.  The most common reason for a negative recommendation from ISS is a perceived pay-for-performance disconnect within the compensation structure.  Robust disclosure on this point can help, especially disclosure that clarifies why certain performance criteria were used and explains the degree of difficulty associated with achieving target performance.
  • Consider an Annual Equity Grant Policy.  Some issuers grant equity awards to executive officers based upon an initial dollar amount that is then converted into shares.  If such an issuer has a depressed stock price due to market volatility, then the conversion formula will result in the award having more shares (compared to the situation where the issuer's stock price had not fallen).  Is the issuer ripe for an allegation that the executives are timing the market because equity was granted at a low stock price for the sole purpose of receiving a larger number of shares?  To help defend against such a question, issuers should consider having a documented annual equity grant policy.  The policy could be formal or informal (with the latter being clearly presented in the CD&A of the issuer's proxy statement).
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As we head into a new proxy season, we would like to invite you to attend our annual FREE webinar entitled "Upcoming Proxy Season: Compensatory Thoughts from ISS," which will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am Central.  As always, continuation education credits are available.

For your convenience, our remaining 2019 monthly webinar program is as follows:

Time 1 Minute Read
Tune in for our upcoming monthly compensation webinar entitled “Preparing for Proxy Season: Start Now (Annual Program).”  The purpose of this webinar is to set forth the compensatory business and legal issues that publicly traded companies should consider bringing to their Compensation Committee members this fall.

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