Monthly Archives: April 2015

Activism of a Different Nature: Social Investors Advocate for Change in the Proxy

Sustainable investing – defined as an investment approach that considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the selection and management of investments – has seen significant growth in assets under management in the past several years. In the United States, an estimated 11% of total assets under management are now invested based on sustainable investment strategies. Similarly, shareholder proposals relating to environmental or social issues represented one-third of all shareholder proposals in 2014, representing an increase of nearly 40% since 2009. Some proposals are receiving shareholder support at or above 30%, generally driven by “for” vote recommendations from ISS. We find that ISS favors proposals that seek additional environmental or social reporting versus proposals that seek operational changes or restrictions. This finding contrasts with ISS’s say-on-pay vote recommendation policies, which often seek changes to executive compensation designs. Continue reading

Trends in Board of Director Compensation

Over the past 15 years, the methods of compensating non-employee directors have changed in tandem with the risk and workload of being a director. The catalyst for change over this time period includes a variety of regulatory requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd Frank, enhanced proxy disclosure rules and increases in shareholder activism. By way of examples, Audit Committees meet more frequently and must have at least one qualified financial expert, and Compensation Committees have greater workloads. Today’s corporate director needs to dedicate more time to the job, assume greater risk, and meet higher qualification standards. Continue reading

Download a free copy of our new eBook!
Simply provide your e-mail address and a link will automatically be sent to you.
Request a paperback version of the book. Input your address in the message field.