Tag Archives: homeslider

California Legislates Gender Diversity in the Corporate Boardroom

During the last week of September 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law mandating public companies headquartered in California must have at least one female member on their board of directors by December 31, 2019. Further, companies with less than six members on the board will be required to have at least two female directors by the end of 2021, and companies with six or more directors will be required to have at least three female directors by the end of 2021. The legislation, referred to as SB-826, is in direct response to legislators and regulators who have found women to be underrepresented on public company boards. The Board of Governance Research LLC, in a 2017 study of Russell 3000 companies headquartered in California, found that more than 25 percent of the 441 reported companies had no female directors. Continue reading

SEC Takes Back Comfort Letters Provided to Two Proxy Advisory Firms

In 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management issued letters to two proxy advisory firms, Egan-Jones Proxy Services and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), that assured mutual fund managers they could rely on the vote recommendations of the two firms. On September 13, 2018, the SEC Investment Management staff decided to rescind the two letters. Continue reading

IRS Issues Section 162(m) Guidance

Section 162(m) was added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) in 1994 in what was seen as a reaction to escalating executive pay. Commonly referred to as the “$1 million pay cap,” Section 162(m) denied subject companies the corporate tax deduction for compensation paid to the CEO (referred to as the Principal Executive Officer or PEO) and other proxy-named executive officers (NEOs) that exceeded the $1 million statutory limitation. Exceptions to the amount of covered compensation pursuant to Section 162(m) were permitted if such compensation was deemed “performance-based” under shareholder-approved plans. Continue reading

A Proposed Legislative Alternative to Corporate Governance and the Theory of Shareholder Primacy

On August 15, 2018, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts introduced proposed legislation, the Accountable Capitalism Act, in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would require all U.S. corporations with $1 billion or more in annual revenues to obtain a federal charter as a “United States corporation” and would obligate corporate directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders in their corporate governance activities. Continue reading

Using Incentive Plan Design to Support Strategic and Transformational Change

Incentive plans lie at the heart of the executive pay program, driving and rewarding business strategy execution. This approach has brought great economic success to the clear majority of companies. The typical annual incentive plan and long-term incentive (LTI) mix of multiple award types can capture most regular core performance metrics. A more contemporary design approach may provide significant focus and urgency regarding a company’s strategic transformation, shifting business strategy, or competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. Continue reading

Share Buybacks and Executive Compensation – A New SEC Commissioner Offers a Perspective

Robert J. Jackson, Jr. is a new member of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), having been appointed by President Trump in January 2018. Commissioner Jackson previously served as a New York University School of Law professor, where he taught in the areas of corporate law, corporate governance, corporate finance, and executive compensation. Continue reading

The CEO Pay Ratio: How Should Compensation Committees Evaluate Their Ratios? Measuring the Impact of “Median Employee Pay”

In our study of 389 S&P 500 companies, the median CEO pay level is $12.1 million, consistent with many other studies. The median of the “median employee pay” level, as disclosed in the ratio section of the proxies, is $70,129. This latter value has surprised many observers, as it is much higher than expected and — more importantly — 39% higher than the average U.S. private sector salary of $50,620 (142 million employees). This employee pay level was previously unknown. Continue reading

CEO Pay As Governed by Compensation Committees: The Model Works!

Last year, two articles in the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review criticized the overall CEO pay model at U.S. companies. The authors of both articles, Robert Pozen and S. P. Kothari, link their criticisms to shortfalls in executive compensation governance (e.g., poor disclosure, misleading metrics, and selecting inappropriate peer groups) that have been allowed and/or encouraged by Board Compensation Committees. In this article, we address these critiques. Continue reading

The Elimination of the Performance-Based Requirement Under Section 162(m):

Any changes to long-standing executive pay rules-regardless of whether they concern taxes, accounting, or regulations-raise questions and uncertainty about whether they will lead to wholesale changes in how executive pay is delivered. Continue reading

U.K. Companies Must Comply With Gender Pay Gap Reporting

While U.S. companies are addressing the new requirement to report CEO pay ratio statistics to shareholders, U.K. companies are now required to report statistics on the gender pay gap. Such reporting is mandated for no later than April 4, 2018, and the reporting must occur on the company’s public-facing website and submitted directly to the government using its dedicated online reporting service. Such reporting is in direct response to the U.K. Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. 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.