Current Pay Governance Viewpoints

  • SEC Issues Final Rules for Disclosure of Hedging Policies

    By John R. Ellerman

    On December 18, 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release detailing final rules for one of Dodd-Frank’s executive compensation provisions, which will “require companies to disclose in proxy or information statements for the election of directors any practices or policies regarding the ability of employees or directors to engage in certain hedging transactions with respect to company equity securities.” Read More

  • S&P 500 CEO Compensation Increase Trends

    By Aubrey E. Bout, Brian Wilby and Perla Cruz

    CEO pay continues to be an extensively discussed topic in the media, in the boardroom, and among investors and proxy advisors. CEO total direct compensation (TDC; base salary + actual bonus paid + grant value of long-term incentives [LTI]) has increased at a moderate pace in recent years — in the 2-6% range for 2011-2016. However, CEO pay accelerated in 2017 at an 11% increase, likely reflecting sustained robust financial and total shareholder return (TSR) performance. Our CEO pay analysis is focused on historical actual TDC, which reflects actual bonuses; this is different from target TDC or target pay opportunity, which uses target bonus and is typically set at the beginning of the year. Read More

  • California Legislates Gender Diversity in the Corporate Boardroom

    By John R. Ellerman

    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. Read More

  • SEC Takes Back Comfort Letters Provided to Two Proxy Advisory Firms

    By John R. Ellerman

    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. Read More

Team Member Highlight

  • Jessica Morris
  • Consultant | Philadelphia
  • View Articles by Jessica Morris


Jessica Morris is a Consultant in the Philadelphia office of Pay Governance. She has worked on a variety of projects including outside director compensation assessments, primary and secondary peer group analyses, equity-based long term incentive plan assessments, and severance plan analysis. Jessica works with an array of clients in the technology, insurance, energy, retail, and healthcare sectors.


Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations.

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