Category Archives: Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation Practices

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Senate Stays Up Late to Approve Tax Bill

Early in the morning on Saturday, December 2, 2017 (it was nearly 2 AM Eastern!), the Senate voted 51-49, drawn mostly along party lines, to pass its version of the tax reform bill described in our previous blog posts Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation … Continue Reading

Startups Have Much To Be Thankful For – Senate Amendments to New Tax Bill Remove Deferred Compensation and Stock Options from Endangered Species List

As discussed in our November 14, 2017 blog post, Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation and Stock Options, the evolution of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill in both the House and the Senate is very fluid. No sooner had we posted the previous entry … Continue Reading

Thanksgiving Tax Frenzy – New Tax Bill Proposes Executive Compensation Changes That Could Derail Deferred Compensation and Stock Options

Congress has been in a frenzy to try and get new tax legislation passed by Thanksgiving, and members of the House and Senate would presumably rather be enjoying a feast rather than drafting and analyzing additional tax provisions when Turkey day rolls around. This blog addresses the executive compensation related provisions in the proposed new tax … Continue Reading

Back To The Future – Should Stock Incentive Plans Impose Grant Limits on Non-Employee Director Awards?

On April 30, 2015, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware rendered an important case decision in a procedural matter dealing with the equity compensation  of non-employee members of a company’s board of directors (see Calma v. Templeton, Delaware Court of Chancery C.A. No. 9579-CB) (“Calma”).  As we discuss in this blog, companies … Continue Reading

Finally! SEC Proposes New Pay for Performance Disclosure Regulations

On April 29, 2015, in accordance with Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a press release and published proposed regulations (Release No. 34-74835) (the “Proposed Rules”) to require certain publicly-held companies to disclose the relationship between their financial … Continue Reading

As 2015 Proxy Season Looms, Companies Should Consider Scrutinizing Stock Incentive Plans and Equity Grant Practices in Light of New ISS Equity-Based Compensation Plan Scorecard Policy

As discussed in our October 21, 2014 blog article, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a proxy voting advisor, instituted changes in its process for evaluating equity incentive compensation plan proposals which are being submitted for shareholder approval.  These changes were effective for shareholder meetings occurring on or after February 1, 2015.  ISS has released a … Continue Reading

Changes on Horizon for Equity Compensation Plans as ISS Issues New Draft Policy

Recent announcements by Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a proxy voting advisor, indicate that publicly held U.S. companies may need to consider implementing certain modifications to their equity compensation plans and grant practices.  Among other things, ISS provides its institutional investor clients with recommendations on how to vote on issuer proposals (such as the adoption … Continue Reading

At Long Last: SEC Proposes New Rules to Compel Disclosure of CEO Pay as Ratio to Median Employee Pay

On September 18, 2013, in accordance with Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”), the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a press release and published proposed rules (Release Nos. 33-9452; 34-70443) (the “Proposed Rules”) to require certain publicly-held companies to disclose the median annual total compensation of all employees … Continue Reading

Public Companies Should Immediately Review Their Peer Groups Used in Executive Compensation Decisions Based on ISS’s New Peer Group Selection Guidance and Notify ISS of Any Changes by December 21

Public companies should immediately review their peer group and Global Industry Classification Standard (“GICS”) codes, for purposes of executive compensation in light of the new Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) guidance. If the peer group your company plans to use in the upcoming proxy for assessing and determining executive compensation is different than the peer group … Continue Reading

Emerging Growth Company IPO Filings Initially Embrace JOBS Act’s Reduced Executive Compensation Disclosure Requirements

On April 5, 2012, the President signed into law the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act” (JOBS Act).  The JOBS Act also allows small businesses to harness “crowdfunding,” expands “mini-public offerings,” and streamlines the process for going public for “emerging growth companies”.   For a discussion of general provisions in the JOBS Act, please see our April … Continue Reading

SEC Adopts New Rules Calling For Greater Independence Standards For Compensation Committees And Their Advisers

In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”) for adopting regulations required by section 952 of the Reform Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on June 20, 2012 issued a press release and published final rules (Release No. 33-9330) (the “Final Rules”) for compensation committee and … Continue Reading

Spotlight on Pay For Performance Intensifies as ISS Releases New Evaluation Methodology for 2012 Proxy Season

The arrival of a new year means that another proxy season is not that far off.  A highlight of the 2011 proxy season was that it marked the first year in which shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation (“Say on Pay”) were conducted in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act.… Continue Reading

SEC Proposes New Rules Calling For Greater Independence Standards for Compensation Committees and Their Advisors

In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”) and its own timetable for proposing regulations required by section 952 of the Reform Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on March 30, 2011 issued a press release and published proposed rules (Release No. 33-9199) (the “Proposed Rules”) for … Continue Reading

Companies Should Not Take Lightly the Need for Full Compliance with the SEC’s Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules

As calendar year companies work on preparing their 2011 proxy statement materials, we wanted to report on a recent development that highlights the importance of a company’s full disclosure of, and compliance with, the SEC’s executive compensation disclosure rules. … Continue Reading

The Regulatory March to Reform Executive Compensation Practices Takes Another Step Forward

On July 21, 2010, the President signed into law (Public Law 111-203) the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Reform Act”). The Reform Act implements a sweeping regulatory overhaul of the financial, banking and mortgage industries and also addresses consumer protection. Included in the Reform Act, and which is the subject of … Continue Reading

Proxy Season Heats Up as New Executive Compensation Rules are Effective and SEC Provides New Disclosure Guidance

With Spring just a few weeks away, it also means that the annual proxy statement season for calendar year public companies is in full swing. February 28th marked the effective date for the SEC’s expanded executive compensation and corporate governance disclosure rules which we have previously reported on (see our December 18, 2009 blog).… Continue Reading

SEC Provides Guidance on Effective Dates of Expanded Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Rules

As we recently reported in our December 18, 2009 blog article, the SEC adopted substantial amendments on December 16, 2009 that significantly expand the executive compensation and corporate governance disclosure requirements for publicly held companies. These new rules were presumably adopted now in order to become effective for the 2010 proxy season but, as we … Continue Reading

Just in Time for 2010 Proxy Season – SEC Adopts Significant Expansion of Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Rules

As anticipated, on December 16, 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) presented investors and corporate governance reform advocates with a holiday gift by adopting substantial amendments to the executive compensation and corporate governance disclosure requirements for publicly held companies. The amendments reflect the SEC’s efforts to increase investor awareness of companies’ executive compensation practices … Continue Reading

Federal Government Fires More Salvos At Executive Compensation

The federal government’s extraordinary multi-pronged attack against executive compensation practices took another step forward, this time with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (“FRB”) taking aim. On October 22, 2009, the FRB proposed new guidance that will dramatically affect incentive compensation arrangements for the banking industry. The proposed guidance is consistent with and largely patterned … Continue Reading

House Quickly Passes Legislation to Control Executive Compensation Practices

Acting in rapid fashion, on July 31, 2009, the House of Representatives passed legislation that, if enacted, would further advance the federal government’s efforts to realign executive compensation practices. As we reported in our July 22, 2009 blog, the Treasury Department released draft legislation just two weeks earlier to require (i) an annual shareholder vote … Continue Reading

New Draft Legislation Continues the Assault on Executive Compensation

As a part of the federal government’s on-going efforts to reform executive compensation practices and to rein in excessive compensation, the Treasury Department drafted and released new legislation (known as the “Investor Protection Act of 2009”) on July 16, 2009 concerning shareholder Say-on-Pay and the independence of compensation committees (see also the Treasury’s fact sheets … Continue Reading

Changes in Store for 2010 Proxy Season as SEC Proposes Significant Expansion of Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Rules and Treasury Releases Draft New Legislation

As anticipated and in response to the “turmoil in the markets during the past 18 months”, on July 10, 2009 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed substantial amendments to the executive compensation and corporate governance disclosure requirements for publicly held companies.… Continue Reading

New TARP Executive Compensation Guidance and a Call for Further Reform in Executive Compensation Practices

June 10,2009 marked an extraordinary day of announcements affecting executive compensation for both recipients of financial assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“TARP”) and other publicly held companies, including: The U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) issued a statement outlining the Administration’s expectations and planned legislative proposals for executive compensation reform for publicly held … Continue Reading
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