executive compensation Articles

In The Race for Top Talent, Equity Vesting Schedules May be the Next Battleground

In today's highly competitive market for talent, shorter equity vesting schedules can be a strategic advantage. However, making a change should not be taken lightly. Our new article explores the pros and cons of longer vs. shorter vesting periods.

The Newly Revised US Tax Code Will Influence Executive and Employee Pay, but How Much?

In addition to changes in corporate and personal income tax levels, the revised US tax code is likely to influence the design of incentive compensation for executives and employees in the years ahead. Our client alert focuses on the provisions of the bill most likely to influence plan design and provides recommendations on actions companies should consider taking now.

New Delaware Supreme Court Decision Could Recalibrate How Directors Approach Their Pay

A new court ruling could make it harder for companies to dismiss lawsuits alleging excessive director pay. In our client alert, we explain the case and provide guidance for avoiding potential litigation down the road.

House Pursues Regulation of Proxy Advisory Firms (Again)

A new bill aimed at regulating proxy advisory firms like ISS and Glass Lewis recently passed the US House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support, and is expected to pass the full House shortly before the New Year. While the fate of the bill in the US Senate is less certain, the bill resurrects a long running discussion on whether proxy advisory firms should be subject to more regulation. Our client alert highlights key takeaways from the bill.

Silicon Alley vs. Silicon Valley: Comparing and Contrasting Compensation Practices

The technology market in and around New York City is maturing rapidly, but even as pay levels align more closely with Silicon Valley, compensation plan design remains distinct in important ways. We explored some of the biggest differences at our recent east coast technology sector meeting.

Glass Lewis Announces its 2018 Policies on CEO Pay Ratios, Say-on-Pay Votes and More

Glass Lewis & Co. recently released its 2018 policy updates, which include clarification on its approach to CEO pay ratio disclosures and a material change to the threshold at which additional scrutiny will be placed on Say-on-Pay results.

New FAQs from ISS Clarify Upcoming Compensation Policy Changes for 2018

New FAQs from ISS shed light on how the proxy advisory firm plans to implement changes to its CEO pay-for-performance analyses and apply its new Equity Plan Scorecard methodology for the 2018 proxy season.

ISS Policy Changes for 2018 Put More Scrutiny on CEO Pay-for-Performance and Director Pay

New ISS policy updates for 2018 add another layer of review to CEO pay-for-performance analyses, put more scrutiny on director pay and address disclosures related to gender pay equity, among many other changes. Read our alert for full details on upcoming policy changes.

Proposed Tax Bill Retains Some Provisions that Impact Exec Pay; Here’s What You Should Know

The tax overhaul bill being debated in the US Congress would make changes to the tax deductibility of performance-based compensation for named executive officers, including the CFO. Follow our client alert to stay informed on how the bill affects executive compensation as the legislation moves through Congress.

The Story of How We Helped One Client Put Their CEO Pay Ratio into the Right Context

A recent engagement with one of our medical devices clients highlights the importance of putting your CEO pay ratio into the right context against the right set of peers. Read our latest case study to learn more about how your company can tell its CEO pay ratio story in 2018.

In the UK and US, Performance Share Plans Appear Due for a Makeover

A handful of companies in the UK have traded in their performance share plans in favor of restricted stock with lower maximum payout levels and longer vesting and holding periods. In some cases, these moves even include executives. Now, the question we must ask is will this movement gather enough steam in the UK to jump across the Atlantic to the US?

New SEC Guidance Will Make Calculating Your CEO Pay Ratio Easier, But Don’t Relax Yet

After months and months of waiting, the SEC finally published updated guidance on complying with its CEO pay ratio rules. Specifically, the staff provided clarification on reasonable flexibility with respect to statistical sampling, identifying contractors and making reasonable estimates in calculating elements of the median employee’s compensation. Our latest client alert covers all the details you need to know.

ISS Survey Hints at Potential Changes to Options in Board Pay, Gender Pay Proposals and More

ISS’ new Global Policy Survey suggests many issues important to our clients are front and center for ISS. These include one share/one vote, use of options as a meaningful component of director compensation, how CEO pay ratios should be used by investors, gender diversity on boards and gender pay gaps among employees. We summarize the biggest issues for US companies.

The CEO Pay Ratio Deadline is Looming; Here’s How Companies Should Prepare

As we move past the midpoint of 2017, work is already underway at a number of our clients to begin preparing for the calculation and disclosure of CEO pay ratios next spring. Although many experts anticipated the CEO pay ratio rule would be delayed or repealed, this now looks increasingly unlikely. Here are key steps we recommend taking to ensure you stay on track for 2018 disclosures.

Is Your Company About to Graduate from the JOBS Act? Here’s Your Planning Checklist

The JOBS Act recently turned five, the maximum amount of time companies can take advantage of JOBS Act protections. This means a large number of firms are about to face greater proxy advisor scrutiny, Say-on-Pay votes and the full gamut of executive compensation disclosures for the first time. Our new client alert outlines all of the major planning items you’ll need to consider as you exit the JOBS Act.

Developing Effective Peer Groups at European Life Sciences Companies

For European life sciences companies, developing effective comparator groups requires a balancing act between not looking too narrowly or broadly for peers. This challenge is particularly acute for European-headquartered firms trading on a US exchange. Our article outlines three critical issues to consider when faced with this task.

Designing Innovative Long-Term Incentives for Executives at Newly Public Companies

In this job market, executives who’ve led companies through a successful IPO are a hot commodity. Read our latest article for advice on delivering post-IPO equity awards that keep top executives engaged while delivering pay-for-performance accountability to shareholders.

CEO Pay Ratio Rule in the Crosshairs of Congress, SEC; Relief Could be Slow

The future of the Dodd-Frank CEO pay ratio rule grows less certain by the day. The SEC recently opened a 45-day comment period for issuers to report on difficulties encountered while trying to comply with the rule. The agency said it was considering delaying or amending the disclosure, and meanwhile, Congress is working toward a full repeal. But the clock is ticking until the rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Four Steps to Tackling the CEO Pay Ratio Rule

In preparation for CEO pay ratio disclosures to begin in 2018, we outline four major steps companies can take to ensure disclosure and communication processes address every stakeholder perspective.

In Calculating Your CEO Pay Ratio, Relativity to Peers is the New Math

In preparing for the CEO pay ratio rule, comparing how your pay ratio compares to a set of industry peers is the analysis most shareholders will likely make. Using our extensive survey data, we show how ratios differ within the technology and life sciences sectors by industry as well as revenue size and workforce location.
 

ISS and Glass Lewis Issue Final 2017 Policy Updates

ISS and Glass Lewis have both released their final 2017 policy updates. Key changes include amendments to director pay and governance policies in the US, and pay-for-performance and director grant policies in Europe and Canada. Read our full analysis in our new client alert.

ISS Adds Metrics to Qualitative Say-on-Pay Screening, But Not All Industries Will Benefit

ISS has added six new financial metrics to its qualitative pay-for-performance assessment. While many of our technology and life sciences clients will welcome a more diverse view on measuring performance relative to pay, pre-commercial biopharma companies won’t find these new metrics a relevant measurement of company success. In this client alert, we discuss actions companies can take now to prepare for changes in the upcoming proxy season.

ISS Releases Proposed Policy Updates; Excludes Changes to US Executive Pay Issues

ISS just released its proposed 2017 policy updates, and while it appears that ISS has punted on a number of executive compensation issues in the United States, the firm is proposing a number of compensation changes in Europe and Canada. Read our summary of the policy updates and submit your comments to ISS by November 10.

Results from ISS' Annual Policy Survey Show Support for Alternative Performance Metrics

ISS' 2016 Global Policy Survey asked questions on a range of issues, from executive and director pay to dual-class share structures for IPOs. In our new client alert, we examine all of the potential policy changes that could have the biggest impact on our clients in 2017 and beyond.

2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Technology Companies Receive Steady Support From Shareholders Despite Lower Performance

As executive compensation planning season kicks off, and another proxy season looms, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for technology companies, including insights on key lessons learned from companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Life Sciences Companies Receive Increased Shareholder Support Even as Volatility Climbs

The life sciences sector continues to face high levels of market volatility, which could impact next year’s Say-on-Pay results. With this in mind, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for life sciences firms, including insights on key lessons learned by companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

To Fuel Growth, Companies Make a Case for Using Inducement Grants More Often

At the high-growth companies we work with, the use of new-hire "inducement grants" is on the rise. Our latest white paper, co-authored with Cooley LLP, presents new research on how technology and life sciences companies can best leverage inducement grants to compete for increasingly scarce talent, and the effect this has on equity burn rates.

CEOs Sign Voluntary Governance Principles, but Emphasize Flexibility in Executive Pay

A set of high-level compensation and governance principles were released last month by a select group of business leaders representing a handful of America’s largest companies and mutual funds. The principles highlight the importance of individualized and well-articulated compensation plans but also take a position on a number of issues.

SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule Requiring Disclosure of "Golden Leash" Arrangements

The SEC recently approved a new Nasdaq rule, requiring disclosure of "Golden Leash" director compensation arrangements, which took effect August 1, 2016. Nasdaq's new rule requires disclosure of special payments to third party nominees to boards. It focuses largely on activist hedge fund nominees, and explicitly exempts most venture capital directors.

How to Maintain a Relevant Peer Group in Fast-Moving Industries and Unstable Markets

Reviewing compensation peer groups is usually treated as a routine exercise. However, when your company or industry experiences significant changes or the stock market is highly volatile, a more rigorous review is prudent. Read our five tips for staying on top of your peer group game.

 

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