With the proxy season just getting underway, we thought it might be useful to summarize some initial observations to aid those in the midst of the season’s challenges.
Results. According to Institutional Shareholder Services’ (ISS) 2013 Say on Pay Snapshot released April 8, 2013, ISS has recommended against 10 percent of issuers so far this proxy season. While ISS’s study represents a relatively small sample size (473 companies), a “no” recommendation from ISS against 10 percent of companies represents a decrease in “no” recommendations of over 20 percent from last year (12.2 percent).
Reasons for Failure. The single largest reason that companies have received “no” recommendations from ISS continues to be a so-called pay-for-performance disconnect. In addition, ISS has recommended against an increased number of companies on the basis of a so-called lack of compensation committee communications and effectiveness. A lack of effectiveness often arises where ISS has determined that the company has not provided disclosure about actions it has taken in light of a low say on pay vote for the previous year.