Focus on U.S. Pay for Performance, Board Responsiveness and Pledging, Voto di Lista in Italy and Board Issues in Hong Kong and Singapore
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), a leading provider of corporate governance solutions to the global financial community, today released its 2013 policy updates for the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia and other international markets.
Each year, ISS’ Global Policy Board engages in a robust and transparent global policy formulation process which culminates in benchmark ("House view") guidelines to be used in its proxy voting research for the upcoming year. To ensure its voting policies take into consideration the perspectives of the corporate governance community and the views of its institutional clients, ISS gathers broad input each year from institutional investors, companies and a variety of other market constituents through policy surveys, issue-specific roundtables, and an open comment period.
The ISS Global Benchmark Policy Guidelines consider market-specific recommended best practices, transparency, and disclosure when addressing issues such as board structure, director accountability, corporate governance standards, executive compensation, shareholder rights, corporate transactions, and social/environmental issues. In addition to incorporating viewpoints from market participants, ISS policies take into account regional regulatory changes, best practices, voting trends, and academic research.
Highlights and key 2013 policy changes for the U.S. market relate to Pay for Performance Evaluation ( including Peer Group Construction and Realizable Pay), Board Responsiveness to Majority Supported Proposals and Pledging of Company Stock. ISS Canada will also update its policy on Pay for Performance Evaluation, including quantitative and qualitative factors. Policy updates regarding Voto di Lista in Italy and Overboarding and Board Tenure in the Hong Kong and Singapore markets are also notable.
"Transparency and inclusiveness is a hallmark of ISS’ policy development," said Martha Carter, ISS' Head of Global Research and Policy. "We firmly believe that our commitment to this approach enhances the value of the research we deliver to clients, and it informs our vote recommendations."
ISS will apply the updated policies to all publicly-traded company shareholder meetings as of February 1, 2013.