September 4, 2003

A recent study by ISS

A recent study by ISS – using the ISS definition of independence – shows that the media industry has the least degree of independence in the make-up of its boards while utilities ranked best.

Media companies ranked last in comparing wholly independent audit and compensation committees, and second-to-last for nominating committees. The industry also ranked last when ranking where entire boards comprised at least 75 percent, or 50 percent, independent directors. Still, the media could claim the lowest percentage of staggered boards within an industry.

Utilities topped the lists for wholly independent compensation and nominating committees, as well as the 75-percent and 50-percent benchmarks for total board comparisons. But two-thirds of utilities’ boards are staggered and the industry had the lowest percentage of companies with separate CEOs and chairs.

We already have a winner of most provacative comment letter to the SEC regarding shareholder access. Way to get your personal beefs in the public domain, Mr. Smith! And nice email address…