June 22, 2009

A Preliminary Postseason Report

Whew, the proxy season is over. And it’s now fair to ask: just how wild and crazy was this proxy season? Given all the coming reforms, probably not as crazy as next year’s proxy season will be – but it certainly was’t dull. You can read details about how the various proposals were supported in RiskMetrics’ new “Preliminary Postseason Report.”

Regarding one of the hottest topics, as of June 1, “say-on-pay” shareholder proposals averaged 46.7% support, representing an increase of over 5% from 2008. The 2009 figure is based on preliminary or final voting results for 50 of the 85 proposals voted so far this year. Meanwhile, RiskMetrics is tracking 18 majority votes in favor of the resolution as of June 1st, compared with 11 in all of 2008. Proposals at another five companies received between 49 and 49.9% support.

It’s Time to Weigh In: RiskMetrics Launches Annual Policy Formulation Process

Last week, RiskMetrics kicked off its annual global policy formulation process by inviting comments in its 2010 proxy voting policy survey. This year’s policy formulation process will include more outreach to investment industry groups as well as expanded outreach to the global corporate community.

Given that these comments could influence RiskMetrics’ views – and given that RiskMetrics’ views will be more important than ever given regulatory reform, say-on-pay, proxy access, etc. – you should take advantage of this opportunity. The survey period ends July 31st – and will be followed by an open comment period in October after RiskMetrics publishes its draft policies. Don’t wait for this 2nd comment period to weigh in – it’s better to influence the policies now before the train gets rolling…

CEO Pay: Big Changes Coming

With the SEC’s goal to have new executive compensation disclosure rules in place before next proxy season – combined with the real likelihood of say-on-pay legislation and the loss of broker nonvotes for director elections – our the “4th Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference” (whose pricing is combined with the “6th Annual Executive Compensation Conference”) will be more important than ever. Here is the agenda.

Early Bird Expires This Friday: These Conferences will be held at the San Francisco Hilton and via Live Nationwide Video Webcast on November 9-10th. Take advantage of reduced rates that will expire this Friday, June 26th by registering now. These rates will not be extended – there will be no early bird discounts after Friday!

– Broc Romanek