October 27, 2014

ISS Announces QuickScore 3.0: Verify Your Data by November 14th

Last week, ISS announced that QuickScore 3.0 will be launched on November 24th for the 2015 proxy season (in other words, that’s the first date the new governance ratings will be included in research reports). Ning Chiu highlights some of the changes from last year in this blog – also see this Wachtell Lipton memo and Gibson Dunn blog. Here’s the home for QuickScore 3.0, where you can download the technical document – and here’s the new QuickScore factors by region.

Companies will have from November 3rd to November 14th to verify the underlying raw data and submit updates and corrections through ISS’s data review and verification site. As always, ratings are updated based on a company’s public disclosures during the calendar year.

Board Diversity Disclosures: Diversity Definition Often Hinges on Experience

As noted in this DealBook article and Fortune article, most of the S&P 100 are interpreting diversity as having a varied background or experiences, instead of gender, race or age. According to research by Professor Dhir for an upcoming book, in each of the past 4 years, about 50% described diversity as meaning gender, race or ethnicity – but more than 80% consistently cited a variety of experience or backgrounds. The article notes that Corp Fin has rarely issued comments in this topic area during the past two years.

Board Gender Diversity: CalSTRS & The Thirty Percent Coalition’s New Campaign

As noted in this press release, institutional investors representing more than $3 trillion in assets along with some of the nation’s leading women’s organizations – aka “The Thirty Percent Coalition” – recently sent letters to 100 companies that lack women on their boards. The letter also affirms the importance of racial diversity. Here’s a sample letter. Prior letter writing campaigns has led to appointment of women to 17 boards. The Coalition has set a goal of women holding 30% of board seats across public companies by the end of 2015, up from the 17% current ratio…

– Broc Romanek