Last night, the SEC posted its Sunshine Act notice to adopt the pay ratio rules next Wednesday, August 5th. My blog on CompensationStandards.com gives a guess as to some of the rule’s final parameters.
We want to help you get prepared – so I have put together a “Pay Ratio Workshop” that will be held on Tuesday, August 25th, which will be held online via audio webcast. Here’s the “Pay Ratio Workshop” agenda.
This “Pay Ratio Workshop” is part of a registration to the “Proxy Disclosure Conference” & “Say-on-Pay Workshop” that will be held on October 27th-28th in San Diego and by video webcast. In other words, this new audio-webcast only event is paired with our prior pair of executive pay conferences. So it’s three conferences for the price of one! Register now – discounted rate available only through August 7th!
These are part of our FAQs:
– For those registered to attend in San Diego in person or by video, you also gain access to the August 25th “Pay Ratio Workshop” that is available only by audio webcast
– You will receive an ID/pw to access the August 25th “Pay Ratio Workshop” by the middle of August (although it will just be your existing ID/pw to our sites if you already have a membership)
– There is no CLE available for the “Pay Ratio Workshop” (but there will be CLE for the “Proxy Disclosure/Say-on-Pay” Conferences in October in most states)
– An audio archive of the “Pay Ratio Workshop” will be available starting on August 25th in case you can’t catch that event live
Survey: Pay Ratio Disclosures So Far
Last week, I blogged about Mark Borges’ blog about a comprehensive pay ratio disclosure – and then Mark followed up by blogging about some more samples. And now thanks to Simpson Thacher, we have this survey on pay ratio disclosures posted on CompensationStandards.com that they prepared in late March. The survey also includes some examples of companies that provide a comparison of compensation increases/decreases among the CEO and average employee.
To prepare this survey, Simpson Thacher searched all SEC filings since 2010 for companies that have disclosed the ratio of CEO to employee pay and found 16 examples. In reviewing these 16 examples, they noted the following data points for their disclosure:
1. Employees Included in Comparator Group
– Three (19%) note that the employee comparator group includes all employees, including part-time or temporary employees.
– Three (19%) note that the employee comparator group is limited to full-time employees.
– Three (19%) impose geographic restrictions on which employees are included in the comparator group (e.g., limiting to strictly U.S. or UK employees).
– Seven (44%) did not specify which employees are included in the comparator group.
2. Compensation Included
– Nine (56%) compare the CEO’s total compensation to the average total compensation for the company’s employees.
– Three (19%) compare the salary of the CEO to the average salary for the company’s employees.
– Three (19%) have two separate ratios: one based on salary, and one based on both salary and bonus.
– One (6%) has two separate ratios: one based on salary, and one based on total compensation.
3. Basis of Employee Comparison (Average vs. Median Salary)
– Three (19%) use the average salary for employees as the basis of comparison.
– Five (31%) use the median salary for employees as the basis of comparison.
– Eight (50%) use both the median and average salary for employees as a basis of comparison.
The first section, titled “Examples of Pay Ratio Disclosure”, includes the disclosure of the 16 companies discussed above, as well as information regarding the data points. Among these 16 examples, five companies (31%) have a market cap under $100 million; four companies (25%) have a market cap between $100 million and $1 billion; and seven companies (44%) have a market cap of over $1 billion. In addition, of these 16 companies, nine (56%) employ fewer than 1,000 employees, while only Whole Foods and Israel Chemical employ more than 5,000 employees. Further, seven companies (44%) are incorporated in Israel, as such disclosure appears to be encouraged under Israeli corporate law.
The survey also includes an additional chart at the end, titled “Examples of Compensation Increase Disclosure,” which includes seven examples of companies that disclose percentage pay changes (i.e., the annual percentage increase in pay of the CEO and other top executives, and the comparable percentage increase for all other employees). This disclosure, although it does not provide pay ratios, was provided by companies that all employed more than 1,000 employees (or, with respect to Aon, Astrazeneca, Avery Dennison and Reed Elsevier, employed more than 25,000 employees), and indicates the type of compensation used and the employees considered for the disclosure.
– Broc Romanek