In response to a number of requests from institutional investors, corporate issuers and market intermediaries, ISS will extend the deadline for commenting on its 2012 draft proxy voting policies through Nov. 7. A critical component of ISS' annual policy formulation process, this comment period allows institutional investors, corporate issuers, and governance market participants to provide feedback on ISS' policy updates while they are still in draft stage. ISS is seeking comments on both its U.S. and international policies.
"With a number of complex governance issues to address globally for the 2012 season, we are pleased to know that market participants from different reaches of the world are taking the time to provide policy input,” said Martha Carter, ISS' Head of Global Research. “We’re pleased to be in a position to extend our open comment period by one week.”
To ensure its voting policies reflect the perspectives of the corporate governance community and represent the collective voice of its institutional clients, ISS gathers broad input each year from institutional clients and market constituents through policy surveys, issue-specific roundtables, and this unique open comment period. During this year's policy survey, more than 300 respondents weighed in on issues that included executive compensation, board independence, engagement triggers, and social and environmental issues. The full results from the survey are posted on the ISS Policy Gateway.
The proposed policy changes include a more robust pay-for-performance policy for the U.S. and Canada with a longer-term focus on trends in total CEO compensation and shareholder return. The proposed policies also address the responsiveness of boards to significant shareholder opposition during say-on-pay votes and to investor preferences during say-on-pay frequency votes.
ISS also is seeking comment on draft policy changes on these topics:
- Proxy Access Proposals (U.S.)
- Election of Censors (France)
- Board Independence (Brazil)
- Equity Plans Related to Section 162(m) (U.S.)
- Equity-Based Compensation (France)
- Increase in Director Compensation Ceiling Proposals (Japan)
- Hydraulic Fracturing Proposals (U.S.)
- Political Contribution Proposals (U.S.)
ISS will release its final 2012 U.S. and international policy updates during the week of Nov. 14 and its Global Policy Summary and Concise Guidelines in December. To participate in ISS' comment period and learn more about its policy formulation process, please visit the ISS Policy Gateway. --Cheryl Gustitus