On Thursday, August 25th, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted amendments that will require registrants to disclose information reflecting the relationship between executive compensation actually paid by a registrant and the registrant’s financial performance.  These rules implement the so-called “pay-versus-performance” disclosure requirements prescribed by Section 953(a) of the Dodd Frank Act. This rule was first proposed in 2015 and the comment period was reopened in January 2022, nearly twelve years after Congress directed the SEC to create such a rule.   This rule is intended to provide shareholders with a more clear and digestible understanding of the relationship between “executive compensation actually paid” (described below) by a company and the company’s overall financial performance.

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The Delaware General Assembly recently adopted amendments to the Delaware General Corporation Law (the “DGCL”), effective as of August 1, 2022.  Among other changes, the amended DGCL provides for exculpation of officers from liability for breaches of the duty of care and also expands the ability of boards to delegate authority to members of management in connection with the issuance of shares of common stock and options.  The change with the most potential for far-reaching impact is with respect to officer exculpation.  For existing corporations, a charter amendment is required to take advantage of the new officer exculpation, and it is an open question as to whether shareholders (and proxy advisory firms) will support extending exculpation to officers.

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On November 12, 2020, Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) issued its proxy voting guidelines and policy updates for 2021.  These guidelines apply for shareholder meetings taking place on or after February 1, 2021.  The most noteworthy changes are described below.  Companies included in the S&P 500 index should also note that ISS will no longer provide drafts of its reports for company review prior to publication.

Continue Reading ISS Issues Proxy Voting Guidelines and Policy Updates for 2021