As 2018 draws to a close, both Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) and Glass Lewis are in the process of updating their 2019 proxy voting guidelines.
In mid-October, ISS launched its 2019 benchmark voting policy consultation period, pursuant to which ISS solicits feedback on certain of its proposed voting policies for the upcoming proxy season. This year, ISS requested comment on proposed policies for U.S. public companies related to board gender diversity and its pay-for-performance model, as described in greater detail below. ISS plans to announce its final policy changes in mid-November.
In addition, Glass Lewis recently released its 2019 shareholder initiatives and proxy voting guidelines, which include the implementation of previously announced policies that were in grace periods, new policies and codifications and clarifications of previously existing approaches to issuing vote recommendations.
A summary of notable executive compensation and governance updates is provided below. The recent policy updates, and in particular the new Glass Lewis guidelines, are fairly extensive. In preparing for the 2019 proxy season, U.S. public companies should consider the applicability of the new and proposed policies in light of their individual facts and circumstances.