Institutional Shareholder Services Releases Annual Policy Survey

Institutional Investors, Companies and Corporate Governance Market Constituents Invited to Provide Input into ISS’ 2015 Proxy Voting Guidelines

Rockville, MD (July 17, 2014) – Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), a leading provider of proxy advisory and corporate governance solutions to financial market participants, today kicked off its annual global policy formulation process by inviting institutional investors, corporate issuers, corporate directors and other market constituents to participate in its 2015 proxy voting policy survey.

This year the survey will cover a number of key issues for consideration for the 2015 proxy season, including the evaluation of equity plans, board diversity, jurisdictional approaches to the application of ISS policies, and pay for performance evaluations.

“Survey questions this year cover a range of issues, globally, including those related to board diversity, reporting on environmental and social performance goals, and the relationship between goal-setting and award values when evaluating pay for performance,” said Dr. Martha Carter, ISS’ Head of Global Research and Policy “Specific to the U.S., this year’s survey will also gauge views on the importance of company practices, cost, and features relative to ISS’ evaluation of equity plans, which is timely given the sharper focus on such resolutions at U.S. companies this proxy season. Market input on this particular issue will facilitate plans to implement a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach for ISS’ assessment of stock plan proposals.”

In addition to its global survey, ISS will conduct a variety of regionally-based, topic-specific roundtables and conference calls to drill into local market best practices which factor into the development of ISS’ benchmark policy guidelines.

ISS will then open a 30-day comment period for all interested market participants.  The open comment period is designed to elicit objective, specific feedback from investors, corporate issuers and other industry constituents on the practical implementation of proposed policy updates as well as new policies.

The timeline for the annual policy formulation process is as follows:

July 17 Policy Survey is distributed and survey opens
August/September Regional market roundtables and outreach
August 29 Policy Survey closes
Middle of September Survey results released
October Open comment period
November Final policy updates released
February 1 Effective date for the implementation of ISS’ 2015 benchmark voting policies
“This year marks the 10th that ISS has solicited the opinion of governance market constituents in formulating our benchmark voting policies and speaks to our commitment to transparency and inclusiveness,” said ISS President & CEO Gary Retelny. “The significant input we receive ensures that ISS’ policies reflect market best practices, create dialogue around important issues and, most importantly, serve the proxy voting needs of our institutional clients worldwide.”
The 2015 ISS policy survey is now closed.

Learn more about ISS’ policy formulation process here.