U.S. Companies Offered New Option to Examine Equity Plan Data
Rockville, MD (August 14, 2014) – Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS), a leading provider of corporate governance solutions to the global financial community, announced today the launch of a new data verification portal covering critical information on equity-based compensation plans that U.S. companies submit for approval by their shareholders.
Under the new process, all U.S. companies with an equity plan on the ballot that file their proxy statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission after September 8, 2014, can utilize the new platform to verify key datapoints underlying ISS‘ evaluation of the plan. “This new verification process is designed to provide our clients with greater assurance of data integrity, giving investors important information for their engagements with portfolio companies on equity plans,” said Dr. Martha Carter, ISS’ Global Head of Research. “In keeping with ISS’ commitment to transparency and accuracy, this development also responds to requests from corporations for greater visibility into key datapoints underlying our analysis of equity plans and will apply to all U.S. companies covered by ISS, regardless of size.”
ISS has long been committed to maintaining data accuracy by verifying the information through issuers and other sources, and by other means of gathering input from the companies it analyzes, including those in its ISS Governance QuickScore coverage universe. Additionally, ISS annually undertakes a survey of governance stakeholders globally to gauge views and inform potential changes to its benchmark voting policy. Notably, this year’s survey seeks feedback on the importance of U.S. company equity plan practices, costs, and features as part of the implementation by ISS of a “balanced scorecard” approach to its evaluation of equity plans.
Corporate issuers interested in learning more about the equity plan data verification process are encouraged to read these Frequently Asked Questions, which describe how to register, eligibility, a list of datapoints subject to review, and other matters.