ROCKVILLE, M.D. (26 October 2017) – Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment solutions to the global financial community, today announced the launch of its 2018 benchmark voting policy consultation period. The open comment period, which will solicit views from governance stakeholders globally on certain proposed voting policies for 2018, will run through 5:00 p.m. ET on November 9.
To ensure its benchmark voting policies take into consideration many perspectives, including the views of global institutional investors and those of the broader corporate governance community, ISS gathers input each year from asset owners and managers, companies, and other market constituents through a variety of channels and mediums. Following the release in recent weeks of the results of both its primary and secondary policy surveys, ISS is now making available for public comment certain proposed changes to ISS’ benchmark voting policy for 2018.
Specifically, ISS is requesting feedback from interested market constituents on proposed new policies or potential policy changes with respect to 13 voting policy areas, including those covering: director elections vis-a-vis non-employee director pay and poison pills, in addition to gender pay gap proposals in the U.S. In Canada, draft policies cover TSX listed director elections relative to the issues of overboarding and board gender diversity. Potential changes to ISS’ European voting policy include those related to general share issuance request proposals and non-widely-held company director elections in the area of board independence. Other draft policies for comment include the treatment of virtual/hybrid meeting proposals (within the UK/Ireland and Europe voting policies), as well as the prospect of applying ISS’ existing European policy on director overboarding to the Nordic markets.
Meanwhile, four draft policies applying to Asian markets will also be out for comment, including: treatment of outside directors and poison pill proposals in Japan; handling of communist party committee proposals in China and Hong Kong; and the approach to share repurchase pricing limit proposals in Singapore.
Download the comment period documents here.
Comments will be taken into consideration as ISS finalizes the updates to its benchmark voting policies to be applied for shareholder meetings taking place on or after Feb 1, 2018. ISS expects to announce its final 2018 benchmark policy changes during the second half of November.