ROCKVILLE, Md. (October 7, 2019) – 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 2020 benchmark voting policy comment period. The open comment period, which will solicit views from governance stakeholders globally on a number of proposed voting policy changes for 2020, will run through 5:00 p.m. ET on October 18.
To ensure ISS benchmark voting policy changes take into consideration a broad range of perspectives, including the views of institutional investors globally 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 its 2019 global policy survey, ISS is now making available for public comment a number of proposed changes to ISS’ benchmark voting policies for 2020.
Through the comment period, ISS is requesting feedback from all interested market constituents on 17 proposed new policies or potential policy changes, including:
- For policies covering companies based in Europe, proposed changes out for comment cover: director terms in Continental Europe; the use of discretion by remuneration committees in U.K. and Continental Europe; remuneration committee responsiveness; and board gender diversity.
- For companies in the United States, proposed changes out for comment include those applying to sunset provisions for dual-class stock structures, share repurchase programs, and shareholder proposals on independent board chairs.
- Proposed changes out for comment applicable to companies in Asia include those concerning controlled companies in Japan, board accountability in South Korea, cash dividends in Taiwan, off-market repurchase pricing limits in Singapore, and board gender diversity in India.
- For coverage of companies in Emerging Markets, proposed new policies and changes out for comment cover cumulative voting and board independence in Middle East and North African markets, and director and officer indemnification and liability provisions in Brazil.
Access all 17 draft proposed policy changes here.
Comments received will be considered as ISS finalizes the updates to its benchmark voting policies to be applied for shareholder meetings taking place on or after Feb 1, 2020. ISS expects to announce its final 2020 benchmark policy changes during the first half of November.