ICS Announces Launch of Voting Insight
New Offering, Part of Enhanced Governance Platinum Solution, Will Provide Deep Visibility into Factors Driving Opposition to Key Proposals
ROCKVILLE, Md. (June 21, 2016) – ISS Corporate Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of compensation and governance tools and advisory services to help companies improve shareholder value and reduce risk, today announced the launch of Voting Insight, which draws on publicly available voting records, company ownership data, proposal features, and a unique proprietary model to produce the most complete view of anticipated institutional voting approaches on key compensation resolutions.
By leveraging publicly disclosed voting records and data points on proposal characteristics, users will now be able to analyze the specific factors influencing investors’ actual voting behavior, which represents a significant advance for corporations seeking to understand the nuances of their shareholders’ proxy voting patterns. Previously, companies relied on broad voting principles, to the extent disclosed by shareholders, to gauge likely shareholder support for proxy ballot items and to determine with whom to engage on specific resolutions.
For example, users of Voting Insight will have granular visibility into key factors typically driving opposition to say-on-pay resolutions. In a recent analysis of more than 200 institutional investors’ proxy voting activity, Voting Insight shows the top five drivers of opposition to pay votes as: board approval of a new or extended agreement in the past year that contained excise tax gross-ups; failure to adequately respond to a previous say-on-pay vote with low support; a disconnect between pay and performance; problematic pay practices such as excessive perquisites and gross-up payments; and problematic pay practices beyond perquisites and gross-ups.
“Corporations today often face the significant challenge of navigating diverging shareholder expectations, concerns, and voting approaches,” said John Roe, Head of Advisory and Client Services at ISS Corporate Solutions. “Through Voting Insight, Governance Platinum subscribers will now be able to identify with far greater precision than ever before comparable situations, problematic proposal characteristics, and influential institutional voters. We believe this can significantly help companies when designing compensation and governance programs as well as allocating scarce shareholder engagement resources.”
ICS clients will be able to access Voting Insight through new subscriptions to Governance Platinum, which goes beyond ICS’ current Governance Suite solution by offering additional platform and advisory capabilities as part of a comprehensive package to meet the needs of both nascent and established public companies, year-round.
Voting Insight, the cornerstone of Governance Platinum, includes Proposal Finder, which will allow executives to craft and design stronger proxy ballot measures by quickly identifying and analyzing similar proposal characteristics and, specifically, how a corporation’s shareholders previously voted on such resolutions. Moreover, Governance Platinum subscribers will now have access to QuickScore Advanced Governance Benchmarking, which will help identify corporate governance deficiencies relative to peers and provide strategic guidance on modifying policies and practices best suited not only for investors, but for companies themselves. The enhanced solution will also allow users to compare factors against companies of differing size based on market capitalization and to benchmark against their own industry and index.
Alongside technological solutions, Governance Platinum will provide enhanced advisory services, including a shareholder pre-engagement program, qualitative and quantitative support related to shareholder activism, and other services.
“With the significant capabilities underlying Governance Platinum, combined with the expertise of the ICS advisory team, corporate subscribers will be well positioned to improve shareholder value and uncover opportunities to maximize a company’s appeal to investors,” said Mark Brockway, Head of ISS Corporate Solutions. “We are committed to continued innovation to serve the needs of our clients, particularly against the backdrop of a rapidly changing governance landscape.”