Publications & White Papers

Test Bed

2019 Canadian Post-Season Review


This 2019 Canadian Post-Season Summary reviews:

  • Board gender diversity
  • Voluntary say-on-pay proposals
  • Shareholder activist targets
  • Corporate governance at cannabis companies
  • Relevance of climate change
Test Bed

2019 US Equity Compensation Plans Overview and Trends


Companies use equity compensation plans to pay their employees, officers, non-employee directors, and other service providers by giving them equity ownership at the company. Equity compensation is common in both public and private companies. Companies view equity compensation as an effective way of incentivizing plan participants while attracting high-quality employees, encouraging retention, motivating sustained performance, and aligning employees’ interests with those of shareholders.

Test Bed

Director Overboarding – Global Trends, Definitions, and Impact

AUGUST 9 2019

In the 2019 proxy season, “overboarding” became a center-stage issue for many companies and investors. Several large asset managers, including Vanguard, BlackRock, and LGIM, enhanced their voting guidelines to apply stricter criteria, while some directors serving on multiple public company boards faced significant opposition to their elections. The idea that directors should not serve on too many boards has been a key consideration for investors for many years.

Test Bed

Early Review of 2019 US Proxy Season Vote Results

JUNE 5 2019

As the busiest part of the 2019 U.S. proxy season is behind us, we take an early look at the vote results of annual general meetings convened from January to May. As of this report, approximately 70 percent of Russell 3000 annual general meetings expected during the calendar year have already taken place, and the figure will rise to close to 90 percent of all calendar-year annual meetings by the end of June. In our review of the vote results for the 1,812 Russell 3000 2019 annual general meetings that took place from January to May and are available in the ISS database, this paper identifies major trends.

Test Bed

The Seven Venial Sins of Executive Compensation

MAY 17 2019

Compensation disclosures have grown significantly over the last decade (mostly for the better), and they continue to evolve with the ongoing engagement between companies and shareholders. Certain compensation practices are known for raising investor concerns, leading to difficult conversations between investors and boards and higher levels of investor opposition of executive pay programs.

Test Bed

2019 U.S. Executive Compensation Trends

APRIL 30 2019

As we enter the peak of proxy season, we review executive compensation trends in the U.S. based on executive pay disclosures so far this year.

Test Bed

Excerpts from ISS U.S. E&S Proxy Season Preview Report

APRIL 4 2019

This document is an excerpted portion of ISS’ full report, “2019 U.S. Environmental and Social Issues Proxy Season Preview,” which provided the following early insights:

  • Proposals on political activities increase
  • Climate change remains a top concern
  • Human rights issues proposals continue to surge
  • Shareholders remain concerned about pharmaceutical risks
Test Bed

Using EVA in Pay-for-Performance Analysis

APRIL 2019

ISS Analytics recently published a white paper outlining how EVA may be able to help support Pay-for-Performance analysis. This article covers:

  • Why EVA May Help with Pay-for-Performance Analysis
  • Introduction to EVA: Measuring Economic Performance
  • The Link Between EVA and TSR
  • Introduction to the EVA Measures: The Four Key Ratios
  • How EVA Can Support Pay-for-Performance Analysis
Test Bed

Use EVA to Improve Your Board’s Financial IQ

APRIL 2019

A board literate in economic value can gain an enormous advantage in moving beyond compliance and the accounting numbers to fulfill the greater duty of working with management to deliver shareholder value.

Test Bed

ESG Considerations for Taiwan-listed Corporates

MARCH 2019

In March this year ISS Corporate Solutions partnered with the Taiwan Depositary & Clearing Corporation (TDCC) in the launch of their Investor Relations platform event. The theme explored how ESG and digital solutions transform investor relations and corporate sustainability practices. In this document, we highlight the upcoming ESG demands on Taiwan’s listed corporates and the capabilities of managing ESG risk through ICS’ dynamic platform solutions. Please contact us for further information.

Test Bed

Using EVA in Pay-for-Performance Analysis

MARCH 18, 2019

Looking at some of the key takeaways from the ISS 2018 Proxy Season Review, 2018 was a year of increasing shareholder dissent shown in votes against directors.  Shareholder votes against remuneration reports spiked to a historical high with 26 companies in the S&P ASX300 index recording a “strike.”

Test Bed

An Interview with the ISS US Compensation Team

MARCH 8, 2019

ISS compensation experts, Liz Williams and Rachel Hedrick provide insights on key compensation topics to watch in 2019. They share their perspectives on pay in an uncertain market, the impact of the repeal of 162(m) on equity compensation plans proposals, performance-metric selections, CEO pay ratio disclosures, new shareholder proposal types, and the ISS policy on director compensation.

Test Bed

An Early Look at 2019 US Shareholder Proposals

MARCH 1, 2019

In the U.S., shareholder proposal filings have historically played an important role in advancing corporate governance and in highlighting key risks related to environmental and social issues.

Test Bed

Insights into Value Creation: Using EVA to Measure Performance

FEBRUARY 22, 2019

In this article, we explore the specific challenges market participants face when using traditional accounting metrics to assess performance, as well as the limitations those metrics place on corporate leadership in informing and guiding proper capital allocation and decision making. In addition, we present a potential solution and alternative framework called Economic Value Added (EVA.)


Corporate Governance & Compensation in Europe 2019

JANUARY 30, 2019

As the AGM season approaches and concerns over drafting remuneration disclosures increase, how do you improve the chances that your proposals will be well-received by shareholders?

Test Bed

Overcoming Common Objections to Making CD&A Changes

JANUARY 28, 2019

Companies often say that shareholders just did not understand their pay disclosure well enough to vote in favor of the pay program, but a key purpose of the Compensation Discussion and Analysis (CD&A) is to have shareholders fully understand how the pay program works.

This paper outlines four common traps companies fall into when thinking about their compensation disclosures.

Test Bed

Top 10 Corporate Governance Topics to Watch in 2019

JANUARY 4, 2019

As the world greets the New Year, investors and companies may take a moment to reflect on key corporate governance priorities in light of a potentially more challenging business environment in the year ahead.

Test Bed

The EVA Measurement Formula:​
A Primer on Economic Value Added (EVA)

NOVEMBER 7, 2018

This primer on EVA (Economic Value Added) was designed to give you a better understanding of how EVA is calculated and what makes it different from other metrics.

Test Bed

Board Refreshment: Finding the Right Balance

AUGUST 10, 2018

In this article, data validates that good board renewal practices help companies better manage risk and performance.

Test Bed

2018 Proxy Season Review

JULY 20, 2018

As a preamble to ISS’s post-season review reports, we took a look at some of the key takeaways from the 2018 proxy season. Use this report to understand the trends in board election vote results, compensation, shareholder proposals, and environmental and social issues.

Test Bed

Peer Selection and the Wisdom of the Crowd

JUNE 7, 2018

Peer groups form the bedrock of many company pay-setting exercises. Benchmarking CEO pay to a target value, typically the median pay of a group of “peer” companies, is a standard practice used by compensation committees; more than 97 percent of S&P 500 companies disclose benchmarking peer groups.

Test Bed

5 Trends from the E&S QualityScore

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) recently launched an Environmental & Social QualityScore, a data driven approach to measuring the quality of corporate disclosures on environmental and social issues. The trends outlined in this document highlight some interesting insights from the first six industries covered under the E&S QualityScore, as of February 27, 2018.

Test Bed

An Early Look at the State of U.S. CEO Pay

ISS Analytics analyzed pay data for “same-store” CEOs within the Russell 3000 to better understand the sentiment of compensation committees and how their thinking evolves year-over-year.

Test Bed

162(m): 6 Things to Understand about 2018 Changes

With the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017, the provision of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that allowed companies to deduct certain “performance-based” compensation in excess of $1 million, has been eliminated.

Test Bed

Disclosure Checklist for Performance-Based Awards

As proxy season approaches and anxieties over drafting the proxy disclosures reach peak levels, how do you improve the chances that your performance-based compensation program will be well-received by shareholders and proxy advisors?

Test Bed

Relative TSR: Does The Metric Have An Achilles’ Heel?

To many companies, these relative TSR metrics are a cure-all; they provide a relative performance measure with transparent measurement criteria, and it links back directly to shareholder value creation. After all, the more the shareholder benefits, the more the executives benefit, as well.

Test Bed

Beyond the Basics: An In-Depth Review of the Secondary Features of Proxy Access Bylaws

Presently, 40 percent of S&P 500 companies provide a proxy access right; by summer 2017, the majority of the companies in the S&P 500 may provide proxy access, along with 15-20 percent of the S&P 400 index. As of June 30, 2016, 252 U.S. companies in the Russell 3000 have adopted some form of proxy access; only 16 of these companies had adopted proxy access before 2015.

Test Bed

ExecComp Insights: The Truth About Concentration Ratios

Volatility and a declining stock market – particularly near the time of year when most executive grants are made – bring a whole new level of complexity to compensation committees and equity plan administrators. Often, the number of shares that an executive team receives will increase (and sometimes substantially increase) in order to keep the dollar value of grants constant (or nearly so) from the previous year.

Start typing and press Enter to search