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Equilar Blog Archive


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The Effects of CEO Ownership on Shareholder Return

October 22, 2018

As Amazon and Apple hit the $1 trillion valuation mark, there has been some speculation as to which company will be next...


Moonves Earned Over $1 Billion at CBS Since 2006

October 1, 2018

CBS recently announced that Leslie Moonves would be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer and as a director of the company effective immediately...


How Common is a Female CEO-CFO Duo?

September 21, 2018

General Motors (GM) recently appointed Dhivya Suryadevara as its Chief Financial Officer, effective September 1st. The news made many headlines because...


Shedding Light on Diversity-Based Shareholder Proposals

September 21, 2018

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposals voice shareholder concerns about topics including, but not limited to, climate change disclosure, lobbying and political campaign...


Intuit CEO Has Earned Over $171 Million During 11-Year Tenure

September 11, 2018

Last week, Intuit announced that its Chief Executive Officer , Brad Smith, will resign after 11 years at the helm of the company on January 1, 2019, according to the company's latest press release...


Agenda Features BoardEdge as Leading Board Recruiting Solution

August 28, 2018

Access to reliable, accurate data that explains how executives and board members are connected...


Making the Transition From CFO to CEO

August 22, 2018

For companies with an established pattern of growth, the SEC requires the position of chief financial officer (CFO) to be disclosed as a top five executive...


Netflix CFO Has Received More Than $23 Million During Tenure

August 14, 2018

Netflix CFO David Wells announced on Monday that he would be stepping down once the company announces his successor, as reported by CNBC...


Gender Quotas in California Boardrooms May Pave Way for Diversity

August 14, 2018

By August 31, 2018, California could become the first state in the nation to mandate publicly held companies that base their operations...


Pepsi Names Nooyi's Successor in Latest Planned CEO Departure

August 13, 2018

Last week, Pepsi announced CEO Indra Nooyi will step down from the chief executive post following 12 years of service, CNBC reported...


Companies Leverage Performance Awards to Pass Say on Pay

August 7, 2018

With most annual shareholder meetings concluded, a majority of shareholders have had the opportunity to vote on 2018 compensation packages...


50 Youngest U.S. Public Company Board Members

August 7, 2018

As companies attempt to adapt to changing trends and technology across corporate America, new and innovative perspectives have become more necessary...


Are Board Members Overcommitted?

July 24, 2018

Does the presence of multiple board memberships signal an experienced and dedicated board member or one who has overcommitted his or her time...


Morgan Stanley Lays the Foundation for CEO Succession Plan

July 17, 2018

Last week, Morgan Stanley announced the promotions of a few key executives, including Trading Chief Ted Pick, The Wall Street Journal reported...


Dissecting the Gender Pay Disparity Among C-Suite Executives

July 12, 2018

April 10th marked Equal Pay Day 2018 in the United States. This particular date was chosen to highlight the occasion because it represents the amount of time...


Barnes & Noble CEO Ousted, Interim Leadership Group Named

July 10, 2018

Last week, Barnes & Noble announced it has fired CEO Demos Parneros and removed him from the board for violating company policies, CNBC reported...


Separation of CEO-Chair Roles Rejected by Shareholders

July 9, 2018

Since the introduction of Say on Pay, shareholders have maintained a larger degree of influence over CEO compensation. The ability to vote in an advisory capacity on CEO compensation strengthened the voice of shareholders...


Palo Alto Networks Leverages Succession Plan to Appoint New CEO

June 25, 2018

Palo Alto Networks announced earlier this month that, effective June 6, Nikesh Arora will serve as the new Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the company, Reuters reported...


The Highest-Paid CEO by U.S. State in 2017

June 11, 2018

The compensation of chief executive officers has been under the spotlight, particularly with the initial release of the CEO-to-median-worker pay ratio disclosure requirement...


CEO Pay Ratio: First Look at Disclosure Trends

May 22, 2018

The introduction of the CEO Pay Ratio has created interest not only in how CEO compensation compares against pay for a company’s median employee, but also how employee pay compares across companies and industry sectors...


Amazon Adopts “Rooney Rule” in Response to Concerns About Board Diversity

May 21, 2018

Amazon announced last week that it has adopted a policy that requires new board members to be selected from a pool containing female and minority candidates, modeled after the “Rooney Rule” employed by the National Football League...


89 Boards Driving the Push Toward Gender Equality

May 15, 2018

The latest Equilar Gender Diversity Index found that just 16.9% of Russell 3000 board seats were occupied by women at the end of Q1 2018. While representation of women on boards remains low, there has been recent progress...


Analyzing Equifax’s Board Composition Following Re-Election

May 14, 2018

Earlier this month, shareholders re-elected the entire Equifax board at the company’s annual meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. This came as a surprise to several key stakeholders, particularly following the company’s massive data breach last fall...


Can the Executive and Board Shake-Up Save Mattel From Toy Purgatory?

April 30, 2018

Toy maker Mattel announced last week that it has named Ynon Kreiz as its newest CEO, replacing Margo Georgiadis, The Wall Street Journal reported. Georgiadis left the company after just one year as CEO as Mattel seeks a shake-up at the top to end a four-year sales slump....


How to Tap a $5 Trillion Network… And Why It Matters

April 30, 2018

Professional networks are business currency. The people you know and have worked with directly are the best paths available to find your next opportunity...


Five Executives Who Are Each Connected to Over $5 Trillion in Market Cap

April 24, 2018

Corporate America is built on a network of connections that runs deep and is often intertwined. Understanding the relationships and connections between these top companies...


Data to Support Telling Your Best CEO Pay Ratio Story

April 23, 2018

As proxy season 2018 is in full swing, one of the biggest headlines taking the forefront has been how companies are approaching the new CEO pay ratio disclosure requirement...


Women CEOs at Leading Companies: Compensation and Board Diversity

April 17, 2018

As gender equity and diversity in corporate leadership continue to be critical discussions, research is regularly published showing links between these factors and company performance...


Board Classification and Diversity in Recent IPOs

April 9, 2018

Recent tech IPOs such as Snap, Square Inc., Blue Apron, Stitch Fix Inc. and, most recently, Spotify, have all made headlines. In terms of corporate governance, board classification...


The CEO Pay Ratio: What We Know Right Now

April 3, 2018

With hundreds of proxy statements filed just before the end of the quarter, the first month of “proxy season”—generally defined as March and April—has come to a close...


Disney Sets Succession Plan in Place Following Failed Say on Pay Vote

April 2, 2018

Last month, Disney shareholders voted against the company’s executive compensation plan, CNBC reported. The plan—which would have rewarded CEO Bob Iger up to $48.5 million...


BlackRock to Achieve its Highest Female Board Representation Ever

March 26, 2018

BlackRock announced earlier this month that it plans to add a slate of three new directors to its board as part of a new growth strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported...


How Board Skills Vary by Director Age Groups

March 20, 2018

Members of public company boards of directors range in age from early 20s to well over 75. It is true that most directors are closer to retirement age...


The Highest-Paid Sales Executives

March 13, 2018

Top sales leaders at public companies are becoming more prominent in senior executive ranks, and their pay is increasing in parallel...


Will Spiegel’s Pay Day Increase Scrutiny on Snap’s Comp Committee?

March 12, 2018

Last month, Snap announced that CEO Evan Spiegel received a pay package of nearly $638 million in 2017, as detailed in the company’s recent SEC filing...


CEO Pay Tops $3.5 Million in Canada

March 8, 2018

In the most recent year, CEOs at companies in the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) Composite were awarded a median $3.5 million, according to a new report authored by Accompass...


Equilar Diversity Network Members Join New Public Company Boards

March 8, 2018

As part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity in America’s boardrooms, Equilar launched the Equilar Diversity Network (EDN) in 2016...


Detect Signals to Connect With C-Suite Contacts

March 5, 2018

By leveraging machine learning tools and acting on the signals they provide, extending your network and increasing potential connections to the top leaders in corporate America has never been easier...


New GE Director Nominees Bring Impressive Network to the Board

March 5, 2018

General Electric announced last week that it will overhaul its board and nominate three new directors, The Wall Street Journal reported...


Leverage Big Data to Extend Your Executive Network

February 26, 2018

The corporate world is fast-paced, and executives and board members are constantly on the move. High-level businessmen and women regularly attend conferences, dinners, and various other networking events, sharing new ideas and experiences with fellow colleagues...


Big Tech Companies Lack Innovation in Shareholder Communications

February 23, 2018

Trends in proxy design generally begin with a few leading companies and see widespread adoption after shareholders react positively...


How Starboard's Nominees Compare to Newell's Current Board

February 20, 2018

As part of a recently launched proxy fight, Starboard Value nominated 10 directors to the Newell Brands board. Equilar examined the current Newell board and how the 10 new nominees stack up in terms of experience, demographics and executive networks...


Comparing Board Diversity by Company Size, Region and Sector

February 16, 2018

About 2.5% of Russell 3000 companies are either at or near gender parity, compared to over 20% that have no women. Equilar broke down the two different samples of companies for further insights...


Russell 3000 Boards Are on Pace to Reach Gender Parity by 2048

February 14, 2018

Due to accelerating growth in the percentage of women on boards at Russell 3000 companies, gender parity is now expected to be achieved by 2048, according to the latest Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI)...


Wynn Scandal Highlights the Importance of Succession Planning

February 12, 2018

Last week, Steve Wynn stepped down as CEO of the company he founded amid allegations of sexual misconduct from dozens of female employees, which were first reported by The Wall Street Journal...


Do Women on Nom/Gov Committees Lead to More Diversity?

February 12, 2018

Diversity on boards of directors at public companies is at the forefront of the corporate governance world...


General Counsels Gain a Seat at the Boardroom Table

February 9, 2018

The influence of general counsels (GCs) in corporate strategy has increased over the years and is showing no signs of diminishing...


No Support for ESG Proposals? Leverage Voting Power Elsewhere

February 5, 2018

The shareholder proposal process provides a voice for investors of many sizes, forcing issuers’ hands to actively address a specific topic of concern...


The Rise of the CHRO: From the Corner Office to the Boardroom

February 2, 2018

Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) are taking on a more pivotal role at the executive level and in the boardroom...


CEO Pay Ratio Survey Results: The Bigger the Company, the Larger the Pay Gap

February 1, 2018

Eight years following the passage of Dodd-Frank, public companies will be required to disclose their CEO Pay Ratios in 2018 proxy statements...


Comparing Xerox to Peers as It Faces Possible Activist Fight With Icahn

January 29, 2018

Billionaire activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason issued a statement last week urging Xerox to explore a sale and remove CEO Jeff Jacobson, The Wall Street Journal reported...


Elon Musk Is Proof Performance Pay Will Be Here to Stay

January 26, 2018

For anyone concerned about performance-based compensation going away because it’s no longer tax deductible, have no fear...


Who You Know at Davos: The Power of Professional Networks at the World’s Premier Conference

January 22, 2018

The world’s top business, economic and political leaders will gather this week in Davos for the 48th annual World Economic Forum (WEF)...


CEO Tenure Drops to Just Five Years

January 19, 2018

In the past five years, CEOs transitions have become more common than they had been in the preceding five years...


Which University Boasts the Most Corporate Board Members?

January 16, 2018

With the college football season coming to a close last week, there’s no question who’s Number 1 on the field...


How the Highest-Paid Boards Compare to Peers

January 15, 2018

Since the enactment of Say on Pay following the passage of Dodd-Frank, executive compensation has been closely watched and scrutinized by corporate shareholders...


View: 2018 | 2016 | 2015


Who Will Be Google’s Next Chairman?

December 22, 2017

Eric Schmidt will step down as Alphabet’s executive chairman in 2018. Equilar analyzed its board’s network for insight into possible successors...


CEO Hires Favor Insiders, and Women Gain Traction

December 19, 2017

A new Equilar study of 67 CEO transitions over a one-year period found 53 internal promotions, seven of which were women...


How Data Connects Executives Across the Globe

December 18, 2017

In today’s always-on, globalized corporate environment, executives are constantly moving from meeting to meeting across the world, interacting with fellow C-level executives...


Glass Lewis Sends Warning Shot on Board Diversity

December 15, 2017

Global proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis recently released its 2018 voting guidelines, with a majority of the U.S. version focused on “boards that serve the interest of shareholders”...


How Director Age Influences Corporate Performance

December 15, 2017

Concurrent with discussions around board refreshment and diversity, age has also become a hot topic in board composition...


Boardroom Indicator: 185

December 12, 2017

In 2013, there were 132 environmental and social shareholder proposals at Equilar 500 companies. By 2017, that figure increased more than 40% to reach 185...


Broadcom Nominates Slate to Take Over Qualcomm Board

December 11, 2017

In a move that has been widely seen as the first formal step in a hostile takeover attempt, Broadcom announced last week that it has created a slate of 11 nominees...


Executive Chair-Led Boards Underperform on TSR

December 11, 2017

Board leadership structure—such as a combined CEO-Chairman of the Board (CEO-chair) or a separate CEO and an independent, non-executive chairman...


Avoiding Legal Action on Director Pay: New Research on Meaningful Limits

December 5, 2017

A wave of lawsuits surrounding director compensation surfaced a couple of years ago, often alleging “excessive” pay for boards of directors on a variety of grounds...


ISS’ Proxy Voting Guidelines Update: Focus on the Board

December 1, 2017

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) published annual updates to its proxy voting guidelines in November, followed by a set of preliminary FAQs...


Meg Whitman Joins Wave of Female CEO Resignations in 2017

November 27, 2017

Equilar analyzed the corporate connections of Meg Whitman, the most recent of many female CEOs to announce their resignation...


Why Shareholders Support Increasing CEO Pay

November 21, 2017

In the years since Say on Pay passed in the wake of Dodd-Frank, executive compensation has been under close scrutiny. This advisory vote on compensation for the highest-paid executives...


How Might Jack in the Box Fare in a Boardroom Battle?

November 20, 2017

Jack in the Box found itself in the spotlight last week when activist investor Jeff Smith and investment fund Starboard Value acquired new positions at the fast food giant, TheStreet reported...


Does Prior Board Experience Determine a Qualified Director?

November 17, 2017

Discussion in corporate governance surrounding board recruitment and refreshment has become more common, but in actuality, turnover is low and available board positions are scarce...


Top Tech Boards Show Progress on Board Diversity

November 14, 2017

Gender diversity in the technology sector has long been a hot topic of discussion and debate. In 2017, high-profile controversies at companies such as Google and Uber reignited the conversation...


These 27 Boards Have Reached Gender Parity

November 14, 2017

Each quarter, Equilar undertakes a study that analyzes representation of women on corporate boards of directors...


Is It Better to Know Board Members or CEOs?

November 13, 2017

If you are trying to convert a prospect into a client, it helps to have a mutual connection with the decision maker. A common colleague can provide a warm introduction, a referral, and foster a general sense of trust...


Cybersecurity Expert Scott McGregor Joins Equifax Board

November 6, 2017

In light of the recent data breach that affected millions of American consumers, Equifax announced in a statement that it has added seasoned cybersecurity expert Scott McGregor to its board...


The Highest-Paid Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs)

November 1, 2017

The numbers are in: Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are becoming more prominent in senior executive ranks at public companies, and their pay is rising in kind...


GE Comp Plan Changes Will Likely Align Pay and Performance

October 31, 2017

General Electric (GE) recently garnered attention when its new CEO John Flannery—who has not been shy about making changes in his as-yet-early tenure...


Board Composition as a Strategic Corporate Asset

October 31, 2017

Over the last few years, the lack of women and minority directors in the boardroom has come into focus, with news outlets highlighting this deficiency and investors taking action to reach parity on boards...


Where Might Tenet Healthcare Look for Its Next CEO?

October 30, 2017

Tenet Healthcare announced last week in a statement that Trevor Fetter has stepped down as CEO of the company after serving in that role since 2003...


New Study Examines Highest-Paid GCs and Gender Equity in Top Legal Roles

October 24, 2017

As the top legal role at public companies continues to see increased responsibility and stature within the C-suite, pay levels have likewise gone up...


What’s Next After American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault Resigns?

October 23, 2017

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault announced last week that he will be stepping down as CEO in February 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported...


The 10 Highest-Paid Boards of Directors

October 20, 2017

Though board of directors’ pay pales in comparison to that of CEOs, compensation for board service can inch into the half-million dollar range—and in a few cases, may be much higher...


What to Expect Following GE’s Board and Executive Shake-Up

October 16, 2017

Over the past few weeks, General Electric (GE) has experienced drastic shake-ups at the executive and board levels...


Board Diversity Varies Based on Leadership Roles

October 16, 2017

As investors increase their focus on board composition, and gender diversity in particular, public boards are seeing greater pressure to recruit more women...


Could 40 Be the New 60 in the Boardroom?

October 13, 2017

As investors increase their focus on board composition, and gender diversity in particular, public boards are seeing greater pressure to recruit more women...


NACD Summit: AI to Shape the Future of Corporate Governance

October 10, 2017

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of those topics that seemed so futuristic even up to a couple of years ago that it’s easy to dismiss...


All TSR Incentive Plans Are Not Created Equal

October 10, 2017

Over the past few years, relative total shareholder return (TSR) has continued to be the most widely used executive long-term incentive (LTI) plan metric...


Uber’s Board to Undergo Composition Makeover

October 09, 2017

In a surprise move last week, former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick appointed former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns and former CIT Group CEO John Thain...


Does Shareholder Support of a Director Really Matter?

October 04, 2017

A corporation’s bylaws dictate the manner in which directors are elected, and one may assume that a director who received less than 50% support from shareholders...


P&G Proxy Fight: Trian Pushes to Reevaluate Executives’ Incentive Compensation Goals

September 29, 2017

A conclusion to the proxy fight between Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Trian Partners (Trian) is approaching, as shareholders are scheduled...


Equilar Diversity Network Members Join New Public Company Boards in Q2 2017

September 25, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity in America’s boardrooms, Equilar launched the Equilar Diversity Network (EDN) in 2016...


The Top Five Performance Metrics in Every Industry Sector

September 22, 2017

As pay for performance becomes more popular among public companies, how boards choose to align executive pay with shareholder value is critical...


Peltz vs. P&G: How Board Composition May Influence the Proxy Fight

September 21, 2017

The battle for board seats between Procter & Gamble and activist investor Nelson Peltz of Trian Fund Management continues to heat up...


How Boards Should Address Sustainability Practices With Shareholders

September 19, 2017

Over the last few years, shareholders have started to pay closer attention to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues...


Salesforce Diversifies Board, Increases Healthcare Connections

September 18, 2017

Salesforce will add Bernard Tyson, the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, to its board of directors. According to the company’s press release, Salesforce is not replacing a director...


280G Tax Gross-Ups Make a Comeback During Merger Negotiations

September 15, 2017

Since the implementation of Say on Pay in 2011, proxy advisory firms have had increasing influence on shareholder votes, and in effect, issuer practices...


Energy and Consumer Goods Sectors Lag in Board Diversity Disclosures

September 12, 2017

As diversity on public company boards becomes an increasingly hot-button issue, more than 40% of the largest U.S. companies by revenue...


After Uber Rumors Pass, What Is Meg Whitman’s Future at HPE?

September 11, 2017

Over the past few weeks, rumors swirled that Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, was strongly in the running to become the next CEO of Uber...


Reports Say CEO John Watson May Step Down After 37 Years at Chevron

September 6, 2017

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, Chevron CEO John Watson may be stepping down from the energy giant...


Governance 101: The Key Role of the Compensation Committee

September 1, 2017

As shareholders and proxy advisors become more vocal and involved in executive pay decisions, boards are taking greater care in designing executive compensation packages...


Women CFOs Are in the Boardroom, but Still Paid 18% Less Than Men

August 31, 2017

Equilar recently conducted a study of CFOs at large-cap companies, identifying how pay and performance align for these executives who also serve outside boards of directors...


Uber Adds 81 Corporate Connections with New CEO Khosrowshahi

August 31, 2017

Uber has named a new CEO after embattled founder, former CEO and board member Travis Kalanick stepped down at the request from investors in June...


Trump’s Corporate Network Shrinks by 1,800 Executives After CEO Councils Disband

August 30, 2017

The news earlier this month that both CEO councils held by President Trump would disband sent shockwaves across the political and corporate landscapes...


Highest-Paid CFOs Exceed $20 Million in Total Compensation

August 25, 2017

A recent Equilar study analyzed large-cap companies with CFOs that had served at least three consecutive years in order to glean perspectives...


Wells Fargo Names Elizabeth Duke As Next Board Chairman

August 21, 2017

Wells Fargo announced that Elizabeth Duke would be taking the seat of current Chairman Stephen Sanger beginning January 1, reported The Wall Street Journal...


Connecting With Board and Executive Leadership at Your Target Companies

August 15, 2017

In today’s world, growing a business requires corporate leaders to establish credible connections with companies that will help elevate their next phase of business development...


High-Profile Resignations by Women CEOs Expand the Gender Gap

August 14, 2017

Sheri McCoy, current CEO of Avon, announced her resignation as Chief Executive in a statement made by the company on August 3rd, reported The New York Times...


Analyzing Board Cybersecurity Expertise by Age, Tenure and Gender

August 10, 2017

Equilar undertook a study of public companies that disclose board of director skills in proxy statements to better understand cybersecurity experience...


Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, Becomes Fifth Insider to Join Alphabet Board

August 08, 2017

Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, was recently announced as the newest member of parent company Alphabet’s board of directors. The announcement has been seen as a vote of confidence in Pichai, who was named Google CEO in August of 2015...


Activist Investor Targets ADP Board of Directors

August 07, 2017

Activist investor Bill Ackman is seeking five board seats and replacement of the CEO at ADP...


Four Ways to Use Discretion in Annual Incentive Plan Payouts

August 07, 2017

While most boards use formulas to pay executive bonuses, there are times when human discretion is necessary...


Milestones on the Long Road to Gender Parity

August 02, 2017

The latest Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI) shows little movement in the number of women on boards, as the percentage of Russell 3000 board seats represented by women increased from 15.9% in Q1 2017 to 16.2% in Q2...


Tesla Elects First African-American Director to Its Board

August 01, 2017

After facing heavy investor scrutiny saying that it’s board was “too closely tied to Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk,” Tesla recently announced the addition of two executives to the company’s board of directors, reported Bloomberg...


Equilar Supports Girl Scouts of the USA to Help Build the Pipeline of Future Women Business Leaders

July 27, 2017

Equilar embarked on a donation campaign to Girl Scouts of the USA in 2017 to help support and enable the leadership organization to continue providing impactful, transformative, girl-led programming...


CEO Pay Trends 2017: Beyond Reported Pay Figures

July 25, 2017

CEO pay is one of the most widely discussed issues in corporate governance and corporate life in general. In recent years, significant changes in executive pay practices and disclosure have occurred...


Executive Shake-Ups Expected to Follow AT&T and Time Warner Merger

July 25, 2017

In October 2016, telecommunications giant AT&T announced its plan to purchase Time Warner, the parent company of HBO, Warner Bros. and CNN, for more than $85 billion, reported The New York Times...


Declassified Boards Are Much More Likely to Be Diverse

July 25, 2017

The Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI) has reported that, at the current pace of growth in female representation on public company boards of directors, gender parity would not be reached until Q4 2055 for the Russell 3000...


How Companies Are Leveraging Corporate Connections in the Technology Age

July 18, 2017

Equilar BoardEdge allows users to leverage their networks to gain a competitive advantage and maximize business development efforts...


Procter & Gamble Becomes Largest Company Ever to Face a Proxy Fight

July 17, 2017

Activist investor Nelson Peltz enters proxy fight with Procter & Gamble to gain a board seat...


Catalysts for Change: What Do Investors Want From Directors?

July 11, 2017

In recent years, investors in general—not just activists—have become more engaged in boardroom decisions and vocal about their expectations from boards...


Nearly 30% of Executives Under 40 Have Served on a Board

July 11, 2017

Boardroom diversity means many things to different boards, depending on their current composition, strategy and vision. As boards evolve along with the changing corporate landscape, their needs for different director perspectives goes along with it...


Exclusive Interview: Retain and Recruit Executives With More Than Pay

July 06, 2017

Dollars and cents receive most of the ink when talking about executive rewards packages, and undoubtedly that is a top factor in CEO recruitment and retention...


Shareholder Activism and Board Refreshment Precede Whole Foods Sale

July 05, 2017

Amazon is set to purchase Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, and the deal is expected to close later this year, becoming the online giant’s largest acquisition to date...


How CEO Stock Compensation Rose to a Median $5.3 Million in 2016

June 27, 2017

Pay for performance in the context of CEO compensation means more stock awards granted at a higher value to incentivize long-term goals...


What Comp Committees Want From Human Resources

June 27, 2017

Boards of directors are seeking dynamic solutions to navigate the evolving landscape surrounding their positions. While there is no panacea for the growing complexity of corporate governance and compensation issues...


Immelt Steps Down: A New Era for GE

June 26, 2017

General Electric Co. announced CEO, Jeff Immelt, would step down as chief executive, effective August 1, and will retire as chairman...


Through the Looking Glass: What Does the Future Hold for Executive Compensation?

June 20, 2017

Compensation and performance incentives have shined a light on what boards and companies value most in terms of performance and goals...


What's Next for Marissa Mayer? A Look at Her Boardroom Connections

June 19, 2017

Following the successful acquisition by Verizon, the Marissa Mayer era has ended at Yahoo. Throughout her five-year tenure, Mayer received plenty of ink in the media, as her compensation package often drew attention...


Exclusive Interview: Empowering Board Evaluation and Refreshment

June 13, 2017

Investors have become much more vocal in recent years with respect to the composition of boards of directors at their portfolio companies...


Governance 101: The Critical Role of Board Nominating & Governance Committees

June 09, 2017

As investors heighten their focus on board composition, companies have begun to take a much more strategic approach to board recruitment...


Exclusive Interview: The Board’s Role in Cybersecurity

June 09, 2017

There’s no question that cybersecurity is on the mind of every director. From data breaches at well-known consumer brands to allegations of tampering with the U.S. presidential elections...


Boards of Directors Syncing With Shareholders: It’s a Two-Way Street

June 09, 2017

One out of five public large-cap companies disclosed a shareholder engagement program in 2012, a figure that grew sharply to 66% in 2016...


New Incentive Plan Analytics Calculator Helps Build Effective Performance Plans

June 08, 2017

In the complex, ever-changing world of executive compensation, professionals often struggle to find the right balance between effectively motivating their executives...


Top 5: Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Announces Retirement

June 06, 2017

Buffalo Wild Wings CEO, Sally Smith, announced her retirement after shareholders elected three directors nominated by activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management to the company’s board...


Top 10 Executive Pay Packages for Non-CEOs

June 06, 2017

Every year, Equilar compiles data on the largest CEO pay packages in a joint study with The New York Times. And each year, a handful of other named executive officers (NEOs)...


Staying Ahead of the Board Recruitment Process

June 05, 2017

Companies are constantly on the lookout for talented, experienced candidates to join their teams. In today’s corporate world, a significant portion of new hires...


Top 5: McDonald’s Annual Shareholder Meeting Draws Hundreds of Protestors

May 30, 2017

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the McDonald’s Corp annual shareholder meeting on May 24 as part of the nationwide “Fight for 15” protest, Reuters reported...


Female CEOs Have More Women on Their Boards—A Lot More

May 25, 2017

As board composition, evaluation and diversity continue to be hot-button issues in corporate governance, investors are applying additional scrutiny on how companies approach succession planning...


Ford Names New CEO: Who Is Jim Hackett?

May 25, 2017

As the news broke about the replacement of now former Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields, questions arose about his successor...


These 21 Female CEOs Saw a Collective 9.1% Pay Increase in 2016

May 23, 2017

Another CEO pay study confirms a repeatedly observed trend: The number of females in CEO positions at large-cap companies continues to creep up ever so slightly...


Top 5: Valeant Narrowly Passes Shareholder Say on Pay Proxy Vote

May 23, 2017

Shareholders approved Valeant CEO Joseph Papa’s $63 million pay package with 67% approval at the company’s May 2 annual meeting...


18% of Large-Caps Leverage TSR Modifiers for Performance Awards

May 17, 2017

Since the passage of Dodd-Frank, the percentage of S&P 500 companies granting performance-based long-term incentives (LTI) to their senior executives climbed from 65% to 83%...


Top 5: Snap Inc. Reports $2.21 Billion Q1 Loss as Shares Fall 23%

May 16, 2017

In the first quarter following its highly scrutinized March IPO, Snap Inc. reported net losses of $2.2 billion as shares fell 23%, reported The Wall Street Journal...


Age and Tenure: Large-Cap vs. Small-Cap Board Comparisons

May 15, 2017

As annual meeting season heats up to full steam, this blog analyzed board disclosures from the previous five fiscal years in order to set a benchmark for new data...


A Look Behind the AFL-CIO’s 350:1 CEO Pay Ratio

May 12, 2017

The AFL-CIO released its annual Executive Paywatch study on May 9, which said that the average CEO in the S&P 500 made 347 times more than the average worker...


Top 5: Jay Clayton Officially Sworn in as Chairman of the SEC

May 09, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy officially swore in President Trump’s pick for chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...


Identify the Path to New Corporate Connections

May 09, 2017

Access to reliable, accurate data that explains how executives and board members are connected to one another and to other companies is critical to doing business...


Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI): About 25% of New Board Members Were Female in Q1 2017

May 05, 2017

As shareholder engagement continues to increase in prevalence each year, there has been a growing concern regarding diversity on boards...


Google’s $300 Million Man (and More)

May 05, 2017

Alphabet filed its annual proxy statement on Friday, April 28, and in it reported that the CEO of its Google division, Sundar Pichai, was awarded a stock grant worth $198.7 million for fiscal year 2016...


Top 5: Despite Opposition, Wells Fargo Shareholders Re-elect Entire Board

May 02, 2017

Wells Fargo held its annual meeting last Tuesday, and despite facing opposition from several investors, all 15 of the bank’s board members were re-elected, The New York Times reported. CEO Timothy J. Sloan...


Equilar 100 Companies Feature Few Female Board Leaders

May 01, 2017

There are also just nine female CEOs at Equilar 100 companies, which makes sense since six of the companies included in the study have a woman in the CEO-Chair position...


Top 5: Credit Suisse Makes Final Bid to Prevent Shareholder Revolt

April 25, 2017

Credit Suisse Group AG has proposed bonus cuts of 40% for its top executives, including CEO, Tidjane Thiam, who will see his total compensation reduced by CHF4.67 million...


Top-Paid Tech CEOs Awarded $18.5 Million, Outpacing Other Sectors

April 25, 2017

2016 appears to have been a banner year for CEO pay, with a strong stock market elevating the value of pay packages. According to data collected for the Equilar 100...


Investors Seek Better Guidance to Evaluate Pay

April 25, 2017

While very few companies actually lose their Say on Pay votes, data shows that the number of companies receiving approval above 95% is on the decline, according to a recent Equilar report...


How Companies Effectively Align Pay and Performance

April 24, 2017

Pay for performance has become a widely popular practice in executive compensation as boards place greater emphasis on designing a balanced incentive plan, ensuring the retention of top-level ...


Tech Boards Make Progress Adding Women, but Are Still Playing Catch-up

April 19, 2017

In 2016, the services and technology sectors outperformed the S&P 500 in terms of adding gender diversity to boards of directors, with 31.2% and 29.2%...


Highest-Paid Female CEOs Awarded an Average of $23.1 million

April 18, 2017

Though they are few in number, the women who lead the largest U.S. firms by far outpace their male counterparts when it comes to total compensation...


Top 5: United Airlines Scandal Could Cost CEO His Annual Bonus

April 18, 2017

United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, is at risk of losing his $500,000 annual bonus in light of last week’s overbooking scandal, Bloomberg reported...


Despite Security Breaches, Information Officer Pay Dips

April 17, 2017

Especially in recent years, securing a company’s critical information has become integral to company operations, and as data breaches at Yahoo, Uber and Anthem have shown—along...


Multi-Boarded Directors Become More Common, Are Paid More

April 14, 2017

The concept of “overboarding” has become a trending topic in corporate governance. Investors, advisors and public boards alike have expressed concern that a director may not...


Hundreds of Companies Disclose Board Skills Matrices

April 13, 2017

Boards are becoming more transparent in response to shareholder engagement and activism, and a critical consideration is whether or not the expertise and skills...


Top 5: Senate Banking Committee Approves SEC Chairman Nominee

April 11, 2017

President Trump’s pick for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, was approved by the Senate Banking Committee last Tuesday...


R3K Mega-Grants Decrease in Number but Increase in Overall Value

April 10, 2017

Over the past few years, the executive compensation landscape has grown more complex amidst the implementation of SEC regulations such as Say on Pay...


The Art and Science of Board Succession

April 06, 2017

In recent years, investors have begun placing greater pressure on boards for accountability and refreshment with respect to board composition. As a result, many boards are...


Top 5: The Supreme Court Weighs in on Disclosure Lawsuits

April 04, 2017

The Supreme Court recently announced that it would be weighing in on whether publicly traded companies should be subject to private lawsuits for disclosure omissions or misstatements...


Cash Awards in S&P 100 Long-Term Incentive Plans

April 04, 2017

Companies continue to move away from discretionary annual bonuses to plan-based cash incentives, while the overall balance of executive compensation is shifting toward long-term incentive plan...


The Gender Pay Gap for Board Chairs

March 31, 2017

Companies are increasingly electing women to their boards, but the number still pales in comparison to male representation at public corporations. According to the Equilar...


What Happens When TSR Is Reduced or Removed From Comp Plans

March 31, 2017

Once touted as the best way to align executive pay with company performance, investors and analysts are putting total shareholder return (TSR) under scrutiny...


Fewer Than 4% of Russell 3000 Board Chairs Are Female

March 29, 2017

Investors have turned a scrutinizing eye toward board composition in recent years, and in particular, female board representation has been a hot topic...


The Top 5: Investors Address Diversity in the Boardroom

March 28, 2017

While board composition, effectiveness and accountability remain top priorities, a quickly growing number of institutional investors are placing greater emphasis...


Tips to Identify Activist Risk in the Boardroom

March 27, 2017

In 2010, corporate America witnessed 222 activist campaigns by investors with $47 billion in assets under management (AUM). The number of campaigns grew...


How to Leverage Data and Digital Media in the Boardroom

March 21, 2017

Open access to information means that boards have been forced to re-evaluate the way they approach composition, strategic processes and performance. Equilar recently hosted a webinar...


The Top 5: Why Do Many Women CEOs Make More Than Men?

March 21, 2017

As studies frequently show, female CEOs often out-earn their male counterparts. While this doesn’t change the fact that there are a fraction the number of females CEOs compared to males...


Directors Earn More Equity at Tech and Healthcare Companies

March 20, 2017

Discussion around the nuances of executive compensation are well-worn, while far less time has been spent on the analysis of director remuneration. This may be in part due to the difficulty in determining a uniform role...


$200 Million for CSX CEO Would Be Highest in Last Six Years

March 17, 2017

Several weeks ago, U.S. railroad operator CSX Corp. announced that it had filled its vacant CEO position, signing up Hunter Harrison as its new chief executive. Harrison has a track record at railroad companies...


The Top 5: Proxy Season Begins as Pay Packages Come to Light

March 14, 2017

Proxy season has started in earnest in the U.S., with nearly 3,000 companies expected to file between now and the end of April for fiscal year 2016. Across the pond, annual filings are also rolling in, revealing compensation data for some of the largest global companies...


Proxy Season 2017: How to Tell Your Pay Story

March 14, 2017

As we enter the start of proxy season 2017, companies are preparing to present their executive pay and performance message to shareholders. As has been the case for the last few years, there are various factors that have to be considered when designing the Compensation ...


About 3% of Russell 3000 Executives Earned More Than Their CEOs

March 13, 2017

Despite recent provisions intending to dismantle Dodd-Frank, CEO pay remains a hot-button topic for discussion and criticism. With the SEC...


Pay Rises for Regulatory and Compliance Executives (but not Risk Officers)

March 09, 2017

Public companies are required to disclose the pay of their CEO, CFO and the three other most highly compensated executives (named executive officers, or NEOs) in a summary compensation table (SCT) in their annual proxy statements...


The Top 5: Dodd-Frank Lives On

March 07, 2017

Though the Trump administration has promised to roll back and “dismantle” Dodd-Frank, the fact remains that this is easier said than done, The Wall Street Journal reports. The agency continues to look into issues such as...


Nearly 60 Boards Have Added Women for the First Time in Five Years

March 06, 2017

Discussions around boardroom diversity often have a gloomy outlook, considering the slow progress that many quantitative assessments have shown. Whether it is the lack of disclosure around ethnic or racial diversity...


The Five Most Common Performance Metrics in Canada vs. the U.S.

March 06, 2017

Equity compensation is a key component of executive pay, making up a majority of what public company leaders receive in any given year...


Snap Inc.: CEO Pay Compared to Other Tech IPOs

March 01, 2017

Snap Inc. recently filed its Form S-1, setting in motion plans for an upcoming initial public offering. The filing included fiscal year 2016 compensation for CEO Evan Spiegel and two other executives, providing the first public disclosure of the company’s top executive compensation...


Long-Term Incentive Design Changes Reflect Investor Concerns

February 24, 2017

Long-term incentive plan design and executive compensation in general have experienced considerable shifts over the past few decades...


Five Things to Know About the Snap IPO

February 24, 2017

As the days inch closer to the highly anticipated initial public offering for Snap, Inc., the “camera company” that is the parent of popular messaging service Snapchat, questions continue to swirl around what investors can expect if they decide to participate in the IPO on March 2...


Dow 30 CEOs’ Stock Gained $400 Million Since Election Day

February 21, 2017

As the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) crested 20,000 for the first time in history just days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States, it’s no surprise that the value of stock ownership among the nation’s top CEOs would have increased in kind...


Planned and Potential Boardroom Shake-Ups

February 14, 2017

In the run-up to proxy season and the subsequent annual meetings held by public companies, news about planned and potential shake-ups in boardrooms are occurring almost daily. Below are several recent news stories that highlight key concerns among investors, leading to changes at the highest levels....


The Rise of the General Counsel Position

February 14, 2017

In recent years, the role of general counsel (GC) has expanded in scope, and GCs’ responsibility for overseeing and addressing legal issues across departments, as well as offering their expertise and advice to executive officers and the board of directors, has gained prominence...


The #1 Investor Issue in 2017: Board Composition

February 13, 2017

Statistics show that diversity on boards has been slow to manifest, and the methods boards have in place to evaluate performance and identify opportunities to add new members are often unclear and undefined. However, this data tells part of but not the entire story...


The 10 Companies With the Largest Increase in CD&A Word Count

February 13, 2017

Since the passing of Dodd-Frank, executive compensation rules and regulations have required companies to include increasing amounts of information in their annual proxy statements. As a result, these filings have continued to expand. In fact, according to the recent Equilar report...


Investors: Diversity on Boards Is "Abysmal"

February 8, 2017

While there is meaningful progress being shown in some regards, and companies are slowly but surely adding females and other diverse directors to their boardrooms, in others, there is little accountability and responsibility being taken. And investors who care about these issues are working to influence change...


SEC Puts CEO Pay Ratio Under Further Review

February 07, 2017

On February 6, the SEC published the “Reconsideration of Pay Ratio Rule Implementation,” a development that comes as a surprise to absolutely no one who has followed Dodd-Frank and executive compensation over the past few years...


The Top 5: Top Investors Staff Up Corporate Governance Teams

February 07, 2017

Just in time for proxy season, three of the largest institutional investors in terms of assets under management are staffing up to focus on corporate governance and compensation issues, the Financial Times reports...


Boards Will Reach Gender Parity in 2055 at Current Pace

January 31, 2017

The new Equilar Gender Diversity Index (GDI) revealed that it will take nearly 40 years for Russell 3000 boards of directors to reach gender parity. If the current rate of growth remains the same, Russell 3000 boards would reach 50% male and 50% female representation in Q4 2055...


The Top 5: Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Tech

January 31, 2017

With investor calls for pay equality increasing, especially in the tech sector, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff urged his fellow executives to join the effort. In 2015, the company spent $3 million to equalize compensation...


Disclosure Practices for Successful Shareholder Engagement in 2017

January 31, 2017

With the evolution of policies and practices in 2016, as well as the current state of uncertainty for Dodd-Frank, the corporate governance and executive compensation landscape is likely to be impacted in 2017...


Board Refreshment: Bringing New Ideas to the Boardroom

January 31, 2017

A recent Equilar research study looked at mandatory retirement ages and tenure limits for energy companies in comparison to the S&P 500 overall. Board refreshment is already a hot-button issue, and is likely to be one of the most prominent discussion points between investors and issuing companies this year...


High-Flyer CEO Salaries on the Rise

January 30, 2017

With the impending CEO pay ratio still on the books as required disclosure for public companies starting in 2018 proxy statements, the focus on compensation for the top corporate executives is likely to intensify this year...


The Evolution of the CHRO Position

January 24, 2017

Over the last few years, human resources (HR) executives have developed a more integral role in corporate operations of their respective companies and, subsequently, pay for these individuals has risen...


Top 5: The Trump Effect on Corporate Governance

January 24, 2017

The President-elect Trump era saw the stock market accelerate to new highs, and the general expectation of loosened regulations during his administration leads many to believe an improved economic climate is on the way...


Companies With Female Execs Have More Progressive Boards

January 24, 2017

Equilar analyzed the board connections of the 13 women who served as President of an S&P 500 company in 2016 to examine how their boards are composed with respect to diversity in the overall index...


CEOs Who Earn More Than Six Times Their Top Executives

January 23, 2017

Internal pay equity is often an indication of a company’s pay practices, and by examining how much a CEO makes in comparison to employees throughout the organization, many observers feel that they gather a better sense of tone at the top...


Which S&P 500 Execs Received the Largest Aircraft and Auto Perks?

January 20, 2017

According to a new Equilar report, Executive Benefits and Perquisites, the percentage of S&P 500 executives flying a corporate jet for personal use is going down. In fiscal year 2015—the most recent year for which there is complete data...


How Many Board Committees Are Too Many?

January 20, 2017

There is a general consensus among these stakeholders that when a director has committed themselves to service on a large number of boards, they are less likely to be able to provide sufficient focus to each company. Basically, if a director’s time is spread too thin, they may struggle to perform to the level they are expected on each of the boards....


Fortune 100 Executives See 14.5% Increase in Perk Awards

January 18, 2017

The value of “other compensation” reported for Fortune 100 executives—which chiefly includes benefits and perquisites—reached a median $126,550 in fiscal year 2015, representing a 14.5% increase...


The Top 5: Pre-Proxy Season Exec Comp Trends

January 17, 2017

Though the so-called “proxy season” won’t heat up until March, a few high-profile companies file their annual review of executive compensation out of the gate in January—two of the most notable being Apple and Disney...


Searching for Female Board Members in Silicon Valley

January 17, 2017

As of 2016 annual meetings, 21.3% of S&P 500 board seats were occupied by females, up from 16.6% in 2012. By comparison, boards at the largest Silicon Valley companies had just 15.3% of directors’ chairs occupied by women, up from 9.5% in 2012.


Incentive Plan Payouts Prove Effective Pay for Performance

January 16, 2017

Companies, shareholders and boards of directors want to ensure alignment of pay and performance to justify the often-high accompanying price tag of executive compensation. To provide context on the correlations between awarded....


Director Pay at IPO vs. Established Public Companies

January 12, 2017

Companies that have recently gone public face a different set of objectives and challenges than companies that have been public for many years. They may have to build a board of directors completely from scratch to comply with new regulations and communicate with shareholders....


In Conversation: Ira M. Millstein

January 12, 2017

An increasingly common mantra in corporate governance implores directors to “think like an activist.” While the message is clear, the steps to take action are less obvious, and they vary from company to company. Equilar had the opportunity to speak with Ira Millstein, a renowned corporate lawyer, about his new book, The Activist Director.


The Top 5: Trump Chooses New SEC Chair

January 10, 2017

On January 4, President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick for the position that will have potentially the greatest effect on executive compensation and corporate governance professionals—Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission....


Director Compensation Reflects Changes in the Boardroom

January 10, 2017

Over the last five years, director pay caught the attention of investors in light of various legal and regulatory issues. While compensation has risen over that time period as a result of expanded director responsibilities in the boardroom, shareholders are engaging more with their boards due to implications following Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes Oxley. Equilar ...


Marissa Mayer, Five Other Directors to Leave Yahoo Board

January 9, 2017

Yahoo turned another page in its ongoing story today, announcing that the company would reduce its board size to just five members once the Verizon acquisition is completed. The Equilar connections map provides a quick snapshot of Yahoo’s corporate ties. Once the transition is complete, the new board will still have 12 connections among its five remaining members.


One in Nine CEOs Are Paid Without Ties to Performance

January 6, 2017

Performance- and time-based equity awards often make up a majority of a CEO’s compensation package because they encourage retention and, in the case of the former, concretely demonstrate the connection between CEO pay and company results...


Three Steps Toward Curing Board Amnesia

January 5, 2017

The boardroom landscape has become much more complex, but the good news is that board members’ networks are much bigger than they realize. They may have just lost track of it—a concept that can be thought of as “board amnesia.” This blog outlines three ways to proactively consider board recruiting and succession.


The Highest-Paid Lead Director Roles in the S&P 500

January 5, 2017

Compensation for boards of directors has been steadily increasing, according to a recent Equilar report, Director Pay Trends 2016, which featured commentary from Meridian Compensation Partners...


Boardroom Indicator: 113

January 3, 2017

According to the Equilar BoardEdge database, there are 113 directors who sit on at least five public company boards—the limit according to Glass Lewis and ISS—and another 515 who sit on at least four.


View: 2018 | 2017 | 2015


Prominent CEO Resignations Prompt Succession Policy Review

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December 20, 2016

CEO succession planning has become a hot topic of discussion in the past few weeks, particularly as the media heavily covers high-profile retirements and resignations. Indeed, according to Equilar data, there have been 62 CEO transitions either that have occurred or will occur before year-end 2016 at S&P 500 companies alone. Already there have been announcements for 13 more in 2017.


The Top 5: Exxon’s Potential Payout

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December 20, 2016

After more than 40 years at Exxon, Rex Tillerson could potentially step down as CEO, just months before he is eligible for retirement, in order to take the Secretary of State position in Donald Trump’s cabinet...


Trump, Inc.: Corporate Connections in the Cabinet

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December 19, 2016

Donald J. Trump ran his presidential campaign based on his background as a savvy businessman, rather than his experience in politics. In light of the ongoing nominations for President-Elect Trump’s cabinet positions, Equilar, a board and executive data provider...


Executives and Directors Weigh in on the Future of Corporate Governance

December 19, 2016

On December 7, the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership hosted the 2016 Millstein Governance Forum, entitled “Governance, Leadership and the Future of the Corporation.” The forum was highlighted by a keynote interview by Ira Millstein himself to discuss his new book...


The Nine-Digit Earnings of Private Equity CEOs

December 16, 2016

The New York Times recently published its coverage of a joint study with Equilar on the value of private equity CEOs’ earnings. While public company CEOs often earn large sums based on long-term incentive stock and options grants...


About One-Sixth of Companies Disclosed Realized Pay in 2016

December 9, 2016

With the increase in demand for compensation transparency, shareholders are seeking ways to fully understand how much executives are actually earning from their pay packages as compared to what is presented in the summary compensation table (SCT) in the annual proxy statement...


The Top 20 Board Skills in the S&P 500

December 7, 2016

As shareholders become more interested in the composition of their portfolio companies’ boards of directors, issuers are increasingly disclosing explicit information in their proxy statements about director skill sets. According to data included in the recent Equilar report...


S&P 500 CEOs Earn About Three Times More Than Their Top Executives

December 7, 2016

CEOs in the S&P 500 were awarded a median 3.3 times the amount of their other top executives in 2015, according to the data included in the latest Equilar report, Executive and Compensation Governance Outlook 2017, featuring commentary from Hogan Lovells and Labrador...


The Top 5: Questioning CEO Pay Practices

December 6, 2016

Non-GAAP reporting in the S&P 500 has increased from 358 companies in 2009 to 448 companies in 2015, and the concern, posits this author in a Forbes contribution, is that the number of public companies using non-GAAP earnings...


Effectively Engaging with Glass Lewis in 2017

December 5, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, issuers are beginning to prepare for the 2017 proxy season. Equilar recently hosted a webinar with Aaron Bertinetti, Vice President, Research and Engagement, and Ken McPherson, Senior Director, North American Research...


The Growing Gender Pay Gap for Top GCs

December 2, 2016

In connection with the recent report, General Counsel Pay Trends 2016, featuring commentary from BarkerGilmore, Equilar conducted additional research on the breakdown of females serving in the highest legal positions at public companies.


Boardroom Indicator: 658

December 1, 2016

According to a recent study from Equilar, 658 companies in the Russell 3000, or 23.3%, lacked any females on their boards. By comparison, only seven S&P 500 companies (1.4%) lacked a female member in 2016.


Board Recruiting and Refreshment Strategies: Asking the Experts
from Equilar Board Intelligence

November 30, 2016

As the balance of power in corporate governance shifts toward shareholders, corporate boards are coming under scrutiny from investors on issues of board recruiting and board diversity. More than ever, boards are facing pressure to address deficiencies in their composition and eliminate any negative perception they are portraying to shareholders.


Board Recruiting And Refreshment Strategies:Asking The Experts

November 29, 2016

As the balance of power in corporate governance shifts toward shareholders, corporate boards are coming under scrutiny from investors on issues of board recruiting and board diversity. More than ever, boards are facing pressure to address deficiencies in their composition and eliminate any negative perception they are portraying to shareholders. ...


The 20 Highest-Paid GCs at U.S. Public Companies

November 29, 2016

In connection with the recent report, General Counsel Pay Trends 2016, featuring commentary from BarkerGilmore, Equilar conducted additional research on the 20 highest-paid GCs reported in annual proxy statements to gain perspective on the leading professionals in these high-profile roles...


Equity Compensation Varies Widely Between Industries

November 28, 2016

Equity provides a useful non-cash alternative to paying employees, and not just in executive compensation. Offering ownership allows companies with limited expendable cash to pay employees competitive salaries. For companies not limited by cash, equity provides valuable incentives...


In Conversation: Steve Odland, CEO of the Committee for Economic Development

November 22, 2016

At the recent Board Leadership Forum, Steve Odland drew from his experience as a CEO of several public companies and service on multiple public boards to discuss the relationship between the management and the board and how they work together to create shareholder value, as well as board diversity and the dangers of short-termism.


The Top 5: SEC Dwindles, ISS Recalibrates Pay for Performance

November 22, 2016

Likely a surprise to no one, SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced her resignation this week following the election of Donald Trump, effective January 2017. While Dodd-Frank is almost certain to go under the microscope...


Special One-Time Awards for Outgoing Directors

November 21, 2016

The increase in shareholder activism and corporate regulation has led to increased scrutiny toward corporate governance and board composition. In particular, discussion about board refreshment has surged...


California Boards Awarded for Progress in Gender Diversity

November 18, 2016

In response to heightened shareholder scrutiny over the last several years, more than ever, companies are under pressure to promote diversity in their boardrooms, particularly gender diversity...


Smaller Companies Lag on Boardroom Diversity

November 16, 2016

The discussion around gender diversity has secured its place in corporate governance circles over the last few years. In that time, the presence of women in the boardroom has grown steadily, albeit slowly, and most of the largest public companies have made the most progress in adding...


Experts Consider Post-Election Executive Pay Regulations

November 16, 2016

Professionals in executive compensation have long been prepared for the prospect of change following the inevitable shift in political control following last week’s elections. With the SEC down to just three commissioners, observers were keenly aware that the new president would have a significant influence on the future of their field...


The Top 5: The Future of Dodd-Frank

November 15, 2016

In one of the first proclamations in his early presidential transition, Donald Trump’s transition team took aim at the financial regulations passed in 2010. Certainly not a surprising stance, the President-Elect’s camp said that after taking down Dodd-Frank...


Designing Thoughtful Long-Term Incentive Plans

November 11, 2016

As a result of continued shareholder and proxy advisor engagement on long-term incentive pay and related corporate practices, there has been a shift in the ways boards pay their executives through equity vehicles.


Board Room Indicator: 7

November 9, 2016

After Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf stepped down in October after a month in the spotlight following a fake bank accounts scandal, executive management was not the only team at the company to see a shake-up. After new CEO Tim Sloan was named, lead independent director Stephen Sanger was elevated to chairman, and Elizabeth Duke was appointed to the role of vice chair.


Compensating Executives During Oil & Gas Volatility

November 9, 2016

The volatility of the oil & gas industry has induced significant pressure on domestic and global markets over the span of the last 12 to 18 months. Indeed, the reintroduction of Iranian crude to the global market coupled with increased Russian and Saudi Arabian production output levels created a global supply glut that plummeted crude prices and hampered global markets.


Boards Shrink In Size To Optimize Decision Making

November 8, 2016

In today’s corporate governance landscape, issuers and investors alike are focused on the composition and evaluation of boards of directors. Boards are beholden to represent shareholders’ interests, and consequently, assessing and disclosing individual director contributions have become and important topic for shareholder engagement.


The Top 5: CEO Personality and Performance

November 8, 2016

The Harvard Business Review took an extensive look at CEOs’ effect on company culture, particularly analyzing how personality traits affect company performance. According to the article, narcissism correlates with higher pay, and destructive CEOs who are “antisocial, volatile, and overconfident” lead to “high turnover and counterproductive workers.”


Departing CEOs Continue to Leave Their Mark

November 7, 2016

CEO turnover has been a hot topic in recent weeks, and the situations (both surprising and less surprising) surrounding departing CEOs at Wells Fargo, Visa and Caterpillar have been widely publicized. Myriad reasons explain the departures of the executive holding the top job.


Overlapping Performance Metrics in Short & Long-Term Incentive Plans

November 4, 2016

Performance-based pay is sometimes advertised as a magic bullet to assuage the concerns of all constituents holding stakes affected by executive compensation. In fact, performance equity was granted to named executive officers (NEOs) by 83.1% of the S&P 500 in fiscal 2015, up 17.7 percentage points in just four years, according to Equilar.


Special Committees Earn Special Fees

November 3, 2016

Aside from the “big three” committees, boards of directors also call special committees for a variety of reasons. While they varied widely, the most common retainers for special committees analyzed for the study were $30,000 for chairs and $20,000 for members.


Highest-Paid HR Executives Earned More Than $6 Million

November 2, 2016

Each year, Equilar conducts a study for Human Resource Executive magazine to uncover trends in compensation for the top-paid HR leaders at U.S. public companies. The full list includes the 50 highest-paid HR leaders.


A Director's Perspective On Board Education

November 1, 2016

Value-added board service goes way beyond good governance and golf these days, with curiosity being noted as the most sought-after attribute in a new director candidate. It’s imperative that good boards know how to deliver feedback and ensure change is delivered effectively.


The Top 5: Will a High CEO Pay Ratio Mean Higher Taxes?

November 1, 2016

In Portland, Oregon, the city council held a hearing last week that considered a surtax on companies who have a significantly large CEO pay ratio. According to the proposal, a company in Portland would owe a higher business tax if its CEO pay ratio is higher than 100-to-1.


Boardroom Indicator: 18.9%

October 27, 2016

According to Equilar data, 18.9% of S&P 500 committees are chaired by women. That figure compares to 21.3% of all director seats being held by females, and a slightly higher percentage of women—22.2%—account for S&P 500 committee memberships.


Equilar Diversity Network Welcomes Diverse Director DataSource (3D)

October 27, 2016

Equilar, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) are pleased to announce the Diverse Director DataSource (3D) will now be available within the Equilar Diversity Network (EDN). 3D joins the suite of searchable sources within the Equilar BoardEdge platform, building a consortium that advances diverse representation in boardrooms across the globe.


SEC Proposes Universal Proxy Ballot

October 26, 2016

The SEC voted 2-to-1 today on a proposal to implement a "universal proxy," which would allow investors to vote on board of directors elections from one ballot inclusive of both shareholder- and management-proposed candidates.


The Top 5: CEO Resignations Raise Eyebrows

October 25, 2016

In the span of a week, CEOs at Wells Fargo, Caterpillar and Visa all either resigned or retired from their posts. Though each of these individuals did so for different reasons, some under more pressure than others, these moves sparked a lot of interest in changes to corporate governance practices at high-profile companies...


Investor Perspective on Boards

October 25, 2016

At the recent Board Leadership Forum, co-hosted by Equilar and Nasdaq in New York City, perhaps the most anticipated panels bookended of the event, featuring the perspectives of institutional shareholders and proxy advisors...


CEO Turnover and Board Changes at S&P 500 Companies

October 25, 2016

Within the span of a few days, high-profile CEOs at Wells Fargo, Caterpillar and Visa all announced they would be stepping down from their posts. Each did so for different reasons, whether it was a high-profile scandal, poor performance over an extended period or a surprising announcement that caught observers off-guard...


Equity Treatment Upon Retirement

October 21, 2016

After embattled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf retired last week amidst controversy surrounding sales practices at the bank’s retail unit, many observers were keen to understand how executive compensation design affects what CEOs receive in retirement—regardless of the circumstances...


The Top 5: CEO Pay Called Out

October 18, 2016

Bengt Holmstrom, co-winner of the 2016 Nobel Economics Prize, was criticizing the complexity of executive pay plans. A key takeaway from his comments: “Executive compensation went from reasonable to absolutely dreadful, and dreadful because...


Director Pay Limit Disclosures Doubled in 2016

October 17, 2016

In recent years, companies have faced more scrutiny regarding compensation and governance practices, and in conjunction, compensation for boards of directors has been in the spotlight. Director pay has increased in response to new...


Pay for Performance Evolution and the Compensation Committee’s Role

October 11, 2016

The Silicon Valley Directors’ Exchange (SVDX) recently hosted a discussion panel entitled “The Evolution of Pay for Performance: Shareholder Vigilance or Apathy” at the Stanford Rock Center for Corporate Governance. The panel explored the state...


Executive Compensation Plans That Maximize Shareholder Value

October 11, 2016

In this ever-changing landscape of shareholder engagement, it is essential that companies develop thoughtful compensation designs to meet investor expectations. Equilar recently hosted a webinar with Blair Jones, Managing Director at Semler Brossy...


Board Diversity Advocates: U.S. Public Companies Accept Mediocrity

October 10, 2016

On September 7, 2016, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of John Hopkins University hosted its 7th annual Conference on Women in the Boardroom in Washington D.C. An open session that drew governance experts...


Five Things to Know: This Week in Executive Compensation

October 7, 2016

While pay for performance has gained traction as a best practice in executive compensation design, what constitutes “performance” is often in flux. A column in The Wall Street Journal suggested that boards sometimes move away...


Executive Incentive Plans Drop TSR As Debate Continues

October 7, 2016

In light of SEC regulations passed in the wake of Dodd-Frank, pay for performance in executive compensation plans has become standard practice. The question of how to best structurally align pay with performance, however, remains up for...


Board Evaluation Is Awkward: How To Approach The Tough Conversation

October 6, 2016

According to a 2015 PwC study, 39% of board members said that they believed someone on their board should no longer be on it. Meanwhile, investors are calling for refreshment that will help maintain independent, objective viewpoints across company boards with a long-term view, whether that be through mandatory retirement or tenure limits.


What Twitter Executives Stand to Gain from a Sale

October 6, 2016

Over the past couple years, Twitter as a social networking platform has continued to captivate the public spotlight—particularly while presidential candidates utilize it as a key political platform in a pivotal election year, for example...


The 20 Highest-Paid S&P 500 Boards of Directors

October 5, 2016

Compensation for boards of directors is generally modest in comparison to CEOs and CFOs, who more frequently garner attention from shareholders, employee advocacy groups and the media...


Wells Fargo: Another Look at Reported Retirement Pay

October 2, 2016

As has been widely reported, Wells Fargo is currently under scrutiny—and now an investigation—regarding questionable sales practices. There have been some big numbers thrown around about...


Top 25 Boards For Gender Diversity

October 1, 2016

In the past five years, the prevalence of female directors has increased slowly, yet steadily. According to the most recent S&P 500 companies’ proxy statements, women accounted for 21.3% of board seats overall, as detailed in a new report from Equilar. That represents an increase from 16.6% in 2012...


Boardroom Indicator 51%

October 1, 2016

According to a recent Equilar report, 51.0% of all S&P 500 board seats were occupied by directors who served on more than one public board. That figure is up slightly from 2012, though it dipped between 2015 and 2016....


Wells Fargo Executives Paid $200 Million for Performance—What’s Next?

September 29, 2016

Over the past several weeks, Wells Fargo has been continuously in the news as company executives are under investigation by Congress—and now their own board. The investigation was initiated after...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines

September 28, 2016

While the SEC hasn’t introduced extensive environmental disclosure requirements, shareholders often create their own proposals that would affect corporate structure and reporting...


IPO Wealth: Easy Come, Easy Go

September 27, 2016

During the tech bubble of the late 1990s, news about “paper wealth” and “overnight millionaires” associated with initial public offerings (IPOs) was frequent, and then...


Executive Compensation at Multinational Companies:
Asking the Experts

September 23, 2016

As companies are expanding worldwide operations, and sectors are consolidating in both established and emerging markets, executive compensation strategies have...


Tech Companies Least Likely to Offer Performance Awards

September 22, 2016

Over the past five years, executive pay in the S&P 500 has seen steady, even growth in overall pay levels. However, closer inspection reveals more dynamic changes in equity...


TECH SECTOR DOES NOT COMPUTE BOARD DIVERSITY

September 16, 2016

Without a requirement to disclose racial or ethnic diversity on their boards of directors, very few companies explicitly detail this information in public filings..


Measuring Performance with Non-Financial Metrics

September 16, 2016

Picking the right ways to measure performance linked to incentive compensation is a tall order for boards and compensation professionals. Pay program designers not...


Top 25 S&P 500 Boards for Gender Diversity

September 13, 2016

In the past several years, corporate governance stakeholders have become more attuned to board composition in terms of gender diversity. Proponents and advocates...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines: August 16-31, 2016

September 9, 2016

The SEC recently blocked Medizone International’s attempt to exclude a shareholder proposal that would introduce a mandatory retirement age for directors at age 75...


Harvard Ousts Stanford as Top University for Fortune 500 CEOs

August 31, 2016

Harvard 27, Stanford 17. No, that’s not a prediction for a football score this fall. It’s the number of degrees each school has awarded to Fortune 500 CEOs, according to...


Using Peer Groups to Align Pay for Performance

August 26, 2016

In 2006, the SEC required public companies that utilize a group of peer companies to benchmark compensation to disclose those peer groups in tandem with the newly mandated...


CFO Pay Shifts to Award Performance

August 24, 2016

The chief financial officer (CFO) role has evolved alongside overall economic growth, political dynamics and corporate governance reform, and these financial executives...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines: August 1-15, 2016

August 22, 2016

The Economic Policy Institute examined CEO pay from 1978 to 2015 and found that CEO pay growth at the largest firms not only surpassed stock price, corporate profits...


Highest-Paid CEOs at the Largest Fortune Global Companies

August 17, 2016

According to the latest Equilar report, CEOs at the largest U.S. companies by far outpace their counterparts in other global markets in terms of compensation...


Special Fees for Board Chairs in Executive Transitions

August 15, 2016

Directors serving on a board dedicate their time to a variety of tasks, including but not limited to overseeing company strategy, setting executive and director compensation...


Audit Committee Financial Experts Increase in Prevalence

August 11, 2016

For a public company’s board of directors, members of the audit committee serve a primary role in oversight of financial reporting and other risks. After the U.S. Congress...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines: July 16-31, 2016

August 9, 2016

Highlights include the Commonsense Corporate Governance Principles compiled by some of the top names in Corporate America, the SEC’s move to remove outdated disclosures...


How Does CEO Compensation Change with Tenure?

August 8, 2016

Over the past few years, the average CEO tenure at S&P 500 companies has increased according to multiple sources, and there has been a corresponding increase in CEO compensation...


CEO Pay Ratio: Expected Impact on Employee Sentiment

August 4, 2016

Since the SEC passed this measure one year ago as a continuation of mandates from the Dodd-Frank legislation, the CEO Pay Ratio has become a lightning rod for discussion...


Planning Executive Pay for Performance in Volatile Markets

August 3, 2016

In light of regulatory implications following the passage of Dodd-Frank, such as Say on Pay and disclosures surrounding the CEO pay ratio, as well as the recent increased level of shareholder...


CEO Pay Beyond Reported Figures

July 28, 2016

CEOs at the largest U.S companies assume the responsibility of leading organizations that keep the economy churning. While CEOs may be the top figure for public companies and represent...


How Marissa Mayer Made $219 Million at Yahoo

July 27, 2016

On Monday, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo’s operating business for $4.8 billion, culminating the internet company’s process to sell off its core business. Media attention has focused...


How Companies Pay Executive Chairs after CEO Succession

July 26, 2016

With every CEO transition, boards look to identify a leader that will drive the company forward strategically. In some cases, that means choosing to transition outgoing CEOs...


CEO Pay at the World’s Largest Banks

July 25, 2016

According to a recent Equilar data analysis conducted for the Financial Times, the CEOs at the largest banks worldwide saw a collective 7.6% increase in total compensation...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines: July 1-15, 2016

July 22, 2016

The SEC voted for final rules on June 27, 2016 that adopt Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, mandating that resource extraction issuers disclose payments they make to foreign...


Less Than 1% of Fortune 1000 Boards Have Reached Gender Parity

July 20, 2016

More women are joining Fortune 1000 boards, but very few companies have an equal number of male and female directors, according to new data from Equilar updating a 2015 study...


Boardroom Diversity Increases at a Slow Pace: Catalyst Research

July 18, 2016

Shareholders, proxy advisors and regulators alike continue to highlight diversity in the boardroom as a tenet of good corporate governance—not to mention its correlation...


Narrowing the Gap Between Investors and Boards

July 15, 2016

The Investors Board Performance Review recently hosted a live taping at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York City, featuring Glenn Booraem, Head of Corporate Governance...


CEO Pay Ratio and Investor Perception

July 13, 2016

When the majority of public companies filed their annual proxy statements this spring, only a handful preemptively addressed the SEC’s upcoming addition to the Dodd-Frank...


Gender Diversity as a Competitive Advantage

July 11, 2016

As the voice of shareholders has grown stronger in recent years, investors are applying pressure for companies to align better with the demographics of their employees...


Sitting CEOs Occupy Nearly 10% of S&P 500 Comp Committee Positions

July 7, 2016

Compensation committees must follow strict independence rules, and company executives may not serve on their own compensation committees due to the conflict of interest...


Executive Pay from the Investor’s Perspective

July 6, 2016

While shareholders vote on various proposals at companies’ annual meetings, high-level results showing shareholder “support” of proxy proposals often fail to illuminate...


Executive Pay and Corporate Governance Headlines: June 16-30, 2016

July 5, 2016

Please see below for key trends and themes in corporate news and regulations, executive compensation, corporate governance and shareholder engagement, detailing five of the...


Executive Compensation Summit: A Look into the Crystal Ball

June 22, 2016

At the Equilar Executive Compensation Summit in Boston this week, panelists and attendees discussed key topics surrounding executive pay at length—recurring themes such as...


How Executive Pay and Dodd-Frank Influenced SEC Rulemaking

June 21, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) states that its mission is “to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation."...


Pay for Performance Takes a Balanced Approach

June 20, 2016

Companies primarily use equity to retain and incentive executives, as well as align their visions with longer-term strategic goals and shareholder return. A number of factors have...


Engaging Shareholder Activism: Five Corporate Governance Factors to Consider

June 17, 2016

Over the last several years, shareholders have begun to scrutinize many aspects of corporate governance more closely, including executive pay, performance incentives, buybacks, board...


Your Executive Pay Benchmarking Method May Be Costing You Too Much

June 15, 2016

Oftentimes, benchmarking executive compensation can prove to be a trying task. Compensation experts must establish pay packages that motivate and retain their executives...


Shareholder Engagement and Proxy Voting: Myths and Realities

June 13, 2016

Companies preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) have a steep learning curve in terms of corporate governance. Once these companies begin trading, the attention of boards...


SEC Adopts Voluntary Summary for 10-K Annual Reports

June 10, 2016

The SEC recently adopted an interim final ruling pursuant to the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. It allows companies to include a summary of business...


Who Was the Highest-Paid CEO in Every State Last Year?

June 8, 2016

The Associated Press recently published its coverage of the Equilar Highest-Paid CEOs by State study, which analyzed total compensation of chief executives at public companies...


Realized Pay Enhances Pay for Performance Story

June 6, 2016

As pay for performance becomes a larger focus for companies, regulators, shareholders and other advisors, the question of which pay reporting methods should be required disclosure...


Fortune 100 Incentive Plan Performance Adjustments

June 3, 2016

The concept of individual performance in annual incentive plans (AIPs) is simple: Reward executives for their performance separate from the contributions of others...


How to Build a Board Before Going Public

June 1, 2016

Companies that are planning an initial public offering (IPO) or that have recently entered the public sphere face a steep learning curve in terms of corporate governance...


Female Directors More Likely Than Men to Serve on Multiple Boards

May 27, 2016

With diversity at the forefront of board recruiting, experienced females are in high demand. An Equilar study of S&P 500 board members conducted for The New York Times found that female...


Top Tech CEOs Out-Earned Other Industries in 2015

May 25, 2016

Technology CEOs earned more as a group than any other business sector in 2015, according to an analysis of the Equilar 100, a study of the 100 largest companies by revenue to file before...


Four Ways to Approach Executive Pay in CEO Succession Planning

May 23, 2016

All companies and shareholders can be certain that CEO succession is inevitable. Whether this inevitability is rapidly approaching or looming far off in the distance, every company...


Russell 3000 Companies Use Independent Compensation Surveys

May 20, 2016

Since the passing of Dodd-Frank in 2010, executive compensation has become increasingly scrutinized in light of increased transparency and enhanced disclosure. Nowadays...


Four Ways Corporate Transitions Influence Executive Pay

May 16, 2016

Compensation programs are particularly challenging to manage during sensitive scenarios such as M&As, spin-outs, financial restatements or terminations. These situations cause...


Executive Hardship: Meeting Ownership Guidelines in a Volatile Market

May 13, 2016

With the advent of Say on Pay and the influence of proxy advisory firms on votes, company stakeholders increasingly scrutinize all aspects of corporate governance...


Experts Discuss the Merits of Executive Performance Incentives

May 11, 2016

As scrutiny from activist investors intensifies and marketplace volatility continues, companies are seeking to develop effective executive compensation programs that align pay...


Highest-Paid CEO-Chairs Earned $1 Million More Than Non-Chairs in 2015

May 9, 2016

CEO pay is still on the rise, totaling $14.5 million in 2015 among the Equilar 100, a study of the 100 largest companies by revenue to file their proxy statements by April 1...


Top-Paid Female CEOs Earned an Average of $22.7 Million in 2015

May 6, 2016

Despite accounting for a low number of positions, female CEOs in the Equilar 100 are out-earning their counterparts significantly. In 2015, the eight females who served...


Shareholders and Regulators Scrutinize Bank CEO Pay

May 4, 2016

As proxy season comes to a close, shareholder meetings are heating up and Say on Pay votes are rolling in. So far, we haven’t seen too much shake-up from previous years...


Singular Perspective: Incentive Plans with One-Year Performance Periods

May 2, 2016

Executives receive compensation in several forms, typically consisting of a base salary, an annual bonus, and long-term incentives (LTI)—the latter most often in the form of equity. Salaries...


How Much Is Say on Pay Changing Executive Pay Practices?

April 29, 2016

Say on Pay is frequently considered a catalyst for better pay practices at public companies, but in the past five years, shareholders have overwhelmingly passed the measure at companies, and CEO pay...


Energy Sector Decline Influences Incentive Plans in Executive Pay

April 22, 2016

Flailing oil prices have not necessarily indicated a drop in CEO pay across the board for the largest energy, oil and gas companies for 2015—at least not yet. Among the oil and gas companies...


Back to the Future: Companies Lengthen Incentive Plan Performance Periods

April 20, 2016

Setting performance periods is an integral piece of achieving pay for performance alignment in the wake of Dodd-Frank, Say on Pay and mounting shareholder activism. In recent years...


Designing Executive Pay to Drive Shareholder Value

April 18, 2016

Today’s compensation committees—and the members of management who work closely with them—face a formidable task to develop and execute a compensation and benefits program...


Five Ways Companies Structure Executive Stock Ownership

April 15, 2016

Public companies are beholden to align long-term interests of executive officers with those of their shareholders, thus influencing how companies pay for performance...


Stable or Stale? Board Chair Tenure Continues to Rise

April 13, 2016

Shareholder scrutiny of board leadership has ramped up in recent months and will continue to do as annual meetings draw nearer—some recent examples including...


With Voluntary Disclosure, Companies Get Ahead of CEO Pay Ratio

April 11, 2016

In August 2015, the SEC passed the Pay Ratio Disclosure rule as a part of Dodd-Frank, which will require them to include a comparison of CEO pay to that of a median employee...


Probability in Pay for Performance

April 7, 2016

In the age of Say on Pay, “pay for performance” has morphed from catch phrase into standard practice. According to Equilar’s 2015 Equity Trends Report, just over half of S&P 1500 companies granted...


Equity Experts: How to Manage the Push for TSR in Executive Pay Plans

April 5, 2016

The National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP) hosts a regular podcast aptly entitled “Equity Experts,” and featured Equilar’s director of research, Belen Gomez, in a recent episode...


CEO Performance Award Payouts Are Increasingly Off Target

April 1, 2016

In its most elemental form, executive pay consists of “fixed” elements—base salary and time-vesting equity–and “variable” or “at risk” elements—annual incentive and long-term incentive plan...


Super-Board Shuffle: Avon May Lose Position as Board Diversity Leader

March 31, 2016

Over the past several months, Avon Products has run a gauntlet of buyers and activists. While the company has avoided a proxy fight, some directors may become collateral damage after its impending board refreshment...


Shareholder Engagement: Increasing Exposure in Proxy Disclosure

March 30, 2016

Shareholder engagement has become one of the most talked-about issues in corporate governance, and with good reason. In the past few years, public companies have been held up to greater scrutiny due to many factors...


Are Longer Proxy Statements Deterring Shareholder Engagement?

March 28, 2016

In light of the financial crisis, Dodd-Frank and Say on Pay, executive compensation has become a hot-button issue in corporate governance. Continuous interplay between public companies and their shareholders—and the...


Will the SEC Rule on a Gender Pay Ratio?

March 24, 2016

Though gender pay equality is far from a recent issue, several scenarios during the past several weeks have brought the gender pay gap to the forefront of executive compensation and corporate governance...


Proxy Season Prompts Big Changes on High-Profile Boards

March 23, 2016

Board succession and refreshment have become consistent topics of conversation in corporate governance, with shareholders directly sending a message to companies that they expect regular...


Companies Just Say No to “Pay for Pulse”

March 21, 2016

In the wake of Dodd-Frank, Say on Pay, and calls from proxy advisors and shareholders for stronger links between pay and performance, public companies have taken a closer look at the design...


Transportation Companies and Executive Travel Perks

March 17, 2016

Country club memberships, annual physicals and free financial advice don’t always spring to mind when pondering executive pay. Traditionally, perks like these hid behind salaries, bonuses...


“First of Its Kind” Shareholder Proposal Takes on Tax Inversions

March 15, 2016

In the past five years, shareholder proposals have continued to increase, reflecting greater scrutiny on corporate governance. In 2015, there was an activist campaign launched...


Independent Women: Female Directors Drive Growth of Outsider Boards

March 14, 2016

In today’s corporate world, boardroom diversity is top of mind for governance professionals and investors alike. Shareholder engagement and activism has pressured companies...


Potential Proxy Fight at United Continental Spotlights Activist Demands for Board Skills

March 11, 2016

Shareholder activism has pushed board assessment and refreshment to the forefront in the 2016 proxy season. With proxy access becoming a hot-button issue, more and more...


New Diversity Fund Shines Light on Corporate Leadership Gender Equality

March 8, 2016

On Tuesday, March 8, State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) began trading “SHE,” an exchange-traded fund centered on companies that have gender diversity at the highest ranks...


Incentivizing Risk: Cash Severance Multiples Among U.S. REITs

March 8, 2016

In addition to attracting talent and providing retention value, severance packages can incentivize executive risk-taking by providing a safety net in case certain decisions don’t turn out as planned...


Fewer Classified Boards Could Mean Higher Director Turnover

March 7, 2016

Directors are increasingly on the hot seat as board refreshment becomes a focus of shareholders and proxy access continues to gain traction. Indeed, 2,729 new directors joined Russell 3000 boards in 2014...


Combine and Cash In: Executive Awards for Inversions and Mergers

March 4, 2016

2015 saw heightened M&A activity as all industries participated in a whirlwind of corporate transactions. At the forefront of this consolidation flurry, corporate inversion situations and mergers of equals gained significant...


Sell-Off: Fortune 100 CEOs Rarely Hold Exercised Options

March 2, 2016

Stock options can be a sticky issue in executive compensation, and as a result, their popularity as a means to pay corporate executives has waned over the last few years. Debates over the utility of options as an equity vehicle center...


Best Practices for 10b5-1 Plans and Insider Trading Policies

February 29, 2016

10b5-1 plans continue to receive substantial attention from the media, legal commentators, academics, regulators, investors and shareholder organizations. While October 2015 marked the 15th anniversary of the creation of rule 10b5-1...


Are Boards Getting Boring? 10% Have at Least Four Directors over 70

February 26, 2016

The recent resignation and retirement of Sumner Redstone at CBS and Viacom in a two-day period brought to light shareholder concerns around board age and tenure. As a growing number of directors nears mandatory retirement age...


Pay Display: How Companies Visualize Pay for Performance

February 24, 2016

Pay for performance is at the forefront of executive compensation program design, and stakeholders are adamant in ensuring executive pay levels are commensurate with a company's performance and returns to shareholders. In 2015...


Bull Market: Big Banks Show CEO Pay Increases

February 23, 2016

Early indications from the largest U.S. banks could signal an overall increase in CEO pay for the financial sector in fiscal year 2015, as recent filings revealed 20%-plus pay raises for Bank of America's Brian Moynihan and Citigroup's...


Keeping the Lights On: Maintaining Line of Sight in Energy Sector Incentive Plans

February 22, 2016

Incentive plans are designed to reward executives for achieving meaningful but realistic targets. In a volatile or down market, even the best performing companies are subject to industry or economy wide factors, and selecting metrics...


Shareholders Suspect Poor Governance from Stagnant Boards

February 19, 2016

Many boards address succession only on an as-needed basis when facing an impending vacancy, which can lead to challenges in a variety of scenarios. Shareholders are taking more notice of how the directors represent their interests...


Healthy Exercise: Trading Trends of Fortune 100 Executives

February 17, 2016

Elon Musk recently made headlines when he exercised nearly $100 million worth of stock options on January 27, 2016, ahead of Tesla’s earnings announcement. Tesla’s stock price had fallen roughly 25% in 2016 to that point...


Investors to Boards: Be Better Prepared for Shareholder Meetings

February 12, 2016

Shareholder engagement is on the rise and will only continue as investors seek to better understand a company’s practices and policies. As a result, more companies are taking a proactive approach to communicate how their governance...


Split Decisions: CEO/Chair Positions Decline in Response to Shareholder Concerns

February 10, 2016

Traditionally, corporations combined the roles of chief executive officer and board chair, appointing the position to a single leader, but in recent years, shareholders have raised concerns about the combination of these two primary ...


The Role of TSR Modifiers in Long-Term Incentive Plans

February 8, 2016

As a result of increased scrutiny on pay for performance by investors and regulators, more companies have incorporated total shareholder return (TSR) in their incentive plans. Equilar's latest Equity Trends Report shows that almost 50% of...


Institutional Investors on Long-Termism: Subtle Aim at Activists?

February 5, 2016

On February 1, reports surfaced that Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, had sent a letter to more than 500 companies asking them to focus less on short-term outlooks and estimates and more on long-term strategic approaches as they...


Redstone Retires: Reflections on Board Succession and Shareholder Engagement

February 4, 2016

The rise in shareholder engagement and activist attention to board composition has put companies are under pressure to evaluate their boards on an ongoing basis. Boards that are unprepared to manage a transition may find themselves in...


Boards by the Numbers: New Directors in the Russell 3000

February 3, 2016

The election of new board members is typically a foremost topic of discussion during annual shareholder meetings. This year, with proxy access on the rise, activist and institutional shareholders alike have been focused on consistent...


Staying Ahead of the Curve: Incentive Payouts That Achieve Pay for Performance

February 1, 2016

Since Dodd-Frank and Say-on-Pay were implemented more than five years ago, companies, proxy advisors and shareholders have focused on pay for performance as a measure of effective executive compensation programs. The logic suggests that if...


Board Skills Matrices: Insightful or Redundant?

January 28, 2016

In late 2009, the SEC passed a rule requiring companies to disclose experience, qualifications, attributes or skills for each director on the board or up for nomination, and this information has become highly valued among shareholders...


Are Companies Prepared for Succession Planning?

January 27, 2016

Successful board and CEO succession planning is an integral factor in maintaining long-term stability of companies. Without a strong plan in place, organizations put themselves at risk on many counts. Equilar recently hosted a webinar...


Pay Versus Performance: Are You Prepared?

January 26, 2016

As the calendar barrels into 2016 and proxy season is in our immediate sights, anticipation gathers for how companies will address proposals put forth by the SEC in this year's filings. In particular, the SEC's proposed...


How Companies Handle Hot-Button Proxy Issues

January 21, 2016

Dodd-Frank continues to shape the way companies engage with their shareholders, particularly with matters dealing with executive compensation such as Say-on-Pay and Pay for Performance. Equilar recently hosted a webinar featuring...


On Guard, Part 3: Oversight of Cybersecurity by Industry

January 18, 2016

Cybersecurity strategy will be a crucial corporate risk and governance issue for 2016 and beyond. Customers care about their private data, enterprises value their intellectual property and investors seek assurance that their portfolio...


Shareholder Activism and Director Approval Ratings

January 14, 2016

It’s no secret that shareholder activism is on the rise at U.S. companies, surfacing in many different ways. Shareholders have voting power on a wide range of corporate governance decisions, particularly on the right to choose...


Gender Parity in the Boardroom Still Decades Away

January 11, 2016

The number of women on boards continues to rise, but it will be a long time before female representation at the largest U.S. companies matches their representation in the workforce, according to a new report from the Government Accountability...


Board De-Classification May Lead to More Diversity

January 8, 2016

Board diversity issues have come to the forefront in recent years, and shareholders are pushing companies across the S&P 500 to elect new and diverse candidates to join their boardrooms. Progress has been steady, but many critics...


CEO Tenure Has Increased Nearly One Full Year Since 2005

January 6, 2016

Contrary to trends that may influence executive turnover such as increased M&A activity, scrutiny from activist investors to perform in the short term and an aging boomer population, tenure for S&P 500 CEOs has increased nearly...


Will 2016 Be the Year of Proxy Access?

January 4, 2016

As detailed in Equilar’s latest report, shareholder engagement is on the rise in various forms, and company outreach to ensure investors have appropriate access to exercise their rights is a dominant topic in corporate governance...


View: 2018 | 2017 | 2016


New Challenges Inspire Changes to Board Committee Structures

December 17, 2015

As public concerns and needs change, so do board structures. Boards establish and dissolve committees based on their needs to deal with a specific matter or general issue to help the board for diligent decision-making. In the past...


Year-End M&A Flurry Shines a Light on Golden Parachutes

December 16, 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, several major M&A announcements, proposals and rumors are making headlines. In many of these cases, the often-large sums of money outgoing CEOs and other executives stand to receive as severance—also known...


On Guard, Part 2: Board Committee Oversight of Cybersecurity

December 14, 2015

Potentially valuable data underpins the next wave of innovative products, spanning a spectrum from customer credit card and social security numbers to corporate intellectual property. While data breaches at prominent retailers, healthcare...


DowDuPont: A Merger of Activism

December 11, 2015

Dow and DuPont, two of the largest U.S. chemicals companies with a combined $130 billion market cap, agreed to a merger of equals on the morning of December 11. If the deal is approved, they subsequently plan to split into three companies...


Communicating Board Diversity Through Disclosure

December 10, 2015

In the past few years, shareholders and boards have given considerable attention to boardroom diversity that reflects a wider variety of opinions, skills and experience to meet the challenges and opportunities in the changing corporate landscape...


Yahoo! Mayer’s Potential Severance Package Draws Significant Attention

December 9, 2015

With investor engagement continuing around what exactly to do with Yahoo, media outlets have turned their attention to Marissa Mayer’s potentially large change-in-control payout in the case that the company were sold and she were terminated. According...


Going Overboard? Restrictions May Shrink Qualified Director Pool

November 20, 2015

With shareholder engagement and outreach coming to the forefront in the wake of Dodd-Frank, directors’ responsibilities are continually expanding into significant professional obligations. As a result, many shareholders and other governance stakeholders...


On Guard, Part 1: Cybersecurity in S&P 500 Boardrooms

October 16, 2015

High profile data breaches grab headlines and deservedly so—exposure of private, proprietary information puts businesses, investors, and consumers at risk. Corporate and large organizational data breaches are increasing in both frequency and magnitude...


@Jack Is Back: Twitter’s New CEO Finds Himself in Rare Company

October 7, 2015

After months of speculation, Twitter named its new CEO this week—the company’s co-founder (and former CEO) Jack Dorsey. Following several quarters of slowing user growth, pressure on Twitter from its investors and from Wall Street in general reached...


The Changing Face of Fortune 1000 Boardrooms, in Five Charts

October 6, 2015

We’re in an unprecedented era in shareholder engagement, and as a result, the make-up of U.S. boardrooms is changing to reflect this new reality. Rules and regulations following Dodd-Frank have heightened the availability of information and awareness...


Chairman/CEO Votes: Signs of Shareholder Trust or Playing It Safe?

September 23, 2015

On September 22, Bank of America shareholders voted whether CEO Brian Moynihan would continue in his role as Chairman of the Board. In the weeks leading up to the shareholder meeting, many wondered if a vote to split the roles and implement...


Eradicating Cyber-Risk: CEO Expertise and Experience

September 15, 2015

As companies rely more heavily on compiling, storing, utilizing, and disseminating large amounts of proprietary and private data, securing such information continues to pique the interest of invested parties. Customers, consumers and vendors...


Change-in-Control: Pay Trends in Transition

September 3, 2015

Although corporate change-in-control (CIC) situations happen infrequently, stakeholders place the details of such transactions under a microscope, scrutinizing them from every angle. In particular, proxy advisory firms and shareholders view...


Weighing in on Performance Metrics

August 27, 2015

When it comes to doling out long-term incentive plans, shareholders and companies both hold vested interests in how awards are structured. Not only do equity awards contribute to the retention of executives, but they also set the tone for...


Director Compensation Under Scrutiny: Are Pay Increases Justified?

August 20, 2015

Median director pay among S&P 500 companies has increased significantly in recent years. According to the latest Equilar research, director retainers reached a median $235,000 in 2014, up from $215,000 two years prior. In response, shareholders...


SEC Shines a Spotlight on CEO-Employee Pay Ratio

August 5, 2015

Dodd-Frank initially mandated that U.S. public companies disclose the ratio of median pay between their CEOs and their employees, and thus the subject has been a source of much discussion since its passing. But five years later, exactly how...


Does It Really Pay for CEOs to Perform? A Comparative Analysis

August 4, 2015

CEO pay continues to rise, reaching a median $10.3 million among S&P 500 companies in 2014, according to Equilar’s latest research. But alongside consistent growth, CEO compensation has also experienced increased scrutiny since the passing of Dodd-Frank...


Dodd-Frank’s Fifth Anniversary: In Retrospect and Prospect

July 27, 2015

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – better known colloquially as “Dodd-Frank” – celebrated its fifth anniversary on July 21, 2015. Though the sweeping financial markets reform initiated by this legislation has yet to...


Equity Compensation Plans: Breaking down Dilution

July 24, 2015

A well-designed equity compensation or performance incentive plan has potential to be a “win-win” for those with skin in the game, and corporate issuers have the opportunity to align their stakeholders’ interests by including equity pay in executive...


Enforcing Accurate Financial Reporting — Clawbacks

July 6, 2015

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed a set of rules that would govern the clawback provisions of listed companies. These standards would apply specifically to compensation that is linked to accounting-related metrics, stock price...


Pay Versus Performance Rule Faces Potential Issues

June 18, 2015

As noted in a previous post, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released language concerning the Pay Versus Performance disclosure required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Public comment on the...


CFO Pay Increases: Falling Behind the CEO?

June 10, 2015

In a recent post, we looked at changes in CEO pay in the S&P 1500 and how that compares to the average worker. While the CEO is typically a company’s highest paid and most high-profile employee, they are but one member of the executive team. Using...


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