ISS and Glass Lewis (GL) have publicly shared some key upcoming dates for the 2021 proxy season. Below is a list of dates the firms have provided and, based on the most recent year(s), our estimated release dates for other frequently-used proxy advisor publications. Unless specified otherwise, the updated policies listed below will be posted on the ISS website or GL website.

ISS
Today 2021 U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines. ISS announced the release of its 2021 guidelines this afternoon. We discussed the changes that ISS had previously proposed to the 2021 guidelines here. We will discuss the key final changes reflected in these 2021 final guidelines in our next post.
November 16 through December 4, 2020 Peer Group Submission Window. Certain companies with annual meetings scheduled to take place between February 1, 2021 and September 15, 2021 may submit through the Governance Analytics webpage their respective self-selected peer groups for determining 2020 CEO pay. We explain this type of submission more fully here in relation to a prior window.
Typically in December

U.S. Compensation Policies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). We discuss the preliminary version that includes COVID-19 pandemic considerations here.

U.S. Equity Compensation Plans FAQ

U.S. Pay-for-Performance Mechanics, ISS’ Quantitative and Qualitative Approach, a whitepaper

First Half of December December Quarterly Data Download. Some companies use these downloads for equity plan modeling. ISS will also update the ISS Corporate Solutions (ICS) tools to reflect ISS’ 2021 policy changes and companies with access privileges will be able to begin their modeling for the 2021 proxy season.
Second Half of December Burn Rate Benchmarks. ISS anticipates publishing burn rate benchmarks in the latter half of December. ISS primarily uses burn rate benchmarks with its Equity Plan Scorecard (EPSC), the proprietary methodology for evaluating management proposals relating to compensation plans.

 

Glass Lewis

Coming

Publication of the U.S. proxy voting guidelines and Shareholder Initiatives are anticipated soon given that the current and immediately preceding versions were released early November 2019 and mid-October 2018 respectively.

Unlike ISS, GL normally does not solicit feedback by publicly circulating drafts of its guidelines. Feedback on GL’s existing policies may be submitted at the top of its policy guidelines webpage.

Begins December 14, 2020 Peer Submission Window. As with ISS, GL permits companies to submit self-selected peer groups for GL’s consideration in conjunction with its proprietary peer group methodology, as we discuss more fully in a prior post. Starting December 14, 2020, companies filing proxies from February 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021 may make their submissions on GL’s website. While the proxy advisor has not yet publicly announced the closing date for this submission window, the corresponding window in 2019 closed January 31, 2020.