Glass Lewis

Subscribe to Glass Lewis RSS Feed

Glass Lewis Makes Key Changes to Proxy Voting and ESG Proposal Guidelines – Full Summary

On November 24, 2020, Glass Lewis (GL) released its 2021 Proxy Voting Policy Guidelines for the United States and its 2021 “Environmental, Social and Governance (‘ESG’) Initiatives,” which outlines the firm’s approach to ESG shareholder proposals.  The policies are effective for shareholder meetings held after January 1, 2021.  Feedback on GL’s policies may be submitted using the link at the top of GL’s voting policy guidelines page.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Releases 2021 Proxy Voting Guidelines

Glass Lewis (GL) announced yesterday that its 2021 Proxy Voting Policy Guidelines for the United States are now available. In addition, the proxy advisor announced the release of its 2021 “Environmental, Social and Governance (‘ESG’) Initiatives,” which includes the firm’s approach to shareholder proposals.

We are preparing a more fulsome Briefing: Governance blogpost summary.  In the meantime, the following are a few key changes:

  • BOARD GENDER DIVERSITY.   

Continue Reading

ISS Releases 2021 U.S. Proxy Voting Guidelines Today and other Upcoming Key Dates for ISS and Glass Lewis

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.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Shares Recommendation Rates for 2020 Proposals

On October 8, 2020, Glass Lewis (GL) released reports providing its overview of the 2020 proxy season. These reports cover selected shareholder vote results and trends, market and regulatory developments, and whether GL was supportive of proposals on various topics submitted to shareholder votes during the 2020 proxy season. On a selected basis, the reports also provide GL’s rationale for its 2020 voting recommendations on company-specific proposals.
Continue Reading

Davis Polk Client Alert: SEC Finalizes Rules for Proxy Advisors

The SEC voted (3 to 1) on Wednesday to adopt final rules that would regulate proxy advisory firms and permit companies that are the subject of their voting recommendation reports to provide responses. Read here for a summary of the rules.

Read the full alert here.

 
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Reports: Companies Can Now Include Unfiltered Opinions

Late yesterday, Glass Lewis (GL) announced that a company now has the option of having its opinion or position included in GL’s proxy research reports without being edited by the proxy advisor. This new service ensures that a company’s position will be delivered directly to every GL investor client and included on or accessible from the front page of the report.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Outlook on COVID-19’s Impact on the Present and Future of Governance for Boards and Companies

Glass Lewis (GL) shared last Thursday more of its perspective and outlook of the effect that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may have on corporate governance for the 2020 proxy season. GL explains that it is issuing further updates because “it is important to provide the market with certainty and transparency on [GL’s] established approach” given that it believes that all governance issues and most proposal types will be impacted by the pandemic.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Is Currently Accepting Peer Group Submissions

Glass Lewis is currently accepting peer group submissions on its website until next Friday, January 31, 2020, from public companies making proxy filings through July 31, 2020. For all other companies making proxy filings through January 31, 2021, the deadline for submissions is July 31, 2020.

Glass Lewis utilizes its Pay-for-Performance Model with its A-F grading system (the “P4P Methodology”) to assess the degree to which a company’s executive compensation aligns with the company’s performance.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis 2020 Guidelines Include Director Negative Recommendations Depending on SEC Staff’s Response Under Recently Updated Staff Shareholder Proposal No-Action Letter Policy

Glass Lewis (GL) has recently released its 2020 U.S. proxy season voting guidelines, which contain a few notable developments to consider in preparation for the upcoming proxy season.  These updates include changes related to the exclusion of shareholder proposals and company responsiveness to say-on-pay opposition, among other amendments, all of which are described in the sections that follow.
Continue Reading

Next Week SEC Will Consider Issuing Guidance on the Use and Responsibilities of Proxy Advisors

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) announced that the agenda for the Open Meeting, next Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. E.T., will include consideration by the Division of Corporation Finance on whether to publish an interpretation and related guidance regarding the utilization of proxy advice in the proxy voting process.

In addition, the Division of Investment Management will consider whether to publish guidance on the proxy voting responsibilities of investment advisers under Rule 206(4)-6 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. 
Continue Reading

New U.K. Rules for Proxy Advisory Firms

The Proxy Advisors (Shareholders’ Rights) Regulations 2019 (“Regulations”) in the United Kingdom went into effect this past Monday. Proxy advisory services typically include research reports on public companies as well as proxy voting recommendations on how the proxy advisors’ clients, namely shareholders, should vote on all shareholder proposals, including those that are submitted by the public company’s management.
Continue Reading

Is an Eventual Negative Say-on-Pay Recommendation Almost Inevitable?

Results of a study published in April 2019 by the executive compensation consulting firm Pearl Meyer suggest that Russell 3000 companies which have not yet received an “Against” Say-on-Pay (SOP) recommendation will likely receive one down the road. The firm states that “it’s reasonable to expect that at some point in the future, more than 80% of companies will have fallen victim to a negative vote recommendation at least once.”
Continue Reading

A Say-on-Pay Update — Plus Strategies for Responding to a Negative Recommendation by a Proxy Advisory Firm

The proxy season is just around the corner for calendar year public companies. Ahead of the season, two major proxy advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis, recently released their 2019 policy updates to provide guidance on how they will make recommendations on companies’ “say-on-pay” vote. Although a non-binding vote, performing poorly on a say-on-pay vote is not only disheartening, but can impact shareholder votes on election of directors (particularly compensation committee members), result in greater scrutiny of CEO performance, and require management and compensation committee members to expend significant time and resources to address concerns reflected by the vote.
Continue Reading

New Glass Lewis Policies Announce Negative Recommendations for Directors in Some Instances When Companies Exclude Special Meeting and Other Shareholder Proposals through SEC Process

Under its 2019 updated guidelines, Glass Lewis will typically recommend against the members of the nominating and governance committee when a company is able to exclude a shareholder proposal on the right to call special meetings by presenting the ratification of an existing provision through a management proposal.  That happened several times last season, with some controversy, when companies asked shareholders to ratify existing special meeting rights that had a higher ownership threshold than the shareholders had proposed.
Continue Reading

In Advance of Roundtable, SEC Withdraws Letters on Investment Advisers’ Reliance on Proxy Advisory Firms for Voting Recommendations

The SEC issued a statement today announcing that its Division of Investment Management has rescinded the letters issued in 2004 to ISS and Egan-Jones, effective immediately.

The letters have been criticized to have unintentionally resulted in the endorsement of investors using proxy advisory firms in making proxy voting recommendations, in order to address potential conflicts of interests by investment advisers exercising their fiduciary obligations when voting proxies. 
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Reports to Incorporate SASB Standards

Yesterday Glass Lewis announced that its proxy voting reports will include guidance from the standards developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).  SASB has ties with the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure, among other ESG disclosure initiatives, and has been working for years on industry-specific disclosure standards for use in SEC filings.

The reports will “display [SASB] content” and allow investors to “easily identify whether items are aligned with” SASB standards. 
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Updates Its Policy Guidelines

The board should take action when director elections or say-on-pay votes receive less than 80% support, according to the Glass Lewis updated policy guidelines:

Board responsiveness.  Glass Lewis believes that boards should respond to any ballot item that receives more than 20% approval or dissent votes by shareholders, including say-on-pay, director elections and shareholder proposals.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Will Not Incorporate Pay Ratio Data into Say-On-Pay Analysis in 2018

As year-end companies begin preparing to disclose pay ratio information in their 2018 proxy statements, Glass Lewis announced that it does not intend to make the ratio a part of the proxy advisor’s assessment of how investors should vote on say-on-pay “at this time” because it is not material for the analysis of the structures that companies use to pay their NEOs and the disclosures of those pay decisions.  
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis Policy Updates for 2017

Glass Lewis has updated its governance policies for how it evaluates boards and makes recommendations beginning with the 2017 proxy season.

OverboardingIn last year’s update, Glass Lewis deferred until this season its new overboarding policy. Beginning in 2017, Glass Lewis will generally recommend voting against an executive officer of any public company who serves on a total of more than two public company boards, and any other director who serves on a total of more than five public company boards.
Continue Reading

Glass Lewis CEO Responds to Proposed Legislation Governing Proxy Advisors

The prepared statement on the Proxy Advisory Firm Reform Act by the CEO of Glass Lewis, KT Rabin, before the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, explains why it refuses to share drafts with issuers or talk to companies during the solicitation period, unlike its biggest competitor, and debates the level of influence the firm has on voting outcomes.
Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation on Oversight of Proxy Advisory Firms

The Proxy Advisory Firm Reform Act, introduced by  Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin), is on the agenda for a hearing on Tuesday by the House Financial Services Committee.

Under the proposed legislation, proxy advisory firms must register with the SEC and provide information that would be made public about their procedures for advising their clients, including whether and how they consider the size of a company when making decisions.
Continue Reading

Companies Can Sign Up for Glass Lewis Data Verification Process

Until January 31 or whenever a specified limit is reached, NYSE and Nasdaq listed issuers can sign up for Glass Lewis’ data verification program, known as the Issuer Data Report (IDR) service, here. The service is available to companies with annual meetings between March 1 and June 30.

IDR is designed to enable public companies to access for free a data-only version of the Glass Lewis proxy report before Glass Lewis completes its analysis and proxy voting recommendations.
Continue Reading

Window Period Opens for Updating ISS and Glass Lewis About Changes to Peer Group Selection

Beginning today, ISS is accepting updates to companies’ self-selected compensation benchmarking peers, if those companies have annual meetings scheduled between February 1, 2016 and September 15, 2016. Submissions are due by 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 11, 2015.

Companies that have made changes to their peer group since the 2015 proxy statement should be aware that ISS uses the disclosed peers as an input into its own peer group selection process.
Continue Reading

LexBlog