Towers Watson launches Say-on-Pay shareholder survey tool
In an effort to help U.S. companies better connect with their shareholders in the new “say-on-pay” era, Towers Watson has launched an online survey tool. The tool is designed to “help companies better understand their shareholders’ views and perceptions on their executive compensation programmes”.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires publicly-traded companies to conduct periodic shareholder votes on their executive pay programmes, including votes on how often to conduct say-on-pay votes. In preparation for the say-on-pay era, many companies are trying to engage their key shareholders in a dialogue about executive compensation and related issues.
“For most U.S. companies, giving shareholders a say on pay will be a new experience when the 2011 proxy season arrives,” said Eric Larré, a Towers Watson consulting director who led the survey’s development. “And most companies are still trying to determine how to address the shareholder engagement process. This survey offers shareholders an easy way to express specific views that Congress and the SEC determined they were entitled to communicate via the proxy process.”
Towers Watson online survey tool
Allows shareholders to complete a questionnaire and provide their views on a wide range of executive compensation programmes and issues, including pay philosophy, performance measurement, pay levels, governance and shareholder preferences regarding the frequency of future say-on-pay votes.
Questionnaire consists of both multiple-choice and open-ended questions.
Companies receive a detailed report summarising shareholders’ responses, including an analysis of differing views of shareholders and what percentage of all company shareholders the respondents represent.
A final word
“Many companies are concerned about say on pay, and want to avoid the embarrassment and reputational damage resulting from negative or less-than-favourable shareholder votes on their pay programmes. They are also concerned that the actual proxy voting process, which allows only for a yes or no vote, will provide little insight into shareholder views of a company’s program and the hot buttons that can spark negative votes. Our survey is a simple, cost-effective way for companies to engage with key shareholders and gain the insight needed to help enhance shareholder support for their pay programmes. The institutional investors we consulted in developing the survey are also looking for an efficient way to make their views and concerns known, so this survey tool benefits everyone involved in the process.” - Eric Larré, consulting director, Towers Watson.
Want to know more?
View more information about the Towers Watson say-on-pay survey tool at www.towerswatson.com/united-states/research/2990.
Towers Watson is a “leading global professional services company that helps organisations improve performance through effective people, risk and financial management”. The company offers solutions in the areas of employee benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around the world and is located on the web at www.towerswatson.com.