ISS Announces Benchmark Policy Updates: ISS Updates Its 2020 Benchmark Proxy Voting Policies for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific Regions, to Take Effect for Shareholder Meetings Held on or After February 1, 2020

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - November 14, 2019
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Tuesday, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) announced updates to its 2020 benchmark proxy voting policies for the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”), and Asia-Pacific regions. Within the United States, the updates include changes related to governance and capital structures in newly public companies, independent director proposals, and share repurchase program proposals. ISS’ gender diversity policy, a 2019 update to ISS benchmark policies, also will become effective, and it will be the first season that ISS will issue negative recommendations under its director compensation policy.

As previously discussed in our memo dated October 8, 2019, before Tuesday’s release, ISS had solicited comments on these policies from asset owners, asset managers, companies, and other market players.  Additional information regarding these policies may be included when ISS issues Proxy Voting Research Procedures & Policies Frequently Asked Questions, which are expected to be released in December 2019.