ISS Announces Limited Benchmark Policy Updates: ISS Updates Its 2019 Benchmark Proxy Voting Policies for the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific Regions, to Take Effect for Shareholder Meetings Held on or After February 1, 2019Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - November 19, 2018
Today, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) announced updates to its 2019 benchmark proxy voting policies for the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific regions. The updates include a new voting policy designed to promote board gender diversity for U.S. companies with all-male boards beginning in 2020, which is consistent with the policy for which ISS solicited comments in October. Notably, the proposed switch to economic value added measures for evaluating CEO Pay-for-Performance was not adopted, meaning there will be no changes in ISS’s screening methodology for 2019.
As previously discussed in our memo dated October 22, 2018, before today’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 2018.