On August 1, 2011, ISS published its preliminary report of the 2011 proxy season.  The report is available for download here (free registration required):

http://www.issgovernance.com/docs/2011USSeasonPreview

Key findings of the report related to say on pay include:

  • Average support for Say on Pay votes was 91.2%
  • Say on pay votes failed at 37 Russell 3000 companies (1.6% of total companies reporting vote results)
  • The primary reason for failed say on pay votes appears to have been pay-for-performance concerns, which were identified at 27 of the companies whose say on pay votes failed
  • Largest number of failures (about 25% of total) occurred in the energy sector
  • Investors also registered significant opposition to the say on pay votes of homebuilders
  • Vote No campaigns were run by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) against the say on pay vote proposals of 5 companies: Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Alcoa, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil
  • Through June 30, 2011, annual say on pay frequency gained majority (or plurality) support at 1,792 companies in the Russell 3000 companies
  • Two companies (Annaly Capital Management and American Reprographics) announced that they will implement triennial say on pay votes, even though their shareholders gave majority support to annual say on pay votes
  • The 168 companies that received greater than 30% opposition on their say on pay votes in 2011 will receive greater attention in 2012
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