Like your favorite suit, sustainability reporting is not new, but it looks good on your organization. Ninety-five percent of companies in the Global 250 issue a sustainability report, an issuance that is now widely considered a best practice.
2019 could be the year of the human, at least where shareholder proposals are concerned. Proposals this year run the gamut, from talent and diversity, to battling plastics and opioids. A snapshot of four human issues making the rounds at annual meetings.
One piece of legislation from the Dodd-Frank Act that concerned executives required companies to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to the median employee. Last year was the first year for companies to report this metric. An analysis on the first year of pay ratio disclosures looks at the fallout from last year, implications of the rule, how most companies measured median pay, and what companies should do to prepare to keep the spotlight away in 2019.
Another proxy season is underway—leaders beware. Although the usual concerns of corporate governance, executive compensation and regulatory disclosures abound, new, specific worries sit under each of those umbrellas. Under compensation, one proxy advisory firm has a new way to evaluate compensation metrics. Within the disclosure realm, the optics of pay ratio disclosure will continue to create flashy headlines in 2019. Approach with caution.
Proxy season is often a showcase of the haves and have nots in the governance realm, with cards stacked mostly in corporations’ favor. Meet the universal proxy ballot, an idea that would level the proxy playing field. Although it’s currently a fledgling idea, watch for this cause to gain momentum.
While bank fundamentals remain strong, current valuations are the lowest since 2004, well before the financial crisis. That could spell bad news across industries, because the health of the financial services sector remains a harbinger of the overall health of global markets. Although there are a few reasons to feel cautiously optimistic about the economy, recession triggers abound.