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Proposed ISS Benchmark Policy Changes for 2021

Today, Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) announced the launch of its 2021 Benchmark Voting Policy comment period. ISS is soliciting input from market participants on proposed benchmark policy changes, effective for shareholder meetings taking place on or after February 1, 2021. The comment period will remain open until 5:00 PM ET on October 26, 2020, and ISS anticipates releasing its final benchmark policies in the first half of November, in line with previous years.

For the North American markets, ISS proposes the changes below covering board diversity, environmental and social risk oversight, and shareholder litigation rights. While ISS has not explicitly outlined policy changes surrounding its evaluation of executive compensation, we anticipate that ISS will take a nuanced and company specific case-by-case approach to certain executive compensation related matters related COVID-19 for the 2021 proxy season and beyond.

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