The Equilar Institute provides in-depth research and analysis on boards of directors, shareholder engagement, executive compensation and other issues affecting the world of corporate governance. Below are some key highlights from the last quarter that showcase the in-depth information available in public filings via the Equilar database. Visit www.equilar.com/institute or www.equilar.com/blog.html to read these articles in full as well as many more.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market began to weaken as nationwide shelter-in-place orders forced businesses to temporarily halt all operations. Against the backdrop of a weak stock market and depressed stock prices, companies are forced to grant more shares than average. In order to avoid rapidly running out of available shares, one of the precautions that companies could take is accelerate their share request. This study analyzes additional share requests for grants at Russell 3000 companies from 2018 to 2020, as well as shareholder concerns regarding those requests.
In 2019, female representation on Russell 3000 boards surpassed 20% for the first time ever. A driving factor behind this monumental growth was the deadline created with the passing of the controversial SB-826 bill. This law mandated that all California-based public companies have at least one female director by December 31, 2019. Illinois passed similar legislation, and several other states may follow suit. An Equilar study examined the effects of this type of legislation across the United States.
Equal gender representation and pay continue to be important areas of focus across Corporate America, and this extends to the top of an organization. This Equilar analysis examines the gender pay differences of named executive officers (NEOs) among the Russell 3000 index. In 2019, among major executive roles, the chief executive was the only position in which women earned more than men.
The economic decline brought about by the onset of COVID-19 has increased the number of executive pay programs followed by bankruptcy. In light of the increased focus on bankruptcies, Equilar has developed a new bankruptcy compensation dataset (the “Dataset”), currently covering 62 public company bankruptcies. This segment is intended to give a brief overview of bankruptcy compensation generally, with a few highlights from the Dataset.