Center On Executive Compensation
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A Final Look at Say on Pay for 2021

Published on: October 9, 2021

Authors: Ani Huang

Topics: Executive Pay Legislation and Regulation, Shareholder Viewpoints

This year’s historically high Say on Pay failure rate for the S&P 500 is due to COVID-related pay actions as well as problematic pay practices and special awards, according to Semler Brossy’s latest update. The report, which was last conducted in July, also found that high support for ESG proposals was unchanged, with 18% of social proposals and 39% of environmental proposals garnering majority support. 
 
Other findings of the report include: 
S&P 500
  • The overall failure rate for the S&P 500 is 4%, almost double what it was last year (2.3%). 
  • Average vote results are 88.5%, which is also lower than last year.
  • At this point, 12% of the S&P 500 has failed their Say on Pay vote at least once since it was required, and 37% have received below 70% support at least once.
Russell 3000
  • Turning to the full Russell 3000, 11.1% of companies have received an “Against” ISS recommendation and the average downturn in investor support for those companies is 31% (at the high end of historical record).
  • On shareholder proposals, median support for social proposals is 32% and environmental proposals as high as 42%. The number that passed was more than double last year and proposals requesting EEO-1 reports, D&I reporting, and emission target reduction had very high support (often above 70%).
  • Only three companies failed an equity plan proposal vote, and overall support was high (89%).

Ani Huang

President and CEO, Center On Executive Compensation

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Contact Ani Huang LinkedIn

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