Over the next few months we are likely to witness the development of a “perfect storm” of corporate governance reforms and executive compensation changes at U.S. public companies. The magnitude of the 2008 – 2009 financial crisis, the perception that the global recession was caused in part by compensation programs that encouraged executives to take inappropriate risks, and widespread popular dissatisfaction with current pay practices and governance standards are aligning in ways that are likely to cause major turmoil for public companies. Rules proposed by the SEC and the Treasury Department, and pending legislation, would facilitate shareholder proxy access in director elections and require majority voting for directors in uncontested elections.
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