Would Companies Drop Compensation Committees to Evade SEC Rule?- Financial reform this week
Your guide to Dodd-Frank law deadlines, hearings and related events for the week of May 16
Thursday is the deadline to offer suggestions on the Securities and Exchange Commission's plan to require publicly-traded companies to disclose possible conflicts of interest for board members and for consultants hired to set top executives' pay.
The SEC proposal has been applauded by pro-investor groups who worry that compensation consultants may be tempted to recommend higher pay packages for executives as a way to win other kinds of business from a company.
Under the proposal, every member of a company's compensation committee would be required to be an independent member of the board of directors. When the plan was announced in March, SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar said he supported it but questioned whether the rule might prompt some companies to dissolve their compensation committees and assign another board group to set pay issues.
"If various companies don’t have compensation committees, it could harm both shareholders and companies," Aguilar said. "Shareholders would have the additional burden of continually monitoring how a particular company is making compensation decisions. And companies complying with the rules may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Neither of these results is appropriate but they are a possibility under the proposal."
Other Congressional hearings, rulemaking deadlines and events related to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law this week:
Monday, May 16
Tuesday, May 17
Wednesday, May 18
Morgan Stanley shareholders meeting - Morgan Stanley holds its annual shareholders meeting in Purchase, N.Y.
Thursday, May 19
Market utilities - Deadline for public comments on the Fed's proposed financial market utilities rule.
Executive pay - Deadline for public comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposal that would require a publicly traded company's compensation committee to be made up of independent members. The proposal would also require disclosures of the use the compensation consultants and any conflicts of interest .