Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), a leading proxy advisory firm, recently launched a new data verification portal to assist it in verifying the information it uses in evaluating public company equity compensation plans. Public companies that file their proxy statements after September 8, 2014 (and that have an equity plan proposal on their proxy ballot), can use the portal to verify the key data points that ISS will use in its equity plan evaluation.
According to a recent set of FAQs, the data verification period will open after the date a participating company files its proxy statement. After the proxy is filed, ISS will direct the participating company to verify key data points and to request changes. Participating companies will then have two business days to respond to the ISS data verification request. Companies that request changes should expect a response from ISS within five days after the date the company submitted changes.
In light of the short data verification period, public companies may wish to consider registering for the portal in advance (outside company advisors cannot register for the portal). To prepare for the verification process, companies may also wish to familiarize themselves with Appendix A of the FAQs which sets forth 27 data verification questions.