C. William Jones
March 15, 2009
I have a few comments on Douglas Chia’s “Ten Things to Keep in Mind” when
planning to implement Say on Pay.
Understand that I am opposed to legislation that would impose this process
on all companies. The proxy proposal process will single out companies that
deserve to be subjected to “Say on Pay,” because of their executive
compensation abuses. If the owners do not care, why should anyone else? The
one exception to this position is that TARP companies should be required to
submit to say on pay since they have demonstrated that they require help
from tax payers.
That said, it is my opinion that numbers
8 are the most important. Of these four, hearing from the companies that
have adopted and tried say on pay this year, should be elevated to the
number one position. I see no need to rush into the process. We can benefit
from the successes and failures of those who take the first steps.
C. William Jones
President & Executive
Association of BellTel
Reference to cited points of
Whatever “say on pay” ends up looking like, let’s make sure it yields
information that will be useful for investors, companies (management) and
Before implementing say on pay, let’s constantly ask ourselves, “What we
are trying to accomplish with say on pay?” and see if the proposed
solution would actually help to accomplish that goal.
Phrasing matters. Say on pay must be clear on exactly what shareholders
are being asked to vote.
Let’s first hear from the companies that have adopted and tried say on
pay, or are trying it for the first time this year, to see what their
experiences have been and what they were able to gain from it. Let’s also
watch carefully the upcoming say on pay votes at the TARP companies before
expanding this to the rest of the market.