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"Say on Pay" and other Corporate Governance Issues to be Topic of New York Conference

February 17, 2009

NEW YORK - Feb. 17, 2009 - The New York Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI-NY) will hold a joint conference with the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA) on proxy communication and corporate governance issues on March 11.

The conference will include spirited discussion among leading experts about "Say on Pay" and related questions that are being put to a shareholder vote this year. Pay for performance, corporate-governance ratings, and board-of-director compensation are other major questions to be discussed. The intent is to help investors make better decisions through analysis of corporate proxies and to help investor-relations personnel better communicate these issues.

"Our speakers have extensive corporate-governance experience in a wide range of roles including senior corporate executive, corporate director, public relations counsel, rating agency head, investment advisor and compensation consultant," said Nils Paellmann, president of NIRI-NY. "We will discuss critical issues that our members must communicate in proxy statements and that investors must decide when voting."

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires publicly-traded companies to distribute a proxy statement prior to a shareholder meeting. The proxy statement contains detailed information about nominated directors, executive compensation, and other corporate-governance matters. Many companies prepare proxy statements at this time of year for annual shareholder meetings.

Confirmed conference speakers include:

  • Ken Bertsch, Head of Corporate Governance, Morgan Stanley Investment Management
  • Jill Kanin-Lovers, Director, Heidrick & Struggles, First Advantage, Dot Foods, and Bearing Point
  • Steve O'Byrne, President, Shareholder Value Advisors
  • Andrew Richter, Head of Compensation & Benefits, NBC Universal
  • Hollis Rafkin-Sax, recently retired Vice-Chairman of FTI Consulting
  • Howard Sherman, President, GovernanceMetrics International
  • Charlie Tharp, EVP for Policy, Center on Executive Compensation; Former Head of Human Resources, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Specific questions to be discussed include:

  • How can investors use proxy disclosures for investment decisions?
  • What are the emerging governance issues for investors and boards?
  • How are corporate governance ratings applied in the investment process?
  • How are directors viewing the challenges of executive compensation?
  • Does compensation impact performance?
  • How can companies effectively communicate compensation and governance issues to investors?

The conference will be held at the office of the NYSSA, 1177 Avenue of Americas, New York, on March 11 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Further information and online registration is available at and

William A. Walkowiak, CFA
Vice President - Programs, NIRI-NY
Senior Vice President - Fleishman-Hillard


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