We are delighted to welcome back Michelle Leder, principal of the fantastic resource footnoted. Michelle last spoke for ShareTraining in December 2009 and a LOT has happened in the financial markets since then! Her last presentation got great reviews, and we can’t wait to experience the next installment of Examining SEC Filings For Director and Executive Compensation. In the meantime, we asked Michelle to give us a teaser of her presentation, and she had this to say…
With so much information available on potential prospects with just a few keystrokes, figuring out where to begin your search can often be daunting. Here at footnoted, we think one of the best places to start is with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR database. And this time of year, when companies are filing their proxy statements (their more formal name is DEF 14A), is a particularly good time of year to dive into EDGAR.
A typical proxy statement has lots of good compensation-related information on what the top executives at a company (and sometimes even 1 or 2 former executives) are making as well as somewhat less detailed information on the company’s board of directors.
Whether you’re picking up a proxy statement for the first time or are a seasoned reader, the best place to start is with the summary compensation table. That will give you a quick run-down on the company’s top executives and how much they made last year as well as the prior two years, both in terms of their salary, bonus and other forms of compensation, like stock options and restricted shares. One quick word of warning, though: the stock compensation listed in the summary table may not be an accurate reading, due to the way the SEC makes companies calculate options.
But there’s lots of other useful information in the typical proxy statement beyond the summary compensation table and with many proxies running 100 pages or longer, it helps to know where to focus your attention so that you can find the most useful information quickly, with minimal stress. We’ll be talking about our best tips for getting through this year’s crop of proxy statements while they’re still fresh.
Join us with Michelle Leder on Tuesday, April 9, for our next great ShareTraining seminar!