NIRI Cincinnati Tri State Chapter
Twenty-two NIRI members and guests enjoyed great food and great company at the Cincinnati Tri State Chapter's annual holiday gathering at the Grand Finale restaurant. In addition to networking, members heard updates from two NIRI leaders who recently attended national or regional events:
- Dennis McDaniel provided insights from the NIRI Chapter Leadership Meeting in September, including:
- The most common issue facing chapters is membership recruitment and retention; some chapters offer various incentives such as prize drawings
- Thirty percent of chapters use a single fee (as does the Cincinnati Tri State Chapter) that covers membership and meetings
- Seventy percent of large chapters and 50 percent of smaller chapters use a paid administrator to help manage chapter business
At the Chapter Leadership meeting, the group also was given a demonstration of Directors Desk, a new, secure Internet tool to improve communications; heard from NIRI National President and CEO Nancy Humphries as she discussed her team's goal to advance the profession; and attended a half-day strategic leadership workshop emphasizing negotiation skills, self-assessment and gaining influence within members' organizations.
Dennis said two chapter events were highlighted as case studies in innovation; Cincinnati Tri State's June 2006 InvesTristate Regional Investment Conference was one of the two.
- Chapter President Heather Wietzel provided an overview of her recent attendance at the Senior Roundtable. Topics discussed at the Roundtable included directors and officers insurance for IROs, changes in the trading environment (Nasdaq and the NYSE), reputation risk management, tips for communicating with socially responsible investment funds and executive compensation disclosure.
Heather stressed the importance of knowing what needs to be in the proxy regarding executive compensation disclosure. New rules require that companies go beyond reporting just the numbers, and that they clearly detail the philosophy behind their compensation packages. Companies must show why they compensate executives the way they do, what kinds of performance targets are measured, etc. Heather noted there are 470 pages of rules, and this year and those going forward will require more than just a cursory review of the proxy by the IRO. The message is that companies should not and cannot disclose information in the vacuum of the legal world; they must disclose with the investor in mind. Companies should make sure their IROs are involved in the proxy review process early and in detail, bringing a sense of investor perception both to what is being reported for the year past as well as how that information will be interpreted alongside guidance in the future.