Case Study: Democratizing Corporate Governance: Aflac Wins Shareholder Support by Giving Them a ‘Say on Pay’

Company: Aflac Agency: Fleishman-Hillard Timeframe: 2007-2008 The American Family Life Insurance Company (Aflac) may be best known in the consumer marketplace for its quirky, quacky duck mascot, but the insurance giant made a different type of impression on the investor community with its "Say on Pay" initiative. The idea began germinating in 2006, when some shareholders inquired about voting on executive compensation practices--a highly controversial topic that has come under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years. What followed the shareholders' initial inquiry would become a historic moment in the context of corporate governance. Democratizing Shareholder Relations Grants Power To The People Around the same time shareholders began getting restless about executive compensation practices at public companies, Aflac's communications team was charged with reinforcing the company's rationale for its own compensation practices, as well as its pay-for-performance commitment, to the investor community via business media. This effort centered on Aflac CEO Dan Amos' decision to give shareholders a "Say on Pay," inviting them to vote on the management's practices.

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