2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

DEAR STOCKHOLDER:

You are cordially invited to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of The Western Union Company (the “Company”), to be held at 8:00 a.m., local time, on Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Company’s headquarters, located at 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237. The registration desk will open at 7:30 a.m.

The attached notice and Proxy Statement contain details of the business to be conducted at the Annual Meeting. In addition, the Company’s 2018 Annual Report, which is being made available to you along with the Proxy Statement, contains information about the Company and its performance. Directors and certain officers of the Company will be present at the Annual Meeting.

Your vote is important! Whether or not you plan to attend the Annual Meeting, please read the Proxy Statement and then vote at your earliest convenience, by telephone, Internet, tablet or smartphone, or request a proxy card to complete, sign, date and return by mail. Using the telephone, Internet, tablet or smartphone voting systems, or mailing your completed proxy card, will not prevent you from voting in person at the Annual Meeting if you are a stockholder of record and wish to do so.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to express our appreciation for your continued interest in the Company.

Regards,

Hikmet Ersek
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT!

PLEASE PROMPTLY VOTE BY TELEPHONE, INTERNET, TABLET OR SMARTPHONE, OR REQUEST A PROXY CARD TO COMPLETE, SIGN, DATE AND RETURN BY MAIL SO THAT YOUR SHARES MAY BE VOTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR WISHES AND SO THAT THE PRESENCE OF A QUORUM MAY BE ASSURED. YOUR PROMPT ACTION WILL AID THE COMPANY IN REDUCING THE EXPENSE OF PROXY SOLICITATION.

Meeting Agenda and Voting Matters

How to Vote

YOUR VOTE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

TELEPHONE INTERNET BY MAIL BY TABLET OR SMARTPHONE IN PERSON

Beneficial Owners call toll free at 1-800-454-8683

Registered Holders call toll free at 1-866-883-3382

Beneficial Owners visit www.proxyvote.com

Registered Holders visit www.proxypush.com/wu

Request a paper proxy card to complete, sign, date and return

Beneficial Owners vote your shares online with your tablet or smartphone by scanning the QR code above.

Registered Holders vote your shares online with your tablet or smartphone by scanning the QR code on your Proxy Card.

Attend the Annual Meeting

MEMBERS OF OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Martin I. Cole
Hikmet Ersek
Richard A. Goodman
Betsy D. Holden
Jeffrey A. Joerres
Roberto G. Mendoza
Michael A. Miles, Jr.
Robert W. Selander
Angela A. Sun
Frances Fragos Townsend
Solomon D. Trujillo

INFORMATION ABOUT OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Governance Highlights

Annual Election of Directors
Proxy Access
Majority Vote Standard in Uncontested Elections
Stockholder Right to Call Special Meetings (with the stock ownership requirement to call such meetings reduced from 20% to 10% in 2018)
No Stockholder Rights Plan (“Poison Pill”)
No Supermajority Voting Provisions in the Company’s Organizational Documents
Independent Board, Except Our Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”)
Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Independent Board Committees
Confidential Stockholder Voting
Board Committee Authority to Retain Independent Advisors
Robust Codes of Conduct
Robust Stock Ownership Guidelines for Senior Executives and Directors
Prohibition Against Pledging and Hedging of Company Stock by Senior Executives and Directors
Regular Stockholder Engagement

Core Components of 2018 Executive Compensation

  • Base Salary - Fixed compensation component payable in cash
  • Annual Incentive Awards - Variable compensation component payable in cash based on performance against annually established performance objectives
  • Performance-Based Restricted Stock Units (“PSUs”) - Restricted stock units vest based on the Company’s achievement of financial performance objectives and the Company’s relative total stockholder return (“TSR”) versus the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500 Index”)
  • Restricted Stock Units (“RSUs”) - RSUs generally cliff vest on the third anniversary of the date of grant based on continued service during the vesting period
  • Stock Options - For our CEO, non-qualified stock options granted with an exercise price equal to fair market value on the date of grant that expire ten years after grant and become exercisable in 25% annual increments over a four-year vesting period

 

key Features of Our Executive Compensation Program

WHAT WE DO

  • Pay-for-performance and at-risk compensation. A significant portion of our targeted annual compensation is performance-based and/or subject to forfeiture (“at-risk”), with emphasis on variable pay to reward short- and long-term performance measured against pre-established objectives informed by our Company’s strategy. For 2018, performance-based compensation comprised approximately 83% of the targeted annual compensation for our CEO and, on average, approximately 61% of the targeted annual compensation for the other NEOs. The remaining components of our NEOs’ 2018 targeted annual compensation consisted of base salary and service-based RSUs, with the Compensation and Benefits Committee (the “Compensation Committee”) viewing RSUs as at-risk as their value fluctuates based on our stock price performance.
  • Align compensation with stockholder interests. Performance measures for incentive compensation are linked to the overall performance of the Company, and are designed to be aligned with the creation of long-term stockholder value.
  • Emphasis on future pay opportunity vs. current pay. Our long-term incentive awards are equity-based and have multi-year vesting provisions to encourage retention. For 2018, long-term equity compensation comprised approximately 73% of the targeted annual compensation for our CEO and, on average, approximately 60% of the targeted annual compensation for the other NEOs.
  • Mix of performance metrics. The Company utilizes a mix of performance metrics that emphasize both absolute performance goals, which provide the primary links between incentive compensation and the Company’s strategic operating plan and financial results, and a relative performance goal, which measures Company performance in comparison to the S&P 500 Index.
  • Stockholder engagement. The Compensation Committee chair and members of management seek to engage with stockholders regularly to discuss and understand their perceptions or concerns regarding our executive compensation program.
  • “Clawback” policies. The Company may recover incentive compensation paid to an executive officer that was calculated based upon any financial result or performance metric impacted by fraud or misconduct of the executive officer. In addition, the Company’s compliance clawback policy allows the Company to recover incentive compensation paid to an executive officer for conduct that is later determined to have contributed to future compliance failures, subject to applicable laws.
  • Robust stock ownership guidelines. We require our executive officers to own a meaningful amount of Company stock to align them with long-term stockholder interests (six-times base salary in the case of our CEO and three-times base salary for our other NEOs).
  • Three-year performance period for PSUs.
  • Outside compensation consultant retained by the Compensation Committee.
  • “Double trigger” severance benefits in the event of a change-in-control.
  • Maximum payout caps for annual cash incentive compensation and PSUs.
  • Consider compliance in compensation program.

WHAT WE DON'T DO

  • No repricing or buyout of underwater stock options. None of our equity plans permit the repricing or buyout of underwater stock options or stock appreciation rights without stockholder approval, except in connection with certain corporate transactions involving the Company.
  • No change-in-control tax gross ups for individuals promoted or hired after April 2009. Mr. Ersek is the only Company employee who remains eligible for excise tax gross-up payments based on Compensation Committee action in 2009.
  • No dividends or dividend equivalents are paid on unvested or unearned PSUs or RSUs.
  • Prohibition against pledging and hedging of Company securities by senior executives and directors.

Chief Executive Officer Compensation

The following chart demonstrates that our CEO’s compensation is heavily weighted toward “at risk” and performance-based pay elements, and such elements comprised approximately 90% and 83% of the 2018 total targeted direct compensation for Mr. Ersek, respectively. Pay is based on the annual base salary and target incentive opportunities applicable to Mr. Ersek as of December 31, 2018.

CEO 2018 TOTAL TARGET DIRECT COMPENSATION

Since a significant portion of Mr. Ersek’s compensation is both performance-based and “at-risk,” we are providing the following supplemental graph to compare Mr. Ersek’s total target direct compensation to the compensation “realizable” by him for each of 2016, 2017 and 2018. For the cumulative period of 2016 to 2018, realizable pay was approximately 35% lower than total target direct compensation for that period.

We believe the “realizable” compensation and its relationship to total target direct compensation in each of the years and over the three-year cumulative period reflective of the Compensation Committee’s emphasis on “pay-for-performance” in that differences between realizable pay and total target direct compensation, as well as fluctuations year-over-year are primarily the result of our stock performance and our varying levels of achievement against pre-established performance goals under our Annual Incentive Plan and Long-Term Incentive Plan.

CEO TOTAL
TARGET DIRECT COMPENSATION
VERSUS TOTAL REALIZABLE COMPENSATION(1)
ceototaltarger_high.jpg
  1. This graph and the total target direct compensation and total realizable compensation reported in this graph provide supplemental information regarding the compensation paid to Mr. Ersek and should not be viewed as a substitute for the 2018 Summary Compensation Table.
  2. Amounts reported in the calculation of total target direct compensation consist of (a) annualized base salary, (b) target annual incentive opportunities granted to Mr. Ersek with respect to each of the years shown under the Annual Incentive Plan and (c) the target grant values of the long-term incentives granted to Mr. Ersek with respect to each of the years shown under the Long-Term Incentive Plan.
  3. Amounts reported in the calculation of total realizable compensation consist of (a) annualized base salary, (b) actual annual incentive payments received by Mr. Ersek with respect to each of the years shown under the Annual Incentive Plan, (c) the value realized from the exercise of stock options and for unexercised stock options, the difference between the exercise price and the closing stock price on the last trading day of 2018, each reported in the year granted, (d) the value realized upon vesting of PSUs and the value of unvested PSUs based on the closing stock price on the last trading day of 2018 and estimated performance as of December 31, 2018, each reported in the year granted, and (e) the value of unvested RSUs based on the closing stock price on the last trading day of 2018, each reported in the year granted.

THE PROXY PROCESS AND STOCKHOLDER VOTING

WHY DID I RECEIVE THESE MATERIALS?

Our Board of Directors has made these materials available to you on the Internet or, upon your request, has delivered printed versions of these materials to you by mail, in connection with the Board’s solicitation of proxies for use at our Annual Meeting, which will take place on May 17, 2019, or any adjournment or postponement thereof. Our stockholders are invited to attend the Annual Meeting and are requested to vote on the proposals  described in this Proxy Statement.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF I RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE NOTICE OF INTERNET AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS OR SET OF PROXY MATERIALS?

This means you hold shares of the Company in more than one way. For example, you may own some shares directly as a Registered Holder and other shares through a broker or you may own shares through more than one broker. In these situations, you may receive multiple Notices of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or, if you request proxy materials to be delivered to you by mail, Proxy Cards. It is necessary for you to vote, sign, and return all of the Proxy Cards or follow the instructions for any alternative voting procedure on each of the Notices of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials you receive in order to vote all of the shares you own. If you request proxy materials to be delivered to you by mail, each Proxy Card you receive will come with its own prepaid return envelope; if you vote by mail, make sure you return each Proxy Card in the return envelope that accompanied that Proxy Card.

WHY DID MY HOUSEHOLD RECEIVE ONLY ONE COPY OF THE NOTICE OF INTERNET AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS OR PROXY MATERIALS?

In addition to furnishing proxy materials electronically, we take advantage of the SEC’s “householding” rules to reduce the delivery cost of materials. Under such rules, only one Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or, if you have requested paper copies, only one set of proxy materials is delivered to multiple stockholders sharing an address unless we have received contrary instructions from one or more of the stockholders. If you are a stockholder sharing an address and wish to receive a separate Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or copy of the proxy materials, you may so request by contacting the Broadridge Householding Department by phone at
1-866-540-7095 or by mail to Broadridge Householding Department, 51 Mercedes Way, Edgewood, NY 11717. A separate copy of the proxy materials will be promptly provided following receipt of your request, and you will receive separate materials in the future. If you currently share an address with another stockholder but are nonetheless receiving separate copies of the materials, you may request delivery of a single copy in the future by contacting the Broadridge Householding Department at the number or address shown above.

DOES MY VOTE MATTER?

YES! We are required to obtain stockholder approval for the election of directors and other important matters. Each share of Common Stock is entitled to one vote and every share voted has the same weight. In order for the Company to obtain the necessary stockholder approval of proposals, a “quorum” of stockholders (a majority of the issued and outstanding shares entitled to vote) must be represented at the Annual Meeting in person or by proxy. If a quorum is not obtained, the Company must adjourn or postpone the Annual Meeting and solicit additional proxies; this is an expensive and time-consuming process that is not in the best interest of the Company or its stockholders. Since few stockholders can spend the time or money to attend stockholder meetings in person, voting by proxy is important to obtain a quorum and complete the stockholder vote.

HOW DO I VOTE?

  By Telephone or Internet—You may vote your shares via telephone as instructed on the Proxy Card, or the Internet as instructed on the Proxy Card or the Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials. The telephone and Internet procedures are designed to authenticate your identity, to allow you to vote your shares, and confirm that your instructions have been properly recorded.

The telephone and Internet voting facilities will close at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on May 16, 2019.

  By Mail—If you request paper Proxy Cards by telephone or Internet, you may elect to vote by mail. If you elect to do so, you should complete, sign, and date each Proxy Card you receive, indicating your voting preference on each proposal, and return each Proxy Card in the prepaid envelope that accompanied each Proxy Card. If you return a signed and dated Proxy Card but you do not indicate your voting preferences, your shares will be voted in accordance with the recommendations of the Board of Directors. By returning your signed and dated Proxy Card or providing instructions by the alternative voting procedure in time to be received for the Annual Meeting, you authorize Hikmet Ersek and Caroline Tsai to act as your proxies (the “Proxies”) to vote your shares of Common Stock as specified.

  By Tablet or Smartphone—If you are a Beneficial Owner, you may vote your shares online with your tablet or smartphone by scanning the QR code above. If you are a Registered Holder, you may vote your shares online with your tablet or smartphone by scanning the QR code on your Proxy Card. The ability to vote in this way by tablet or smartphone will expire at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on May 16, 2019.

  At the Annual Meeting—Shares held in your name as a Registered Holder may be voted by you in person at the Annual Meeting. Shares held  by Beneficial Holders may be voted by you in person at the Annual Meeting only if you obtain a legal proxy from the broker or agent that holds your shares giving you the right to vote the shares, and you bring such proxy to the Annual Meeting.

Shares held in The Western Union Company Incentive Savings Plan—For shares held in The Western Union Company Incentive Savings Plan (the “ISP”), that plan’s trustee will vote such shares as directed. If no direction is given on how to vote such shares to the trustee by mail on or before May 14, 2019 or by Internet, telephone, tablet or smartphone by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on May 16, 2019, the trustee will vote your shares held in that ISP in the same proportion as the shares for which it receives instructions from all other participants in the ISP.

HOW MANY VOTES ARE REQUIRED TO APPROVE A PROPOSAL?

The Company’s By-Laws (the “By-Laws”) require that directors be elected by the majority of votes cast with respect to such director in uncontested elections (the number of shares voted “for” a director must exceed the number of votes cast “against” that director with abstentions and broker non-votes not counted as votes “for” or “against”). In a contested election (a situation in which the number of nominees exceeds the number of directors to be elected), the standard for election of directors will be a plurality of the shares represented in person or by proxy at any such meeting and entitled to vote on the election of directors.

The advisory vote to approve executive compensation (Proposal 2), the ratification of Ernst & Young LLP’s selection as independent registered public accounting firm for 2019 (Proposal 3), and the stockholder proposal regarding political contributions disclosure (Proposal 4) each require the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of Common Stock present in person or represented by proxy at the Annual Meeting and entitled to vote thereon.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF NOT VOTING?

It depends on how ownership of your shares is registered and the proposal to be voted upon. If you own shares as a Registered Holder, rather than through a broker, your unvoted shares will not be represented at the Annual Meeting and will not count toward the quorum requirement. Except as described below regarding your broker’s ability to vote your shares on certain matters, and assuming a quorum is obtained, your unvoted shares will not affect whether a proposal is approved or rejected.

If you own shares as a Beneficial Holder through a broker and do not vote, your broker may represent your shares at the meeting for purposes of obtaining a quorum. As described in the answer to the following question, in the absence of your voting instruction, your broker may or may not be authorized to vote your shares.

IF I DON’T VOTE, WILL MY BROKER VOTE FOR ME?

If you own your shares as a Beneficial Holder through a broker and you don’t vote, your broker may vote your shares in its discretion on some “routine matters.” With respect to other proposals, however, your broker may not be able to vote your shares for you. With respect to these proposals, the aggregate number of unvoted shares is reported as the “broker non-vote.” A “broker non-vote” share will not affect the determination of whether the matter is approved. The Company believes that the proposal to ratify Ernst & Young LLP’s selection as independent registered public accounting firm for 2019 (Proposal 3) set forth in this Proxy Statement is a routine matter on which brokers will be permitted to vote shares on your behalf, even without voting instructions. If your broker votes these shares on your behalf, your shares will be counted as present for purposes of establishing a quorum at the Annual Meeting.

Other than Proposal 3, the Company believes that all proposals set forth in this Proxy Statement are not considered routine matters and brokers will not be able to vote on behalf of their clients if no voting instructions have been furnished. Please vote your shares on all proposals.

HOW ARE ABSTENTIONS TREATED?

Whether you own your shares as a Registered Holder or as a Beneficial Holder, abstentions are counted toward the quorum requirement and have the same effect as votes “against” a proposal, other than the proposal to elect directors (Proposal 1), on which they have no effect.

IF I OWN MY SHARES THROUGH A BROKER, HOW IS MY VOTE RECORDED?

Brokers typically own shares of Common Stock for many stockholders. In this situation, the Registered Holder on the Company’s stock register is the broker or its nominee. This often is referred to as holding shares in “Street Name.” The Beneficial Holders of such shares do not appear in the Company’s stockholder register. If you hold your shares in Street Name, and elect to vote via telephone, Internet, tablet or smartphone, your vote will be submitted to your broker. If you request paper Proxy Cards and elect to vote by mail, the accompanying return envelope is addressed to return your executed Proxy Card to your broker. Shortly before the Annual Meeting, each broker will total the votes submitted by telephone, Internet, tablet or smartphone or mail by the Beneficial Holders for whom it holds shares and submit a Proxy Card reflecting the aggregate votes of such Beneficial Holders.

IS MY VOTE CONFIDENTIAL?

In accordance with the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines, the vote of any stockholder will not be revealed to anyone other than a non-employee tabulator of votes or an independent election inspector (the “Inspector of Election”), except (i) as necessary to meet applicable legal and stock exchange listing requirements, (ii) to assert claims for or defend claims against the Company, (iii) to allow the Inspector of Election to certify the results of the stockholder vote, (iv) in the event a proxy, consent, or other solicitation in opposition to the voting recommendation of the Board of Directors takes place, (v) if a stockholder has requested that his or her vote be disclosed, or (vi) to respond to stockholders who have written comments on Proxy Cards.

CAN I REVOKE MY PROXY AND CHANGE MY VOTE?

Yes. You have the right to revoke your proxy at any time prior to the time your shares are voted. If you are a Registered Holder, your proxy can be revoked in several ways: (i) by timely delivery of a written revocation delivered to the Corporate Secretary, (ii) by timely submission of another valid proxy bearing a later date (including through any alternative voting procedure described on the Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or Proxy Card), or (iii) by attending the Annual Meeting and giving the Inspector of Election notice that you intend to vote your shares in person. If your shares are held by a broker, you must contact your broker in order to revoke your proxy.

WILL ANY OTHER BUSINESS BE TRANSACTED AT THE MEETING? IF SO, HOW WILL MY PROXY BE VOTED?

Management does not know of any business to be transacted at the Annual Meeting other than those matters described in this Proxy Statement. The period specified in the Company’s By-Laws for submitting additional proposals to be considered at the Annual Meeting has passed and there are no such proposals to be considered. However, should any other matters properly come before the Annual Meeting, and any adjournments and postponements thereof, shares with respect to which voting authority has been granted to the Proxies will be voted by the Proxies in accordance with their judgment.

WHO COUNTS THE VOTES?

Votes will be counted and certified by the Inspector of Election, who is an employee of Equiniti Trust Company, the Company’s Transfer Agent and Registrar (“Equiniti”). If you are a Registered Holder, your telephone, Internet, tablet, or smartphone vote is submitted, or your executed Proxy Card is returned, directly to Equiniti for tabulation. As noted above, if you hold your shares as a Beneficial Holder, your broker returns a single Proxy Card to Equiniti on behalf of its clients.

HOW MUCH DOES THE PROXY SOLICITATION COST?

The Company has engaged the firm of MacKenzie Partners, Inc., 105 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, to assist in distributing and soliciting proxies for a fee of approximately $20,000, plus expenses. However, the proxy solicitor fee is only a small fraction of the total cost of the proxy process. A significant expense in the proxy process is printing and mailing the proxy materials. The Company will also reimburse brokers, fiduciaries, and custodians for their costs in forwarding proxy materials to Beneficial Holders of our Common Stock. Proxies also may be solicited on behalf of the Company by directors, officers, or employees of the Company in person or by mail, telephone, email, or facsimile transmission. No additional compensation will be paid to such directors, officers, or employees for soliciting proxies. The Company will bear the entire cost of solicitation of proxies, including the preparation, assembly, printing, and mailing of the Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials, and this Proxy Statement and the accompanying Proxy Card, Notice of Meeting, and 2018 Annual Report.

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS

The Company’s Proxy Statement and 2018 Annual Report are available at www.proxyvote.com for Beneficial Holders and www.proxydocs.com/wu for Registered Holders. To access such materials, you will need the control/identification numbers provided to you in your Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or your Proxy Card. You may also access this Proxy Statement and 2018 Annual Report at www.wuannualmeeting.com.