SUMMARY OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PRACTICES
The Board of Directors believes that strong corporate governance is key to long-term stockholder value creation. Over the years, our Board of Directors has responded to evolving governance standards by enhancing our practices to best serve the interests of the Company’s stockholders, including:
Annual election of directors.
Proxy access. Our By-Laws permit qualifying stockholders or groups of qualifying stockholders that have each beneficially owned at least 3% of the Company’s Common Stock for three years to nominate up to an aggregate of 20% of the members of the Board and have information and supporting statements regarding those nominees included in the Company’s Proxy Statement.
Majority vote standard in uncontested elections. In an uncontested election, each director must be elected by a majority of votes cast, rather than by a plurality.
Stockholder right to call special meetings at 10% ownership threshold.
No stockholder rights plan (“poison pill”).
No supermajority voting provisions in the Company’s organizational documents.
Independent Board, except our CEO. Our Board is comprised of all independent directors, except our CEO.
Independent non-executive chairman. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is a non-executive independent director.
Independent Board committees. Each of the Audit, Compensation, and Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committees is made up of independent directors, and all voting members of the Compliance Committee are independent. Each standing committee operates under a written charter that has been approved by the Board.
Confidential stockholder voting. The Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines provide that the vote of any stockholder will not be revealed to anyone other than a non-employee tabulator of votes or an independent election inspector, except under circumstances set forth in the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.
Board Committee authority to retain independent advisors. Each Board Committee has the authority to retain independent advisors.
Robust codes of conduct. The Company is committed to operating its business with honesty and integrity and maintaining the highest level of ethical conduct. These absolute values are embodied in our Code of Conduct and require that every customer, employee, agent and member of the public be treated accordingly. The Company Code of Conduct applies to all employees, but the Company’s senior financial officers are also subject to an additional code of ethics, reflecting the Company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct. In addition, the Board of Directors is subject to a Directors’ Code of Conduct.
Board Committee oversight of ESG matters. In December 2019, we amended our Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee Charter to assign the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee responsibility for reviewing and advising the Board with respect to ESG matters related to the Company. In addition, the Company intends to produce an ESG report on an annual basis (the “ESG Report”). The ESG Report for fiscal year 2018 can be found on the Company’s investor relations website: http://ir.westernunion.com/investorrelations/ESG/default.aspx. With oversight from the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee, the Company intends to enhance its ESG strategy prior to the publication of its ESG Report in 2021 with a focus on its material ESG issues. The information in the Company’s ESG Reports is not incorporated by reference into, and does not form part of, this Proxy Statement.
Robust stock ownership guidelines for senior executives and directors. Robust stock ownership requirements for our senior executives and directors strongly link the interests of management and the Board with those of stockholders.
Prohibition against pledging and hedging of Company stock. The Company’s insider trading policies prohibit the Company’s executive officers and directors from pledging the Company’s securities and prohibit all employees (including executive officers) and directors from engaging in hedging or short-term speculative trading of the Company’s securities, including, without limitation, short sales or put or call options involving the Company’s securities. Please see “Compensation of Directors—Prohibition Against Pledging and Hedging of the Company’s Securities” and “Compensation Discussion and Analysis—The Western Union Executive Compensation Program—Prohibition Against Pledging and Hedging of the Company’s Securities,” below.
Regular stockholder engagement. The Company regularly seeks to engage with its stockholders to better understand their perspectives.
You can learn more about our corporate governance by visiting the “Investor Relations, Corporate Governance” portion of the Company’s website, www.westernunion.com, or by writing to the attention of: Investor Relations, The Western Union Company, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, WU-HQ-14, Denver, Colorado 80237.
INDEPENDENCE OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors has adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines, which contain the standards that the Board of Directors uses to determine whether a director is independent. A director is not independent under these categorical standards if:
The director is, or has been within the last three years, an employee of Western Union, or an immediate family member of the director is, or has been within the last three years, an executive officer of Western Union.
The director has received, or has an immediate family member who has received, during any 12-month period within the last three years, more than $120,000 in direct compensation from Western Union, other than director and committee fees and pension or other forms of deferred compensation for prior service (provided such compensation is not contingent in any way on continued service).
(i) The director is a current partner or employee of a firm that is Western Union’s internal or external auditor; (ii) the director has an immediate family member who is a current partner of such a firm; (iii) the director has an immediate family member who is a current employee of such a firm and personally works on Western Union’s audit; or (iv) the director or an immediate family member was within the last three years a partner or employee of such firm and personally worked on Western Union’s audit within that time.
The director or an immediate family member is, or has been within the last three years, employed as an executive officer of another company where any of Western Union’s present executive officers at the same time serves or served on that company’s compensation committee.
The director is a current employee, or an immediate family member is a current executive officer, of a company that has made payments to, or received payments from, Western Union for property or services in an amount which, in any of the last three fiscal years, exceeded the greater of $1 million or 2% of such other company’s consolidated gross revenues.
The director is a current employee, or an immediate family member is a current executive officer, of a company which was indebted to Western Union, or to which Western Union was indebted, where the total amount of either company’s indebtedness to the other, in any of the last three fiscal years, exceeded 5% or more of such other company’s total consolidated assets.
The director or an immediate family member is a current officer, director, or trustee of a charitable organization where Western Union’s (or an affiliated charitable foundation’s) annual discretionary charitable contributions to the charitable organization, in any of the last three fiscal years, exceeded the greater of $1 million or 2% of such charitable organization’s consolidated gross revenues.
The Board has reviewed the independence of the current directors under the Company’s categorical standards and the rules of the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) and found Mr. Cole, Mr. Goodman, Ms. Holden, Mr. Joerres, Mr. Mendoza, Mr. Miles, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Siegmund, Ms. Sun, Ms. Fragos Townsend and Mr. Trujillo to be independent. The Board has also reviewed the independence of Robert W. Selander, who served as a director of the Company until the 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, under the Company’s categorical standards and the rules of the NYSE and found Mr. Selander to be independent.
BOARD LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AND ROLE IN RISK OVERSIGHT
The Board has a non-executive Chairman. This position is independent from management. The Chairman sets the agendas for and presides over the Board meetings, as well as meetings of the independent directors. Our CEO is a member of the Board and participates in its meetings. The Board believes that this leadership structure is appropriate for the Company at this time because it allows for independent oversight of management, increases management accountability, and encourages an objective evaluation of management’s performance relative to compensation.
The Board regularly devotes time during its meetings to review and discuss the most significant risks facing the Company and management’s process for identifying, prioritizing, and responding to those risks. During these discussions, the CEO, the Chief Legal Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Global Head of Compliance, the Chief Compliance Officer (the “CCO”), the President, Product and Platform, the Chief Risk Officer and the Chief Internal Auditor present management’s process for assessment of risks, a description of the most significant risks facing the Company, and any mitigating factors, plans, or policies in place to address and monitor those risks. The Board has also delegated certain risk oversight responsibilities to its committees.
Consistent with the NYSE listing standards, to which the Company is subject, the Audit Committee bears responsibility for oversight of the Company’s policies with respect to risk assessment and risk management and must discuss with management the major risk exposures facing the Company and the steps the Company has taken to monitor and control such exposures. The Audit Committee is also responsible for assisting Board oversight of the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, which represent many of the most significant risks the Company faces. During the Audit Committee’s discussion of risk, the Company’s CEO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Legal Officer, Global Head of Compliance, CCO, President, Product and Platform, Chief Risk Officer, and Chief Internal Auditor present information and participate in discussions with the Audit Committee regarding risk and risk management. Risks discussed regularly include those related to global economic and political trends, business and financial performance, legal and regulatory matters, cybersecurity, data privacy, competition, legislative developments, and other matters.
While the Board committee with primary oversight of risk is the Audit Committee, the Board has delegated to other committees the oversight of risks within their areas of responsibility and expertise. For example, in light of the breadth and number of responsibilities that the Audit Committee must oversee, and the importance of the evaluation and management of risk related to the Company’s compliance programs and policies associated with anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws, including investigations or other matters that may arise in relation to such laws, the Board formed the Compliance Committee in 2013 to assist the Audit Committee and the Board with oversight of those risks. This function was previously performed by the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee. The Compliance Committee reports regularly on these matters to the Board and Audit Committee and during the Compliance Committee’s meetings, each of the Chief Legal Officer and CCO regularly present and participate in discussions. In addition, the Compensation Committee oversees the risks associated with the Company’s compensation practices, including an annual review of the Company’s risk assessment of its compensation policies and practices for its employees and the Company’s succession planning process.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER SUCCESSION PLANNING
The Company’s Board of Directors has developed a governance framework for CEO succession planning that is intended to provide for a talent-rich leadership organization that can drive the Company’s strategic objectives. Under its governance framework, the Board of Directors:
Reviews succession planning for the CEO on an annual basis. As part of this process, the CEO reviews the annual performance of each member of the management team with the Board and the Board engages in a discussion with the CEO and the Chief People Officer regarding each team member and the team member’s development;
Maintains a confidential plan to address any unexpected short-term absence of the CEO and identifies candidates who could act as interim CEO in the event of any such unexpected absence; and
Ideally three to five years before the retirement of the current CEO, manages the succession process and determines the current CEO’s role in that process.
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Any stockholder of the Company or other interested party who desires to contact the non-management directors either as a group or individually, or Mr. Ersek in his capacity as a director, may do so by writing to: The Western Union Company, Board of Directors, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237. Communications that are intended specifically for non-management directors should be addressed to the attention of the Chairperson of the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee. All communications will be forwarded to the Chairperson of the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee unless the communication is specifically addressed to another member of the Board, in which case, the communication will be forwarded to that director.
BOARD ATTENDANCE AT ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
Although the Company does not have a formal policy regarding attendance by members of the Board of Directors at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders, it encourages directors to attend. All members of the Board of Directors serving at the time attended the Company’s 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
PRESIDING DIRECTOR OF NON-MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR MEETINGS
The non-management directors meet in regularly scheduled executive sessions without management. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is the presiding director at these meetings.
NOMINATION OF DIRECTORS
The Company’s Board of Directors is responsible for nominating directors for election by the stockholders and filling any vacancies on the Board that may occur. The Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee is responsible for identifying, screening, and recommending candidates to the Board for Board membership. The Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee does not have any single method for identifying director candidates but will consider candidates suggested by a wide range of sources, including by any stockholder, director, or officer of the Company. Mr. Siegmund, who was appointed as a member of the Board in December 2019, was recommended to the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee by a third-party executive search firm. Mr. Murphy, who was appointed as a member of the Board in March 2020, was recommended to the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee by an independent director of the Company.
DIRECTOR QUALIFICATIONS, REQUIREMENTS, AND EVALUATIONS
General criteria for the nomination of director candidates include experience, high ethical standards and integrity, skills, diversity, ability to make independent analytical inquiries, understanding of the Company’s business environment, and willingness to devote adequate time to Board duties–all in the context of an assessment of the perceived needs of the Board at that point in time. In exercising its director nomination responsibilities, the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee considers diversity in gender, ethnicity, geography, background, and cultural viewpoints when considering director nominees, given the global nature of the Company’s business. However, the Board has not adopted a formal policy governing director diversity.
Our Corporate Governance Guidelines also require that a director retire effective at the next annual meeting of stockholders following the time such director reaches the age of 74. The Board may waive this requirement for one year if it determines it is in the best interests of our Company. Each director is expected to ensure that other existing and planned future commitments do not materially interfere with the member’s service as a Board or Committee member.
The Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee will consider candidates for election to the Board suggested in writing by a stockholder and will make a recommendation to the Board using the same criteria as it does in evaluating candidates submitted by members of the Board of Directors. Any such suggestions should be submitted to the Corporate Secretary, The Western Union Company, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237. If the Company receives such a suggestion, the Company may request additional information from the candidate to assist in its evaluation.
Pursuant to our Corporate Governance Guidelines, we evaluate the overall effectiveness of the Board annually. The Board together with the Corporate Governance, ESG, and Public Policy Committee conducts annual self-evaluations of Board and committee performance, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of the nomination process. In addition, the Board conducts annual evaluations of each individual independent director.
Stockholders may submit nominations for director candidates by giving notice to the Corporate Secretary, The Western Union Company, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237. The requirements for the submission of such stockholder nominations are set forth in Article II of the Company’s By-Laws, which are available on the “Investor Relations, Corporate Governance” section of the Company’s website, www.westernunion.com.
SUBMISSION OF STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALS
Stockholder proposals, including stockholder director nominations, requested to be included in the Company’s Proxy Statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders must be received by the Company not later than December 2, 2020 and comply with the requirements of Rule 14a-8, if applicable, and the Company’s proxy access By-laws, as applicable. Even if a proposal or director nomination is not submitted in time to be considered for inclusion in the Company’s Proxy Statement for its 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, a proper stockholder proposal or director nomination may still be considered at the Company’s 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, but only if the proposal or nomination is received by the Company no sooner than January 14, 2021 and no later than February 13, 2021 and otherwise complies with the Company’s By-Laws. All proposals or nominations a stockholder wishes to submit at the meeting should be directed to the Corporate Secretary, The Western Union Company, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80237.
CODES OF ETHICS
The Company’s Director’s Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, Reporting Procedure for Accounting and Auditing Concerns, Professional Conduct Policy for Attorneys, and the Code of Conduct are available without charge through the “Investor Relations, Corporate Governance” section of the Company’s website, www.westernunion.com, or by writing to the attention of: Investor Relations, The Western Union Company, 7001 E. Belleview Avenue, WU-HQ-14, Denver, Colorado 80237. In the event of an amendment to, or a waiver from, the Company’s Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, the Company intends to post such information on its website, www.westernunion.com.