Monday, November 26, 2012

Corporate Secretaries Society Opposes Investor Metric Standards

In a letter to the Society for Human Resource Management , the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, and members of the corporate community urged that the “Guidelines for Reporting on Human Capital to Investors,” (the “Investor Metrics standard”), be withdrawn and any further work on it be terminated. The letter said that the standard is not being sought by institutional investors and is strongly opposed by the HR and business communities. 

According to the Society, the metrics contemplated by the standard are not material to investors, nor are investors 
requesting the information. In addition, the cost of publicly disclosing these metrics would be excessive. Gathering, aggregating, standardizing and certifying the data is time intensive 
and costly. 

Moreover, substantial explanation is required to provide the context necessary to understand the meaning of most metrics (e.g., engagement survey results), adding to already long corporate disclosures without substantially improving understanding of a company’s operations. Disclosure of metrics does not benefit employees and could be used by competitors and others to the detriment of the company. 

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