Speaking to corporate directors in Philadelphia, Securties and Exchange Commissioner Roel Campos said today that shareholders are "democratizing" and demanding more control over how their companies are run. The trend will change corporate governance, he says, because "it's here to stay. Activists are going to be involved."
Campos also encouraged his audience to get the complete picture when it comes to executive compensation, to pay attention to all of the pieces of the puzzle. He indicated that a lot of overcompensation happens unintentionally because one or two puzzle pieces are overlooked when a package is put together.
And although he predicts that Sarbox compliance costs will decrease and regulations will become more "commonplace" as companies clean up their "sloppy" controls, Campos noted that backdated stock options continue to be an area of concern. He advised directors to look into their companies' options practices -- apparently so the directors are not be taken off guard when regulators inquire on the issue.