The Board is providing stockholders the opportunity to cast an advisory vote on the compensation of our Named Executive Officers pursuant to Section 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This proposal, commonly known as a “Say on Pay” proposal, gives our stockholders the opportunity to endorse or not endorse our executive compensation programs and policies and the compensation paid to our Named Executive Officers. We currently hold annual “Say on Pay” votes.
The Board values the opinions of the Company’s stockholders as expressed through their votes and other communications. This Say on Pay vote is advisory, meaning that it is not binding on the Compensation Committee or the Board. This vote will not affect any compensation already paid or awarded to any Named Executive Officer, nor will it change any decisions the Board has made. Nonetheless, the Compensation Committee and the Board will review and carefully consider the outcome of this advisory vote when making future decisions regarding our executive compensation programs and policies.
We design our executive compensation programs to implement our core objectives of attracting and retaining key leaders, rewarding current performance, driving future performance, and aligning the long-term interests of our executives with those of our stockholders. Stockholders are encouraged to read the Compensation Discussion & Analysis (“CD&A”) section of this proxy statement, including the “Executive Summary.” In the CD&A, we describe our compensation programs, including the underlying philosophy and strategy, the individual elements of compensation, and how our compensation plans are administered. We also describe how the Compensation Committee continues to evolve our executive compensation program based on stockholder feedback.
We believe stockholders should consider the following financial performance data and compensation design elements when voting on this proposal:
Concerning our annual incentive plan, the consolidated operating income performance metric was 126.5% of plan, resulting in a payout of 152.8% of target for that metric, and the operating cash flow performance metric was 154.4% of plan, resulting in a payout of 150.0% of target for that metric. Combined, this resulted in a weighted average financial performance metric payout of 152% of target for the consolidated CSWI metrics.
On average, the Named Executive Officers had 72.2% (or 80.4% in the case of the CEO) of their target pay “at risk,” or dependent upon both Company and individual performance.
Maximum payout levels for the annual cash incentive award are capped at 200% of target, with formulaic positive or negative adjustment for financial and individual performance, and the performance share award payouts are capped at 200% of target. These caps moderate total compensation amounts and reduce the incentive to engage in unnecessarily risky behavior.
The annual cash incentive award and the performance share award have threshold performance requirements, ensuring that incentive compensation is reduced or eliminated altogether if minimum performance levels are not achieved.
Our officers are subject to stock ownership guidelines, which further encourage a long-term focus on sustainable performance and align our officers’ interests with those of our stockholders.
Our officers are prohibited from pledging Company stock or engaging in transactions designed to hedge the value of the Company’s stock.
Our officers, along with all of our U.S. employees, participate in our Employee Stock Ownership Plan, through which over 4% of our Company is owned by our employees, serving to align our collective interests.
The Company does not provide perquisites to executive officers, other than those generally provided to all employees.
The Board believes the Company’s executive compensation programs use appropriate structures and sound pay practices promoting our core objectives. Further, the Board and the Compensation Committee took into account the results of the 2020 Say on Pay vote and other stockholder feedback and continued to evaluate the Company’s compensation practices for fiscal 2021. For additional information, see “— Executive Summary — Executive Compensation Program Changes for Fiscal 2021” within the CD&A on page 32.
This analysis and consideration also supported the Board’s decision to provide Mr. Armes with a special equity grant in early fiscal 2022 focused on retaining Mr. Armes through retirement and ensuring successful succession planning practices for the Chief Executive Officer role. This long-term incentive award will be included in the summary compensation table in the proxy statement for the 2022 annual meeting of stockholders. For additional information, see “— Retention and Succession Arrangement with Mr. Armes” within the CD&A on page 46.
Accordingly, the Board recommends that you vote in favor of the following resolution:
“RESOLVED, that the CSW Industrials, Inc. stockholders approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of the Company’s Named Executive Officers as described in the section of this Proxy Statement entitled ‘Executive Compensation.’”