Total Shareholder Return (TSR) and Management Performance: A Performance Metric Appropriately Used, or Mostly Abused?
8 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 17, 2012
This article identifies the complex issues associated with the unconsidered use of total shareholder return (TSR) as a metric to represent the gains (or otherwise) in shareholder wealth and in contexts such as long-term incentive compensation and proxy voting by shareholders (including “say on pay”). Not all TSR is created equal. Other measures, such as economic profit (EP), return on invested capital (ROIC), and future value (FV), need to be introduced to effectively interpret the quality of TSR. There are not one but eight states of the quality of TSR, and this has implications for effectively evaluating true pay-for-performance alignment and considered say-on-pay voting by institutional investors everywhere, including under the new Dodd–Frank legislation in the United States.
Keywords: Incentive Compensation, Pension Fund, Proxy Voting, Say on Pay, Total Shareholder Return (TSR), Work Levels
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