Proxy Blog

Darden Restaurants, Inc. 

August 21, 2019

The annual proxy for this restaurant company (e.g., Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille) had the following proposals: 

  • Proforma proposals on directors, appointment of auditors, and “say-on-pay” advisory vote 

Magni voted for and against proforma proposals. 

  • For directors – The board has a majority of independent directors and some have CEO/CFO experience with other companies. The compensation of directors is disclosed with a meaningful portion in equity where the equity has restrictions to align director incentives with long-term value creation. The compensation levels are set using a benchmarking process. 
  • For auditors – There appear to be no controversies with the financial statements of the company. 
  • Against “say-on-pay” – The shareholder engagement program was described at a very summary level with no specifics on the amount of activity. The peer group was listed with clear, but high-level criteria. There was no comparison of the company to the peer group. Collectively the disclosures did not provide sufficient transparency into the governance of executive compensation.