DEF 14A 1 def14a.htm DEF 14A bdc_Current_Folio_Proxy

SCHEDULE 14A

(RULE 14a‑101)

INFORMATION REQUIRED IN PROXY STATEMENT

SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION

PROXY STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 14(a) OF THE SECURITIES

EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 (AMENDMENT NO.   )

Filed by the registrant  

Filed by a Party other than the registrant  

Check the appropriate box:

    

    

Preliminary proxy statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confidential, for Use of the Commission Only (as permitted by Rule 14a‑6(e)(2))

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitive proxy statement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definitive additional materials

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a‑12

 

BELDEN INC.

(Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)

 

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)

 

Payment of filing fee (Check the appropriate box):

 

    

    

No fee required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fee computed on table below per Exchange Act Rules 14a‑6(i)(1) and 0‑11.

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

 

Title of each class of securities to which transaction applies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2)

 

Aggregate number of securities to which transaction applies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3)

 

Per unit price or other underlying value of transaction computed pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 0‑11 (set forth the amount on which the filing fee is calculated and state how it was determined):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(4)

 

Proposed maximum aggregate value of transaction:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(5)

 

Total fee paid:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fee paid previously with preliminary materials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check box if any part of the fee is offset as provided by Exchange Act Rule 0‑11(a)(2) and identify the filing for which the offsetting fee was paid previously. Identify the previous filing by registration statement number, or the form or schedule and the date of its filing.

 

 

 

 

 

(1)

 

Amount previously paid:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2)

 

Form, schedule or registration statement no.:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3)

 

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(4)

 

Date filed:

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 4

 

LOGO

April 6, 2020

Dear Stockholder:

I am pleased to invite you to our 2020 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting. We will hold the meeting at 12:30 p.m. central time on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at the Four Seasons Hotel Saint Louis, Mississippi Room, 8th Floor at 999 North 2nd Street, Saint Louis, Missouri.

We intend to hold our annual meeting in person. However, we are actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation; and we are sensitive to the public health and travel concerns our shareholders may have and the protocols that federal, state, and local governments may impose. In the event it is not possible or advisable to hold our annual meeting in person, we will announce alternative arrangements for the meeting as promptly as practicable, which may include holding the meeting solely by means of remote communication. Please monitor our website at http://investor.belden.com/investor-relations for updated information. If you are planning to attend our meeting, please check the website one week prior to the meeting date. As always, we encourage you to vote your shares prior to the annual meeting.

On April 6, 2020, we began mailing our stockholders a notice containing instructions on how to access our 2020 Proxy Statement and 2019 Annual Report and how to vote online. The notice also included instructions on how to receive a paper copy of your annual meeting materials, including the notice of annual meeting, proxy statement and proxy card. If you received your annual meeting materials by mail, the notice of annual meeting, proxy statement and proxy card from our Board of Directors were enclosed. If you received your annual meeting materials via e-mail, the e-mail contained voting instructions and links to the annual report and the proxy statement on the Internet, which are both available at http://investor.belden.com/investor-relations/financial-information/latest-financials/default.aspx.

The agenda for this year’s annual meeting consists of the following items:

 

Agenda Item

    

Board Recommendation

1.    Election of the directors nominated by the Company’s Board of Directors

 

FOR

2.    Ratification of the appointment of Ernst & Young as the Company’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for 2020

 

FOR

3.    Advisory vote on executive compensation for 2019

 

FOR

 

Please refer to the proxy statement for detailed information on the proposals and the annual meeting. Your participation is appreciated.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

LOGO

 

John Stroup

 

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

 

of the Board

 

 

LOGO

BELDEN INC.

1 North Brentwood Boulevard, 15th Floor

Saint Louis, Missouri 63105

314‑854‑8000

NOTICE OF 2020 ANNUAL STOCKHOLDERS’ MEETING

 

AGENDA

1.     To elect the directors nominated by the Company’s Board of Directors, each for a term of one year

2.     To ratify the appointment of Ernst & Young as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for 2020

3.     To hold an advisory vote on executive compensation for 2019

4.     To transact any other business as may properly come before the meeting (including adjournments and postponements)

WHO CAN VOTE

You are entitled to vote if you were a stockholder at the close of business on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (our record date).

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

The Company’s 2019 Annual Report to Stockholders, which includes the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10‑K, is available on the same website as this Proxy Statement. If you were mailed this Proxy Statement, the Annual Report was included in the package. The Form 10‑K includes the Company’s audited financial statements and notes for the year ended December 31, 2019, and the related Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

By Authorization of the Board of Directors,

 

LOGO

Brian E. Anderson

Senior Vice President – Legal, General Counsel and

Corporate Secretary

Saint Louis, Missouri

April 6, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

DATE:

Thursday, May 21, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIME:

12:30 p.m. CDT

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLACE:

Four Seasons Hotel Saint Louis,

 

 

 

 

Mississippi Room, 8th Floor

 

 

 

 

999 North 2nd Street

 

 

 

 

Saint Louis, Missouri 63102

 

 

 

VOTING

Please vote as soon as possible to record your vote promptly, even if you plan to attend the annual meeting. You have three options for submitting your vote before the annual meeting:

 

 

 

 

Picture 11

Phone
(if you request a full delivery of the proxy materials)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 12

Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 13

Mail
(if you request a full delivery of the proxy materials)

 

 

 

We intend to hold our annual meeting in person. However, we are actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation; and we are sensitive to the public health and travel concerns our shareholders may have and the protocols that federal, state, and local governments may impose. In the event it is not possible or advisable to hold our annual meeting in person, we will announce alternative arrangements for the meeting as promptly as practicable, which may include holding the meeting solely by means of remote communication. Please monitor our website at http://investor.belden.com/investor-relations for updated information. If you are planning to attend our meeting, please check the website one week prior to the meeting date. As always, we encourage you to vote your shares prior to the annual meeting.

 

 

 

PROXY STATEMENT FOR THE

2020 ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS OF

BELDEN INC.

To be held on Friday, May 21, 2020

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION 

1

    

V. 2019 Compensation Analysis

21

INTERNET AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS 

1

 

A.   Base Salary Adjustments

21

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR QUESTIONS 

1

 

B.   Annual Cash Incentive Plan Awards

22

 

 

 

C.   Performance-Based Equity Awards

26

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 

2

 

VI. Compensation Policies and Other Considerations

28

Biographies of Directors Seeking Reappointment 

3

 

Report of the Compensation Committee

30

Audit Committee 

8

 

Compensation and Risk

30

Compensation Committee 

8

 

Pay Ratio Disclosure

31

Finance Committee 

8

 

Pay for Performance in Action

32

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee 

8

 

Compensation Tables

32

Cybersecurity Subcommittee 

9

 

Summary Compensation Table

33

Corporate Governance Documents 

9

 

Grants of Plan-Based Awards

35

Related Party Transactions and Compensation Committee Interlocks 

9

 

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End

36

Communications with Directors 

9

 

Option Exercises and Stock Vested

38

Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight 

10

 

Pension Benefits

38

Non-Employee Director Stock Ownership Policy   

10

 

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

39

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION 

11

 

Employment, Severance and Change-In-Control Arrangements

40

ITEM I – ELECTION OF DIRECTORS 

12

 

Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change-In-Control

41

 

 

 

ITEM III – ADVISORY VOTE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

44

PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM INFORMATION 

13

 

 

 

ITEM II – RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF ERNST & YOUNG AS THE COMPANY’S INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR 2020 

13

 

OWNERSHIP INFORMATION

45

Fees to Independent Registered Public Accountants for 2019 and 2018 

13

 

EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION ON DECEMBER 31, 2019

45

Audit Committee’s Pre-approval Policies and Procedures 

13

Report of the Audit Committee 

14

 

SECTION 16(A) BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING COMPLIANCE

45

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION 

16

 

STOCK OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT

46

Compensation Discussion and Analysis 

16

 

Beneficial Ownership Table of Directors, Nominees and Executive Officers

46

A Note from the Belden Compensation Committee 

16

I.   Introduction 

17

 

Beneficial Ownership Table of Stockholders Owning More Than Five Percent

48

II.  Executive Summary 

17

III. 2019 Say-on-Pay Review 

18

 

 

 

IV. Compensation Objectives and Elements 

18

 

OTHER MATTERS

49

A.   Objectives 

18

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

49

B.   Elements 

19

 

STOCKHOLDER PROPOSALS FOR THE 2021 ANNUAL MEETING

53

C.   Pay for Performance Philosophy 

19

 

 

 

D.   Compensation Design 

20

 

APPENDIX I – ANNUAL CASH INCENTIVE PLAN PERFORMANCE FACTORS

I-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page i

 

 

 

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

INTERNET AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS

Under rules of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), we are furnishing proxy materials to our stockholders primarily via the Internet, instead of mailing printed copies of those materials to each stockholder. On April 6, 2020, we began mailing to our stockholders (other than those who previously requested electronic or paper delivery) a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials containing instructions on how to access our proxy materials, including our proxy statement and our annual report. The Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials also instructs you on how to access your proxy card to vote through the Internet or by telephone.

This process is designed to expedite stockholders’ receipt of proxy materials, lower the cost of the annual meeting, and help conserve natural resources. However, if you would prefer to receive printed proxy materials, please follow the instructions included in the Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials. If you have previously elected to receive our proxy materials electronically, you will continue to receive these materials via e-mail unless you elect otherwise.

CONTACT INFORMATION FOR QUESTIONS

Answers to certain frequently asked questions including the votes required for approval of the agenda items are included in this document beginning on page 49. For other questions, please see the following contact information:

 

 

For questions

 

Regarding:

Contact:

 

 

Annual meeting or

Belden Investor Relations, 314‑854‑8054

Executive Compensation
Questions

 

 

 

Stock ownership

American Stock Transfer & Trust Company

(Stockholders of Record)

http://www.amstock.com

 

800‑937‑5449 (within the U.S. and Canada)

 

718‑921‑8124 (outside the U.S. and Canada)

 

 

Stock ownership

Contact your broker, bank or other nominee

(Beneficial Owners)

 

 

 

Voting

Belden Corporate Secretary, 314‑854‑8035

 

 

 

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 1

 

 

 

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

The Belden Board has nine members and four standing committees: Audit, Compensation, Finance, and Nominating and Corporate Governance. The Board had seven meetings during 2019; three of which were telephonic. All directors attended 75% or more of the Board meetings and the Board committee meetings, taken together, on which they served.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nominating and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate

 

Name of Director

    

Audit

  

  

Compensation

  

  

Finance

  

 

Governance

 

David J. Aldrich(1)

 

 

 

 

Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lance C. Balk

 

 

 

 

Member

 

 

Chair

 

 

 

 

Steven W. Berglund

 

Member

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane D. Brink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member

 

Judy L. Brown

 

Member

 

 

 

 

 

Member

 

 

 

 

Bryan C. Cressey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member

 

 

Chair

 

Jonathan C. Klein

 

 

 

 

Member

 

 

 

 

 

Member

 

George E. Minnich

 

Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John S. Stroup(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meetings held in 2019

 

14

 

 

5

 

 

4

 

 

4

 

 

(1)Lead Independent Director

(2)Chairman of the Board

 

 

Page 2

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

At its regular meeting in February 2020, the Board determined that each of the non-employee directors seeking reappointment meets the independence requirements of the NYSE listing standards. As part of this process, the Board determined that each such member had no material relationship with the Company.

Biographies of Directors Seeking Reappointment

 

 

Picture 20

Director Since: 2007

 

Lead Independent

Director

 

Board Committees:

    Compensation
(Chair)

 

David J. Aldrich, 63

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

The Board recruited Mr. Aldrich based on his experience in high technology signal transmission applications and for his experience as a Chief Executive Officer of a public company. From April 2000 to May 2014, he served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (“Skyworks”). In May 2014, Mr. Aldrich was named Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Skyworks. From May 2016 to May 2018, Mr. Aldrich served as Executive Chairman of Skyworks. Since May, 2018, Mr. Aldrich has served as Chairman of the Skyworks board of directors. Skyworks is an innovator of high performance analog and mixed signal semiconductors enabling mobile connectivity.

In September 2017, Mr. Aldrich was appointed to the Board of Directors and Audit Committee of Acacia Communications, Inc. (“Acacia”). Acacia is a leading provider of high-speed coherent optical interconnect products.  On July 9, 2019, Acacia and Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”) signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of Acacia by Cisco.  The transaction is anticipated to close in 2020 at which time Mr. Aldrich’s director roles will be eliminated.

Mr. Aldrich received a B.A. degree in political science from Providence College and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island.

 

 

 

 

Picture 21

Director Since: 2000

 

Board Committees:

    Compensation

    Finance (Chair)

 

 

Lance C. Balk, 62

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

In September 2010, Mr. Balk was appointed as General Counsel of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, a position he held until his retirement on February 28, 2020. Previously, Mr. Balk served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics from November 2007 to January 2010. From May 2006 to November 2007, he served in those positions with Dade Behring, a leading supplier of products, systems and services for clinical diagnostics, which was acquired by Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in November 2007. Previously, he had been a partner of Kirkland & Ellis LLP since 1989, specializing in securities law and mergers and acquisitions. The Board originally recruited Mr. Balk based on his expertise in advising multinational public and private companies on complex mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions. He provides insight to the Board regarding business strategy, business acquisitions and capital structure.

Mr. Balk received a B.A. degree from Northwestern University and a J.D. degree and an M.B.A. degree from the University of Chicago.

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 3

 

 

Picture 24

 

Director Since: 2013

 

Board Committees:

    Audit

 

Steven W. Berglund, 68

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

Mr. Berglund’s experience as a director, president and chief executive officer of Trimble Inc., a technology based firm providing positioning and location solutions, from March 1999 to January 2020 makes him highly qualified to serve on the Company’s Board.  In January 2020, Mr. Berglund turned over the titles of president and chief executive officer to his successor and was named Trimble’s executive chairman.

Prior to joining Trimble, Mr. Berglund was President of Spectra Precision, a group within Spectra Physics AB. Mr. Berglund’s business experience includes a variety of senior leadership positions with Spectra Physics, and manufacturing and planning roles at Varian Associates. He began his career as a process engineer at Eastman Kodak.

Mr. Berglund attended the University of Oslo and the University of Minnesota where he received a B.S. in chemical engineering. He received his M.B.A. from the University of Rochester. Mr. Berglund is a member of the board of directors of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, where he is also the vice chairman.

 

 

 

 

Picture 25

 

Director Since: 2017

 

Board Committees:

    Nominating and
Corporate
Governance
 

 

Diane D. Brink, 61

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

The Board recruited Ms. Brink based on her marketing expertise and experience as a senior marketing executive at a Fortune 100 technology company.

Ms. Brink currently serves as a management consultant and Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor with the Kellogg Markets & Customers Initiative at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to her retirement in 2015, Ms. Brink served in a variety of roles at IBM, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer, IBM Global Technology Services.

Ms. Brink attended Stony Brook University, where she received a B.S. in computer science. She received her M.B.A. from Fordham University. Ms. Brink is a member of the Dean’s Council in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University.

 

 

 

Page 4

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

 

Picture 28

 

Director Since: 2008

 

Board Committees:

    Audit

    Finance

 

Judy L. Brown, 51

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

In recruiting Ms. Brown, the Board sought a member with broad international perspective to pursue its global strategic goals and for her experience as a Chief Financial Officer of a public company. As an employee of Ernst & Young for more than nine years in the U.S. and Germany, Ms. Brown provided audit and advisory services to U.S. and European multinational public and private companies. She served in various financial and accounting roles for six years in the U.S. and Italy with Whirlpool Corporation, a leading manufacturer and marketer of appliances. In 2004, she was appointed Vice President and Controller of Perrigo Company, a global healthcare supplier of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products. She was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Perrigo in 2006 and oversaw Finance, Information Technology and Corporate Affairs until her departure from Perrigo Company in February 2017.

In April 2017, Ms. Brown was appointed Senior Vice President Global Business Solutions & Finance of Amgen Corporation, the world’s largest biotechnology company. There, Ms. Brown oversaw the company’s Global Business Solutions, Internal Audit, Tax and Treasury organizations. In 2018, Ms. Brown was promoted to the executive staff as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, leading Amgen’s strategic communications, philanthropy and advocacy as well as overseeing the company’s global headquarters site.

She received a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Illinois; an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago; and attended the Aresty Institute of Executive Education of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Brown also is a Certified Public Accountant.

 

 

 

 

 

Picture 29

 

Director Since: 1985

 

Board Committees:

    Finance

    Nominating and

Corporate
Governance (Chair)
 

 

Bryan C. Cressey, 70

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

Mr. Cressey previously served as Chairman of the Board from 1988‑2016, and as Lead Independent Director from 2016‑2018. For over thirty years, Mr. Cressey has been a General Partner and Principal of Golder, Thoma and Cressey, Thoma Cressey Bravo, and Cressey & Company, all private equity firms, the last of which he founded in 2007. The firms have specialized in healthcare, software and business services. He is also a director of Select Medical Holdings Corporation, a healthcare services company, and several privately held companies. Mr. Cressey’s years of senior-level experience with public and private companies in diverse industries, his legal and business education and experience, and his regular interaction with the equity markets make him highly qualified to serve on the Company’s Board.

Mr. Cressey received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington and a J.D. degree and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University.

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 5

 

 

Picture 32

 

Director Since: 2015

 

Board Committees:

    Compensation

    Nominating and

Corporate

Governance

 

Jonathan C. Klein, 62

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

The Board recruited Mr. Klein for his extensive experience within the broadcast industry, more specifically his experience with programming, production, and over-the-top distribution models. Since 2012, Mr. Klein has served as the CEO and Co-Founder and currently is Co-Chairman of TAPP Media, an over-the-top subscription video platform which operates paid channels built around personalities. From 2018 to 2019, Mr. Klein served as the President of Vilynx Inc., an artificial intelligence company focused exclusively on media. From 2004 to 2010, he served as President of CNN, leading the U.S. network to its highest ratings and profitability. Previously he had been the Founder and CEO of the FeedRoom, a pioneering online video aggregation site, developing new online advertising concepts which have become industry standards today. From 1996 to 1998 he served as Executive Vice President of CBS News, overseeing prime time programming and strategic planning for in-house studio productions.

Mr. Klein attended Brown University where he received a B.A. degree in history.

 

 

 

 

Picture 33

 

Director Since: 2010

 

Board Committees:

    Audit (Chair) 

 

George E. Minnich, 70

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

Mr. Minnich served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of ITT Corporation from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that, he served for twelve years in several senior finance positions at United Technologies Corporation, including Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Otis Elevator and of Carrier Corporation. He also held various positions within Price Waterhouse from 1971 to 1993, serving as an Audit Partner from 1984 to 1993. Mr. Minnich served on the Board of Trustees of Albright College from 2008 to 2014, is a member of the Board and Audit Committee of Kaman Corporation, an aerospace company, and a Board member and Audit Committee Chair of AGCO Corporation, a maker of a broad range of tractors, combines, sprayers, forage and tillage equipment, implements and hay tools. His extensive financial and accounting experience gained over 35 years plus his experience on other public company boards was important to the Board in connection with his initial election. His senior level operational background provides the Board with additional insights into multinational industrial companies.

Mr. Minnich received a B.S. degree in Accounting from Albright College.

 

 

 

 

Page 6

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

 

Picture 36

 

Director Since: 2005

 

President,

Chief Executive

Officer and Chairman

of Belden Inc.

 

John S. Stroup, 53

 

 

Principal Occupation, Professional Experience and Educational Background:

Mr. Stroup was appointed President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board effective October 31, 2005. He was elected Chairman of the Board on November 30, 2016. His experience in strategic planning and general management of business units of other public companies, coupled with his in-depth knowledge of the Company, makes him an integral member of the Board and a highly qualified intermediary between management and the Company’s non-employee directors.

From 2000 to the date of his appointment with the Company, he was employed by Danaher Corporation, a manufacturer of professional instrumentation, industrial technologies, and tools and components. At Danaher, he initially served as Vice President, Business Development. He was promoted to President of a division of Danaher’s Motion Group and later to Group Executive of the Motion Group. Earlier, he was Vice President of Marketing and General Manager with Scientific Technologies Inc.

Mr. Stroup received a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and an M.B.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Stroup is a director of RBS Global, Inc. RBS Global manufactures power transmission components, drives, conveying equipment and other related products under the Rexnord name.

 

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 7

 

Audit Committee

Membership: George Minnich (Chair), Steve Berglund and Judy Brown

The Audit Committee operates under a Board-approved written charter and each member meets the independence requirements of the NYSE’s listing standards. The Committee assists the Board in overseeing the Company’s accounting and financial reporting practices by, among other items:

·

selecting and reviewing the independent registered public accounting firm who will audit the Company’s financial statements;

·

meeting with its financial management and independent registered public accounting firm to review the financial statements, quarterly earnings releases and financial data of the Company;

·

reviewing the selection of the internal auditors who provide internal audit services;

·

reviewing the scope, procedures and results of the Company’s financial audits, internal audit procedures, and internal controls assessments and procedures under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”);

·

providing oversight responsibility for the process the Company uses in performing its periodic enterprise risk analysis;

·

providing oversight to the Company’s compliance and ethics programs and complaint reporting mechanisms; and

·

evaluating the Company’s key financial and accounting personnel.

At its February 2020 meeting, the Board determined that each of Ms. Brown and Mr. Minnich qualifies as an Audit Committee Financial Expert as defined in the applicable SEC rules. As previously described, each member of the Audit Committee is independent.

Compensation Committee

Membership: David Aldrich (Chair), Lance Balk and Jon Klein

The Compensation Committee determines, approves and reports to the Board on compensation for the Company’s elected officers and oversees senior management succession planning. The Committee reviews the design, funding and competitiveness of the Company’s cash, equity-based and retirement programs. The Committee also assists the Company in developing compensation and benefit strategies to attract, develop and retain qualified employees. The Committee operates under a written charter approved by the Board and is composed only of independent directors.

Finance Committee

Membership: Lance Balk (Chair), Judy Brown and Bryan Cressey

The Finance Committee provides oversight in the area of corporate finance and makes recommendations to the Board about the financial aspects of the Company. Examples of topics upon which the Finance Committee may provide guidance include capital structure, capital adequacy, credit ratings, capital expenditure planning, and dividend policy and share repurchase programs. The Committee is governed by a written charter approved by the Board and is composed only of independent directors.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

Membership: Bryan Cressey (Chair), Diane Brink and Jon Klein

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee identifies, evaluates, and recommends nominees for the Board for each annual meeting (and to fill vacancies during interim periods); and evaluates the composition, organization and governance of the Board and its committees. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will consider nominees recommended by stockholders if such nominations are submitted to the Company prior to the deadline for proposals as noted above under the caption “Nomination of Director Candidates” on page 53.

 

 

Page 8

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

The Committee’s responsibilities with respect to its governance function include considering matters of corporate governance and reviewing (and recommending to the Board revisions to) the Company’s corporate governance principles and its code of conduct, which applies to all Company employees, officers and directors. The Committee is governed by a written charter approved by the Board and is composed only of independent directors.

Cybersecurity Subcommittee

Membership: Diane Brink (Chair) and Steve Berglund

While the Company has not experienced a material cyber breach, the Board determined that emerging cybersecurity risks to be of a level of importance to require particularized time and attention. As a result, during 2018 the Board created an ad hoc subcommittee to address these risks, reporting up through the Audit Committee.  The subcommittee receives regular reports from the Company’s Chief Information Officer and Director of Cybersecurity and meets no less frequently than semi-annually.  Management provides a report on cybersecurity to the full Board no less frequently than annually.

Corporate Governance Documents

Current copies of the Audit, Compensation, Finance and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee charters, as well as the Company’s governance principles and code of conduct, are available on the Company’s website at http://investor.belden.com/investor-relations/corporate-governance/governance-documents/default.aspx. Printed copies of these materials are also available to stockholders upon request, addressed to the Corporate Secretary, Belden Inc., 1 North Brentwood Boulevard, 15th Floor, Saint Louis, Missouri 63105.

Related Party Transactions and Compensation Committee Interlocks

It is our policy to review all relationships and transactions in which the Company and our directors and executive officers or their immediate family members are participants to determine whether such persons have a direct or indirect material interest. Annually, we obtain information from all directors and executive officers with respect to related party transactions to determine, based on the facts and circumstances, whether the Company or a related person has a direct or indirect material interest in any such transaction. As required under SEC rules, transactions that are determined to be directly or indirectly material to the Company or a related person are disclosed in our proxy statement. We have determined that there were no material related party transactions during 2019.

None of our executive officers served during 2019 as a member of the board of directors or as a member of a compensation committee of any other company that has an executive officer serving as a member of our Board of Directors or Compensation Committee.

Communications with Directors

The Company’s Board has established a process to receive communications from stockholders and other interested parties. Stockholders and other interested parties may contact any member (or all members) of the Board (including John Stroup, Chairman of the Board, or David Aldrich, Lead Independent Director and presiding director for non-management director meetings), any Board committee, or any chair of any such committee by U.S. mail, through calling the Company’s hotline or via e-mail.

To communicate with the Board, any individual director or any group or committee of directors, correspondence should be addressed to the Company’s Board or any such individual directors or group or committee of directors by either name or title. All such correspondence should be sent “c/o Corporate Secretary, Belden Inc.” at 1 North Brentwood Boulevard, 15th Floor, Saint Louis, MO 63105. To communicate with any of our directors electronically or through the Company’s hotline, stockholders should go to our corporate website at http://investor.belden.com/investor-relations/corporate-governance/governance-documents/default.aspx. On this page, you will find a section titled “Contact the Belden Board”, on which are listed the Company’s hotline number (with access codes for dialing from outside the U.S.), the Internet address for our web-based hotline portal and an e-mail address that may be used for writing an electronic message to the Board, any individual directors, or any group or committee of directors. Please follow the instructions on our website to send your message.

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All communications received as set forth in the preceding paragraph will be opened by (or in the case of the hotline, initially reviewed by) our corporate ombudsman, the Corporate Secretary, for the sole purpose of determining whether the contents represent a message to our directors. The Belden ombudsman will not forward certain items which are unrelated to the duties and responsibilities of the Board, including: junk mail, mass mailings, product inquiries, product complaints, resumes and other forms of job inquiries, opinion surveys and polls, business solicitations, promotions of products or services, patently offensive materials, advertisements, and complaints that contain only unspecified or broad allegations of wrongdoing without appropriate supporting information.

In the case of communications to the Board or any group or committee of directors, the corporate ombudsman’s office will send copies of the contents to each director who is a member of the group or committee to which the envelope or e-mail is addressed.

In addition, it is the Company’s policy that each director attends the annual meeting absent exceptional circumstances. Each director attended the Company’s 2019 annual meeting.

Board Leadership Structure and Role in Risk Oversight

John Stroup, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, serves as Board Chairman. Mr. Stroup provides strategic planning expertise, general management experience, and in-depth knowledge of the Company, and, as Chairman of the Board, acts as an important liaison between management and the Company’s non-employee directors.

David Aldrich is the Lead Independent Director and provides strong leadership experience, strategic vision and an understanding of the risks associated with our business. As Lead Independent Director, Mr. Aldrich maintains the power to provide formal input into board meeting agendas, call meetings of the independent directors, and preside over a meeting of the independent directors should such a meeting occur.

Our Board assesses on an ongoing basis the risks faced by the Company in executing its strategic plan. These risks include strategic, technological, competitive and operational risks. The Audit Committee oversees the process we use in performing our periodic enterprise risk management analysis (while the Board oversees the content of the analysis, management is responsible for the execution of the process and the development of the content).

Non-Employee Director Stock Ownership Policy

The Board’s policy requires that each non-employee director hold Company stock equal in value to five times his or her annual cash retainer (currently $390,000). Upon appointment, a member has five years to meet this requirement, but must meet interim goals during the five-year period of: 20% after one year; 40% after two years; 60% after three years; and 80% after four years. The value of unvested RSUs are included in making this determination at the higher of their grant date value or current market value. As of the record date for the annual meeting, each non-employee director meets the full-period holding requirement.

 

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

The following table reflects the director annual compensation structure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Description

    

Compensation

  

  

Recipient(s)

 Cash Components

Basic Retainer

 

78,000

 

 

All except Stroup

Audit Committee Chair

 

13,000

 

 

Minnich

Other Committee Chair

 

6,800

 

 

Aldrich, Balk and Cressey

Audit Committee Service

 

6,800

 

 

Berglund, Brown and Minnich 

Multiple Committee Service

 

6,800

 

 

Balk, Brown, Cressey and Klein  

Lead Independent Director

 

26,000

 

 

Aldrich

Equity Components

Restricted Stock Unit Grant

 

144,500

 

 

All except Stroup

Additional Grant for Lead Independent Director

 

26,000

 

 

Aldrich

 

The following table provides information on non-employee director compensation for 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fees Earned or

  

    

 

    

    

Option

 

    

All Other

  

  

 

 

 

 

Paid in Cash(1)

 

 

Stock Awards(2)

 

 

Awards

  

 

Compensation(3)

 

 

 

 

Director

    

($)

    

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

  

  

Total($)

  

David Aldrich

 

110,800

 

 

165,527

 

 

 

 

615

 

 

276,942

 

Lance C. Balk

 

91,600

 

 

140,318

 

 

 

 

24,815

 

 

256,733

 

Steven W. Berglund

 

84,233

 

 

140,318

 

 

 

 

521

 

 

225,072

 

Diane D. Brink

 

78,000

 

 

185,313

 

 

 

 

854

 

 

264,167

 

Judy L. Brown

 

91,600

 

 

140,318

 

 

 

 

521

 

 

232,439

 

Bryan C. Cressey

 

91,033

 

 

140,318

 

 

 

 

521

 

 

231,872

 

Jonathan Klein

 

84,223

 

 

140,318

 

 

 

 

521

 

 

225,062

 

George Minnich

 

97,800

 

 

144,500

 

 

 

 

529

 

 

242,829

 

 

(1)

Amount of cash retainer and committee fees.

(2)

As required by the instructions for completing this column “Stock Awards,” amounts shown are the grant date fair value of stock awards granted during 2019. The assumptions used in calculating these amounts are described in Note 20: Share-Based Compensation, to the Company’s audited financial statements included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2019. Each independent director other than Mr. Aldrich received 2,681 RSUs on May 24, 2019 that vest in one year. On the same date, Mr. Aldrich received 3,163 RSUs that vest in one year.

(3)

Amount of interest earned on deferred director fees and dividends paid on vested stock awards.

 

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ITEM I – ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

The Company currently has nine directors, all of which are seeking reelection – Mses. Brink and Brown and Messrs. Aldrich, Balk, Berglund, Cressey, Klein, Minnich and Stroup. The term of each director will expire at this annual meeting and the Board proposes that each of Mses. Brink and Brown and Messrs. Aldrich, Balk, Berglund, Cressey, Klein, Minnich and Stroup be reelected for a new term of one year and until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Each nominee has consented to serve if elected. If any of them becomes unavailable to serve as a director, the Board may designate a substitute nominee. In that case, the persons named as proxies will vote for the substitute nominee designated by the Board.

 

THE BELDEN BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS A VOTE “FOR” THE APPROVAL OF THE NOMINATED SLATE OF DIRECTORS.

 

 

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

 

 

PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM INFORMATION

 

ITEM II – RATIFICATION OF THE APPOINTMENT OF ERNST & YOUNG AS THE COMPANY’S INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR 2020

It is anticipated that Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”) will be selected as our independent registered public accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2020, and the Board of Directors has directed that management submit the anticipated appointment for ratification by the stockholders at the annual meeting. EY has served as our registered public accounting firm since the 2004 merger of Belden Inc. and Cable Design Technologies Corporation, and prior to that served as Belden 1993 Inc.’s registered public accounting firm since it became a public company in 1993. A representative of the firm will be present at the annual meeting, will have an opportunity to make a statement, if he or she desires, and will be available to respond to appropriate questions.

We are not required to obtain stockholder ratification of the appointment of EY as our independent registered public accounting firm. However, we are submitting the appointment to stockholders for ratification as a matter of good corporate practice. If the stockholders fail to ratify the appointment, the Audit Committee will reconsider whether or not to retain EY. Even if the appointment is ratified, the Audit Committee in its discretion may direct the appointment of a different independent registered public accounting firm at any time if they determine that such a change would be in our best interests and the best interests of our stockholders.

Fees to Independent Registered Public Accountants for 2019 and 2018

The following table presents fees for professional services rendered by EY for the audit of the Company’s annual financial statements and internal control over financial reporting for 2019 and 2018 as well as other permissible tax services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019

  

  

 

2018

Audit Fees

 

$ 3,237,800

 

 

 

$ 3,419,741

Tax Fees

 

$    131,563

 

 

 

$    291,204

Total EY fees

 

$ 3,369,363

 

 

 

$ 3,710,945

 

“Audit fees” primarily represent amounts paid or expected to be paid for audits of the Company’s financial statements and internal control over financial reporting under SOX 404, reviews of SEC Forms 10‑Q, Form 10‑K and the proxy statement, statutory audit requirements at certain non-U.S. locations, and comfort letter procedures related to debt issuances.

“Tax fees” for 2019 and 2018 are for domestic and international compliance totaling $76,997 and $61,001, respectively, and tax planning totaling $54,567 and $230,203, respectively.

In approving such services, the Audit Committee did not rely on the pre-approval waiver provisions of the applicable rules of the SEC.

Audit Committee’s Pre-Approval Policies and Procedures

Audit Fees: For 2019, the Committee reviewed and pre-approved the audit services and estimated fees for the year. Throughout the year, the Committee received project updates and approved or ratified amounts that significantly exceeded the original estimates, if any.

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Audit-Related and Non-Audit Services and Fees: Annually, and otherwise as necessary, the Committee reviews and pre-approves all audit-related and non-audit services and the estimated fees for such services. For recurring services, such as tax compliance and statutory filings, the Committee reviews and pre-approves the services and estimated total fees for such matters by category and location of service.

For non-recurring services, such as special tax projects, due diligence, or other tax services, the Committee reviews and pre-approves the services and estimated fees by individual project. Up to an approved threshold amount, the Committee has delegated approval authority to the Committee Chair.

For both recurring and non-recurring services, the projected fees are updated quarterly and the Committee considers and, if appropriate, approves any amounts exceeding the original estimates.

Should an engagement need pre-approval before the next Committee meeting, the Committee has delegated to the Committee Chair authority to grant such approval up to an approved spending threshold. Thereafter, the entire Committee will review such approval at its next quarterly meeting.

Report of the Audit Committee

The Audit Committee assists the Board in overseeing various matters, including: (i) the integrity of the Company’s financial statements; (ii) all material aspects of the Company’s financial reporting, internal accounting control and audit functions; (iii) the qualifications and independence of the independent auditors; and (iv) the performance of the Company’s internal audit function and independent auditors.

The Audit Committee’s oversight includes reviewing with management the Company’s major financial risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor, mitigate and control such exposures. Management has the responsibility for the implementation of these activities and is responsible for the Company’s internal controls, financial reporting process, compliance with laws and regulations and the preparation and presentation of the Company’s financial statements.

Ernst & Young LLP (“EY”), the Company’s registered public accounting firm for 2019, is responsible for performing an independent audit of the consolidated financial statements and an audit of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (U.S.) (“PCAOB”) and issuing reports with respect to these matters, including expressing an opinion on the conformity of the Company’s audited financial statements with generally accepted accounting principles.

In connection with the Company’s December 31, 2019 financial statements, the Committee: (i) has reviewed and discussed the audited financial statements with management (including management’s assessment of the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and EY’s audit of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting for 2019); (ii) has discussed with EY the matters required to be discussed by the applicable requirements of the PCAOB and SEC; and (iii) has received and discussed with EY the written disclosures and letter from EY required by the PCAOB Ethics and Independence Rule 3526, Communication with Audit Committees Concerning Independence, and has discussed with EY its independence from the Company.

As part of such discussions, the Committee has considered whether the provision of services provided by EY, not related to the audit of the consolidated financial statements and internal control over financial reporting referred to above or to the reviews of the interim consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s quarterly reports on Form 10‑Q, is compatible with maintaining EY’s independence. (Above is a report on audit fees,  tax fees, and other fees the Company paid EY for services performed in 2019 and 2018.) The Committee has concluded that EY’s provision of non-audit services to the Company and its subsidiaries is compatible with its independence.

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

Based on these reviews and discussions, the Committee recommended to the Board that the audited financial statements be included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10‑K for 2019.

 

 

Audit Committee

 

 

 

 

George E. Minnich (Chair)

 

 

Steven Berglund

 

 

Judy L. Brown

 

 

THE BELDEN BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNANIMOUSLY RECOMMENDS A VOTE “FOR” THE RATIFICATION OF ERNST & YOUNG AS THE COMPANY’S INDEPENDENT REGISTERED ACCOUNTING FIRM FOR 2020.

 

 

 

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

 

Compensation Discussion and Analysis

Note: Throughout this section, the Company utilizes adjusted results and other non-GAAP measures to describe Company performance. For a reconciliation of each non-GAAP measure to its most closely comparable GAAP measure, please see the Form 8‑K filed with the SEC by the Company on February 4, 2020.

A NOTE FROM THE  BELDEN COMPENSATION  COMMITTEE

Valued Belden Stockholders:

The Committee would like to thank Belden’s stockholders for another year of loyal support in 2019. For the eighth consecutive year, our Say-on-Pay proposal was supported by over 94% of the voted shares. This level of support is commensurate with what we believe to be a stockholder-friendly compensation design. We have enhanced our engagement efforts over the past two years in order to better understand the individual points of view of our top holders, including offering meetings with our Lead Independent Director. We believe that all of our stockholders benefit from this continuous dialogue.

2019 was an important year for Belden in many ways. The Company initiated a number of important strategic efforts designed to make the Company stronger well into the future, which included launching a significant cost reduction program, conducting a strategic review of the Company’s assets and subsidiaries to review their fit in the Company’s long term corporate strategy, and launching a process to divest the Company’s Live Media business. As a result of these items and the actions expected to be taken in 2020, the Company is well-positioned to make investments in its future, both organic and inorganic, without concerns about leverage. Additionally, the Company returned over 80 million dollars to stockholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases while continuing to improve upon our above average company culture metrics used to measure the strength of our workforce.

Notwithstanding the previously mentioned items and the initiation of several important strategic actions, our overall performance in 2019 did not meet our expectations based on management’s commitments to the Board. As the Compensation Committee, it is our duty to ensure that the Belden compensation program is appropriately designed to reward excellent performance, but to hold management accountable for suboptimal performance as well. We believe the program is functioning properly in this regard. For 2019, annual cash incentive payouts were significantly lower than target amounts and performance stock units granted to executives and other senior managers in 2017 failed to convert into shares of Belden common stock. Our commitment to hold management accountable is exemplified by the treatment of the Live Media business in determining incentive compensation. Though the Live Media business was classified as “discontinued operations” for accounting purposes following conclusion of the third quarter, performance thresholds and standards associated with incentive compensation were not adjusted – the Company owned and controlled the Live Media business for the entirety of 2019 and therefore it was fully accounted for in calculating incentive compensation.  

As  you review the Summary Compensation Table, please keep in mind that the figures shown in the Summary Compensation Table may differ greatly from the compensation realized by our executive officers during 2019 and the compensation that would be realizable by the executive officers if, as anticipated, the Company returns to meeting or exceeding its commitments in 2020. Much of that unrealized value is still available to executives, but it must be earned.

Discipline on our executive compensation is what our stockholders expect and deserve. We believe that after reviewing the materials that follow, you will continue to agree that we are performing our duty of aligning pay with performance and aligning the interests of our executives with those of our stockholders. Therefore, we request your support for Belden’s 2020 Say-on-Pay proposal. If at any time you would like to discuss the compensation program, we are available to address your questions. Thank you for your consideration.

The Belden Inc. Compensation Committee

 

DAVID  ALDRICH,  CHAIR

LANCE  BALK

JONATHAN  KLEIN

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

I.     Introduction

In this section, we discuss our compensation program as it pertains to our chief executive officer, our chief financial officer, and our three other most highly compensated executive officers who were serving at the end of 2019. We refer to these five officers throughout as the “named executive officers” or our “NEOs”.

For 2019, our named executive officers were:

 

 

 

 

 

John Stroup

President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

Henk Derksen

Senior Vice President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer

Brian Anderson

Senior Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Dean McKenna

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Roel Vestjens

Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer

 

II.     Executive Summary

As noted by our Compensation Committee above, 2019 was marked by strong performance in a number of areas and important strategic actions, but nevertheless fell short of our expectations and our commitments. While the business as a whole experienced solid performance on key measures, both of our operating segments underperformed compared to our budget. Some of the financial highlights of the consolidated business included the following (see the Company’s Form 8‑K filed on February 4, 2020 for a reconciliation of GAAP financial measures to non-GAAP measures):

·

Adjusted Revenues of $2.131 billion, with adjusted EBITDA margin of 16.5%.

·

Adjusted EBITDA of $350.9 million.

·

Adjusted Net income of $210 million.

·

Adjusted EPS of $4.52.

·

Free cash flow of $166.9 million.

The Company’s 2019 overall financial results and the individual performance of our NEOs are discussed under Annual Cash Incentive Plan Awards beginning on page 22.

Our compensation program design takes into account several stockholder friendly features, including:

·

Annual cash incentive pursuant to our cash incentive program (“ACIP”) with the following features

· Awards capped at 200% of target.

·

Performance metrics linked to business plan that are not duplicative of performance metrics used in the long term incentive plan.

·

Performance stock unit awards granted under the long term incentive plan (“LTIP”) with the following features:

·

Performance measurement period of three years.

·

Two factor performance metrics.

·

Use of a relative measure (total stockholder return relative to the S&P 1500 Industrials Index).

·

No provision for any accrued dividend equivalents.

·

Rigorous goals for the realization of target ACIP and LTIP compensation set against objective measures.

·

Perquisite-light compensation structure with no change-in-control-related excise tax gross-ups in employment agreements entered into after January 1, 2010.

·

Double trigger change-in-control provisions for severance in employment agreements and for accelerated vesting in equity awards granted in and after 2014.

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

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·

Prohibition on option repricing or cash buyouts of underwater options without prior shareholder approval; no history of repricing or cash buyouts of underwater options.

·

Equity plans do not have evergreen share authorizations and do not allow for aggressive share recycling.

·

Robust director and officer ownership guidelines, including six times annual base salary for the Chief Executive Officer.

·

No guaranteed ACIP or LTIP awards for officers. Both plans also contain award caps. The Chief Executive Officer’s maximum ACIP payout is capped at 200% of target.

·

 

III.     2019 Say-on-Pay Review

For the eighth consecutive year, our executive compensation program was endorsed by a vast majority of our stockholders. With 94.90% of our shares voting on the issue, we received 96.92% of voted shares in favor of the proposal, with only 2.87% opposing and 0.21% abstaining. We believe this is a reflection of the transparency of our program, which is clearly aligned with the interests of our stockholders. Based on this strong endorsement, and the view of our compensation committee that the program is performing properly, we did not make any changes to the existing structure of the program other than to alter the mix of long term incentive compensation available to NEOs and other senior managers as further described in Part V(C) – Performance Based Equity Awards.

IV.     Compensation Objectives and Elements

A.    Objectives

Belden’s executive compensation program is designed to support the interests of stockholders by rewarding executives for achievement of the Company’s specific business objectives, which for the NEOs with Company-wide responsibilities in 2019 included net income from continuing operations, EBITDA, revenue, operating working capital turns and inventory turns. The overarching principles of the program are:

·

Maximizing stockholder value by allocating a significant percentage of compensation to performance-based pay that is dependent upon achievement of the Company’s performance goals, without encouraging excessive or unnecessary risk taking.

·

Aligning executives’ interests with stockholder interests by providing significant stock-based compensation and expecting executives to have a long term perspective by holding the stock they earn in compliance with our ownership guidelines.

·

Attracting and retaining talented executives by providing competitive compensation opportunities.

·

Rewarding overall corporate results while recognizing individual contributions and behaviors consistent with our values.

 

 

Page 18

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

B.    Elements

Below is an illustration of Belden’s compensation program. Individual compensation packages and the mix of base salary, annual cash incentive opportunity and long-term equity incentive compensation for each NEO vary depending upon the executive’s level of responsibilities, potential, performance and tenure with the Company. Each of the elements shown below is designed for a specific purpose, with the overall goal of achieving a high and sustainable level of Company and individual performance. The percentage of total compensation that is performance-based and therefore at risk generally increases as an officer’s level of responsibilities increases.

Picture 17

Additionally, the Company provides competitive retirement and benefit programs to our NEOs on the same basis as other employees and limited perquisites as described under Compensation Policies and Other Considerations.

C.     Pay for Performance Philosophy

Our ability to execute on our strategic plan relies on implementation of our talent management program. We continually seek to hire and retain high performing and high potential managers to both drive performance today and build a dependable bench of successors for the future. The principles of the program are as follows:

·

We believe that providing the highest reward to those who deliver the highest levels of performance creates an environment where everyone is motivated to continually improve and strive for their best;

·

We set objective performance measures and hold ourselves accountable for delivery of the results and our own performance;

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

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·

We believe that performance is both what you do and how you do it, so we measure specific delivery of results and how effectively we have lived our values in the current calendar year;

·

We use our annual performance and compensation review process to assess performance in the year and allocate greater reward to those who delivered the highest performance relative to other members of a particular team; and

·

We provide honest and timely feedback to each other on performance and opportunities to continuously improve, so that everyone has the opportunity to be the very best at what they do.

We believe that this philosophy has provided an appropriate balance to drive continuous improvement while retaining high performers through challenging times. More importantly, we believe the incentives we provide for achievement without rewarding under-performance contributes to our industry-leading employee engagement while aligning the interests of our managers closely with those of our customers and investors.

D.    Compensation Design

Role of Compensation Consultant

Following an analysis based on rules promulgated by the NYSE, the Compensation Committee retained Deloitte Consulting LLP (“Deloitte Consulting”) as its independent compensation consultant during 2019. Deloitte Consulting reported directly to the Committee. The Committee generally relies on an independent compensation consultant to provide it with comparison group benchmarking data and information as to market practices and trends, and to provide advice on key Committee decisions. 

In 2019, Deloitte Consulting provided advice to the Compensation Committee and management in connection with the composition of peer companies we use for benchmarking purposes, the design of our annual cash incentive and long-term incentive programs, and our executive employment agreements. For its compensation consulting in 2019, we paid Deloitte Consulting $163,367.

In 2019, our financial management separately engaged affiliates of Deloitte Consulting to perform other services involving internal controls auditing, tax consulting and acquisition due diligence. For these non-compensation related services, we paid Deloitte Consulting $2,031,522. Given the nature and scope of these other services, the Compensation Committee does not believe this work had any impact on the independence of our independent consultant. In addition to considering the type and volume of other services performed by Deloitte Consulting and the fees associated therewith in assessing Deloitte Consulting’s independence, the Compensation Committee considered a number of other factors. These factors include Deloitte Consulting’s policies and procedures designed to prevent conflicts of interest; the nature of any business or personal relationship between Deloitte Consulting’s primary consultant and any member of the Compensation Committee or any other executive officer of the Company; and any Belden stock owned by the Deloitte Consulting employees servicing the Company’s account. Deloitte Consulting has represented to the Company that none of its employees that service the Company’s account own Belden stock.

In late 2019, the Compensation Committee elected to engage Meridian Compensation Partners LLP (“Meridian”) as its compensation consultant for 2020. Meridian was not involved in the design or implementation of the compensation program for 2019.

Benchmarking and Survey Data

In determining total compensation levels for our NEOs, the Compensation Committee reviews market trends in executive compensation and a competitive analysis prepared by the independent compensation consultant, which compares our executive compensation to both the companies in the comparator group described below and to broader market survey data. The Compensation Committee also considers other available market survey data on executive compensation philosophy, strategy and design. The Company’s compensation philosophy is to target base salaries at the 50th percentile of the competitive market. Individual executives may have base salaries above or below the target based on their individual performances, internal equity and experience. As discussed above, at-risk incentive compensation components have the potential to reward our executives at levels above industry medians, but only when the Company is outperforming the industry.

 

 

Page 20

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

The Compensation Committee chose our comparator group from companies in the primary industry segments in which the Company operates and competes for talent.

The comparator group companies for 2019 were as follows:

 

 

 

 

Acuity Brands, Inc.

CommScope Holding Company, Inc.

Regal Beloit Corporation

Amphenol Corporation

Curtiss-Wright Corporation

Rexnord Corporation

Anixter International Inc.

Hexcel Corporation

Roper Technologies, Inc.

A.O. Smith Corporation

Hubbell Incorporated

Viavi Solutions, Inc.

Carlisle Companies Incorporated

IDEX Corporation

Wesco International, Inc.

 

ISS and Glass-Lewis independently develop and publish peer groups that they use to analyze our compensation. It is noteworthy that of the 15 companies in our comparator group, 12 were chosen by ISS, Glass-Lewis, or both, as appropriate peer companies in their 2019 reports. The Compensation Committee considers the comparator group competitive pay analysis and survey data as relevant, but non-determinative data points in making its pay decisions. The approach to pay decisions is not formulaic and the Committee, based on advice from the compensation consultant, exercises judgment in making them.

Each year, the Compensation Committee reviews the performance evaluations and pay recommendations for the named executive officers and the other senior executives. The Compensation Committee, with input from the Board, meets in executive session without the CEO present to review the CEO’s performance and set his compensation. In its most recent review in February 2020, the Compensation Committee concluded that the total direct compensation of executive officers, with respect to compensation levels, as well as structure, are consistent with our compensation design and objectives.

V.    2019 Compensation Analysis

A.    Base Salary Adjustments

Salaries of executive officers are reviewed annually and at the time of a promotion or other change in responsibilities. Increases in salary are based on a review of the individual’s performance against objective performance measures, the competitive market, the individual’s experience and internal equity. For executives who earn a composite individual performance score of 0.91 or more, base salaries may be adjusted using a merit salary increase matrix, discussed below. An executive who scores less than 0.91 and fails to improve his or her performance may be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

The executive is scored on our merit salary increase matrix that is annually reviewed by the Committee and, if appropriate, revised to reflect the competitive market, based on the salary survey data noted above. The executive’s salary is classified based on three categories: below market, market and above market. Company-wide, the ranking system, which assigns personal performance factor ranging from 0.5 to 1.5, is designed to take the form of a normal distribution.

2019 Merit Increase Guidelines for Named Executive Officers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Performance Factor

 

    

Current

  

  

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

 

 

Salary as a % of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Salary

 

Midpoint

 

 

0.50–0.90

 

 

0.91–1.10

 

 

1.11–1.50

Above Market

 

Above 105%

 

 

0%

 

 

0%-2%

 

 

2%-5%

Market

 

95%-105%

 

 

0%

 

 

0%-3%

 

 

4%-8%

Below Market

 

Below 95%

 

 

0%

 

 

3%-5%

 

 

6%-10%

 

The timing and amount of any salary adjustment will be based on the executive’s annual overall performance ranking and whether the executive falls “below,” “at” or “above” market as compared to the median of the applicable market data noted above.

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

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For example, an executive with an overall ranking of “1.25” who is “above market” will receive a lower salary increase than an executive with a ranking of “1.25” who is “below market”.

The named executive officers’ salaries as of December 31, 2019 are provided in the following table:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

Annual Base Salary at

 

Name

 

December 31, 2019

 

Mr. Stroup

 

 

$ 927,000

 

Mr. Derksen

 

 

$ 584,490

 

Mr. Anderson

 

 

$ 381,260

 

Mr. McKenna

 

 

$ 388,040

 

Mr. Vestjens

 

 

$ 525,000

 

 

B.   Annual Cash Incentive Plan Awards

Executive officers participate in our annual cash incentive plan. Overall, we had 2,554 employees participate in the plan’s 2019 performance offering. Under the plan, participants earn cash awards based on the achievement of Company and individual performance goals. For 2019, the amount paid under the plan to all participants was approximately $12.232 million or approximately 3.9% of adjusted net income before ACIP expense. This compares to approximately 3.4%, 3.7%, 7.8%, and 6.7% in 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively, as shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Dollar amounts in thousands)

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

Adjusted Net Income from Continuing Operations

  

  

$ 209,974

 

 

$ 289,645

 

 

$ 265,019

 

 

$ 239,975

 

 

$ 213,722

 

Tax effected ACIP Expense (assuming 30% rate) (a)

 

 

$ 8,562

 

 

$ 10,128

 

 

$ 10,145

 

 

$ 20,306

 

 

$ 15,400

 

Adjusted Net Income Before ACIP Expense (b)

 

 

$ 218,536

 

 

$ 299,773

 

 

$ 275,164

 

 

$ 260,281

 

 

$ 229,122

 

Reflected as a percentage (a divided by b)

 

 

3.92%

 

 

3.38%

 

 

3.68%

 

 

7.80%

 

 

6.72%

 

Form 8-K in which adjusted net income is reconciled to GAAP net income

 

 

February 4, 2020

 

 

February 20, 2019

 

 

February 1, 2018

 

 

February 2, 2017

 

 

February 9, 2016

 

 

A  participant’s award (other than the CEO) is computed using the following formula:

ACIP Award = Base Salary  X  Target Percentage  X  Financial Factor  X  Personal Performance Factor

In 2012, based on the fact that Mr. Stroup’s personal performance factor (“PPF”) had consistently been equal to or greater than 1.0, the Compensation Committee removed the component from the calculation of Mr. Stroup’s ACIP award. The Committee desired to avoid any perception that the PPF was simply serving as a second multiplier to Mr. Stroup’s award. Given his direct reporting relationship to the Board, the Committee is comfortable that Mr. Stroup is fully accountable without the need of the additional lever to adjust his ACIP award downward or upward.

Target Percentages

For 2019, each NEO’s ACIP Target Percentages were as follows: Mr. Stroup–130%, Messrs. Derksen and Vestjens–75%,  Messrs. Anderson and McKenna–70%

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

Financial Factors

Performance targets for calculating the Financial Factors were based on net income from continuing operations, revenue, EBITDA, operating working capital turns and inventory turns. In addition, as discussed further below, the performance stock units (“PSUs”) had performance targets based on relative total stockholder return and free cash flow. In order to ensure that we are rewarding performance that drives stockholder value, these factors flow from and support the strategic financial goals we communicate to our investors.

 

Picture 8

Performance Factor Determination and Adjustments

The performance factors we use that make up the Financial Factor support our short- and long-range business objectives and strategy. We have selected multiple factors because we believe no one metric is sufficient to capture the performance we are seeking to achieve and any one metric in isolation may not promote appropriate management performance. Management and the Board believe that income from continuing operations and EBITDA are the financial metrics most clearly aligned with the enhancement of stockholder value. Therefore, they are weighted heavily in our consolidated and platform targets. Additionally, revenue growth has been highlighted by our stockholders as a key component of value creation. Consistent with our Lean manufacturing philosophy, continuous improvement in inventory and working capital turnover remains a high corporate priority.

In setting performance goals, we consider our annual and long-range business plans and factors such as our past variance to targeted performance, economic and industry conditions, and our industry performance. We set challenging, realistic goals that will motivate performance within the top quartile of our comparator group. We recognize that the metrics may need to change over time to reflect new priorities and, accordingly, review these performance metrics at the beginning of each performance period.

In 2019, threshold, target and maximum levels for the performance factors that make up the Financial Factors were set to challenge management to achieve upper quartile performance, including with respect to consolidated revenue, consolidated net income, and consolidated EBITDA.

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Officers with company-wide responsibilities (Messrs. Stroup, Derksen Anderson and McKenna) were measured using consolidated performance. Mr. Vestjens, as Executive Vice President of Industrial Solutions, was responsible exclusively for the Company’s Industrial Solutions platform during the first half of 2019. He was promoted to his current position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer on July 3, 2019, which expanded his responsibilities Company-wide while still remaining at the head of the Industrial Solutions platform. As a result, he was measured 50% based on the Industrial Solutions Financial Factor and 50% on the COO Financial Factor, which accounts for overall corporate performance and his continued stewardship of the Company’s Industrial Solutions platform. The applicable factors and weighting percentages are set during the first quarter of each performance period as depicted below and illustrated in further detail on Appendix I

Messrs. Stroup, Derksen, Anderson and McKenna

 

 

 

 

Factor

 

Weight

Consolidated EBITDA

 

 

25%

Consolidated Revenue

 

 

25%

Consolidated Working Capital Turns

 

 

25%

Consolidated Net Income from Continuing Operations

 

 

25%

 

Mr. Vestjens

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Vice President, Industrial Automation (January-June 2019) – 50%

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer (July-December 2019) – 50%

Factor

Weight

 

Factor

Weight

Industrial Solutions EBITDA

25.00%

 

Consolidated EBITDA

6.25%

Industrial Solutions Revenue

12.50%

 

Consolidated Revenue

6.25%

Industrial Solutions Inventory Turns

12.50%

 

Consolidated Working Capital Turns

6.25%

 

 

 

Consolidated Net Income from Continuing Operations

6.25%

 

 

 

Industrial Solutions EBITDA

12.50%

 

 

 

Industrial Solutions Revenue

6.25%

 

 

 

Industrial Solutions Inventory Turns

6.25%

 

Consistent with the terms of the annual cash incentive plan, the performance factors were adjusted to reflect certain unusual events that occurred during the year. These adjustments can result in either increases or decreases in performance factors and in 2019 primarily evolving price of commodities,  M&A activity, and restructuring and acquisition integration costs, as well as the income tax impact of these adjustments. The Compensation Committee and the Audit Committee meet jointly to analyze and approve the adjustments recommended by management. The Committees agree that it was appropriate to adjust the financial results for these matters to properly capture our operating results and to eliminate the potential for managers delaying strategic decisions beneficial to the Company in the long term (e.g., restructuring) because of the impact of those decisions on short-term financial metrics or benefitting from favorable one-time adjustments or unbudgeted events (such as acquisitions).

For each individual performance factor, threshold, target and maximum amounts are set by the Compensation Committee. Actual performance at the threshold level is reflected with a Financial Factor score of 0.5, actual performance at the target level is reflected with a Financial Factor score of 1.0 and actual performance at or above the maximum level is reflected with a Financial Factor score of 2.0. Performance between the threshold and target and between the target and maximum are interpolated on a linear basis. Actual performance below the threshold would result in a component score of zero and the failure to achieve at least threshold performance on the consolidated net income/segment EBITDA component would result in an overall Financial Factor of zero. Because Financial Factors are capped at 2.0 and because, as described below, he does not have a Personal Performance Factor, Mr. Stroup’s ACIP payout cannot exceed 200% of his target payout.

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

The performance factor definitions, thresholds, targets and actual results, as well as the applicable weighting and calculations for each NEO are contained in Appendix I, which is incorporated herein by this reference. The applicable 2019 Financial Factor for the NEOs are as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

Named Executive Officer

  

Financial  Factor

  

Mr. Stroup

 

0.43

 

Mr. Derksen

 

0.43

 

Mr. Anderson

 

0.43

 

Mr. McKenna

 

0.43

 

Mr. Vestjens

 

0.54

 

 

Personal Performance Factor

Each named executive officer other than Mr. Stroup establishes annual personal performance objectives. As discussed above, the Committee feels that the consolidated Financial Factor is the best reflection of Mr. Stroup’s personal performance and, thus, he does not have a separate Personal Performance Factor (“PPF”). The other NEO’s objectives are agreed upon between the NEO and Mr. Stroup. At the end of the year, the parties measure progress relative to the objectives, as well as an assessment of how effectively the individual has lived the Company’s values during the year. Mr. Stroup scores each NEO’s PPF on a scale of 0.50 to 1.50.

The personal performance goals reflected in the Personal Performance Factor measure the attainment of short- and long-term goals that often are in furtherance of achieving objectives set out in our three-year strategic plan. Personal performance goals can be qualitative in nature and the determination of the NEO’s degree of attainment of them generally requires the judgment of Mr. Stroup. The values scoring is, by definition, subjective based on the manager’s observations throughout the year, as well as feedback collected from others inside and outside of the organization.

As a general rule, the higher in the organizational structure that one sits, the more global in scope are his or her personal objectives. Mr. Derksen, as the CFO, had objectives in the areas of talent management, information technology and investor relations performance, but also focused other objectives on areas specific to the finance function, e.g., accounting, tax and capital structure. As global functional leads Messrs. Anderson and McKenna had objectives that connected them to the corporate priorities of stockholder value enhancement, customer satisfaction and sustainable employee engagement. As an Executive Vice President of Belden’s Industrial Solutions platform and later as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, the objectives of Mr. Vestjens were supportive of both the Company’s global goals and the goals of its industrial businesses.  His objectives related to the areas of growth, both organic and inorganic, talent management and operational excellence through the continued institution of Lean enterprise principles.

The 2019 Personal Performance Factors for the NEOs as recommended by Mr. Stroup and approved by the Committee ranged from 1.02 to 1.08.

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Annual Cash Incentive Plan Payouts

Based on the preceding discussion, each NEO’s annual cash incentive plan award is as shown in the table below. The awards were paid out following the Committee’s certification of Financial Factors and Personal Performance Factors in February 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

2019 ACIP Award

   

   

 

 

NEO

 

($)

 

 

Percentage of  Target

  

John Stroup

 

518,193

 

 

43%

 

Henk Derksen

 

192,268

 

 

44%

 

Brian Anderson

 

123,940

 

 

46%

 

Dean McKenna

 

124,976

 

 

46%

 

Roel Vestjens

 

209,561

 

 

56%

 

 

C.    Performance-Based Equity Awards

Our long-term equity incentive plan is designed to align the financial interests of our executives and our stockholders by providing executives with a continuing stake in the long-term success of the company. With at least 75% of each executive officer’s (other than Mr. Stroup) LTI grant made up of SARs that have value only if Belden’s stock price increases and PSUs that only convert into Belden shares if certain performance metrics are achieved, the plan emphasizes pay-for-performance. For 2019, executive officers other than Mr. Stroup received 50% of their LTI award (discussed below) under the plan in the form of PSUs, and were able to then elect to receive the remaining 50% either as 50% SARs, or as 25% SARs and 25% RSUs. Mr. Stroup’s LTI was awarded as 50% PSUs and 50% RSUs.

Individual performance, the competitive market, executive experience and internal equity were factors used to determine the total dollar value of SARs, RSUs and PSUs granted to each executive officer in 2019, which we refer to as the “Long-Term Incentive Value”, or “LTI Value”.

LTI Value

We use the following matrix to determine the LTI Value as a percentage of base salary for each officer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PPF

    

0.85 – 1.15

  

  

1.16 – 1.50

  

Percentage of Target LTI

 

70% – 120%

 

 

100% – 190%

 

 

An officer did not receive an equity award in 2019 if his or her 2018 Personal Performance Factor was less than 0.85. Mr. Stroup does not have a target LTI percentage or a Personal Performance Factor. At its February 2019 meeting, the Compensation Committee awarded Mr. Stroup LTI with a grant date fair value of approximately $5.0 million. Messrs. Derksen and Vestjens each have a Target LTI percentage of 160% of their respective base salaries while Messrs. Anderson and McKenna each have a Target LTI percentage of 120% of their respective base salaries.

In addition to the SARs, PSUs, and RSUs granted at the February 28, 2019 meeting, on May 23, 2019, the Compensation Committee granted a special long-term incentive award comprised of 50% time-vested RSUs and 50% performance-based PSUs (the “Supplemental Incentive Plan”) to Messrs. Anderson and McKenna. The time-vested RSUs will cliff-vest on the four-year anniversary of the grant date. The performance-based PSUs will be earned based on relative TSR performance compared to the S&P 1500 Industrials index from the grant date to the third anniversary of the grant date, with any earned awards subject to an additional one-year vesting period. The Compensation Committee has rarely granted this type of special stock award and generally confines equity grants to the regular compensation program for its executives. In this case, however, the Compensation Committee determined that it was appropriate to make this special award to retain and incentivize key executives.

To illustrate the LTI Value matrix, assume a base salary of $400,000 and a Target LTI percentage of 50%. The Target LTI Value is $200,000. Assuming the officer’s PPF is 1.0, he or she would receive equity valued between $140,000 and $240,000. If the same

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

officer’s PPF is 1.20, he or she would receive equity valued between $200,000 and $380,000. The exact amount granted within the range for each individual is at the discretion of the individual’s immediate supervisor (the “LTI Award”).

As previously discussed, the NEOs other than Mr. Stroup received 50% of their LTI Award in the form of PSUs and were able to elect to receive the remaining 50% in the form of SARs or 25% SARs and 25% RSUs. We use the Black-Scholes-Merton (“Black-Scholes”) option pricing formula to calculate SAR values. Instead of using the grant date stock price as the input in the Black-Scholes formula, we use a one-year average price of the stock (the “Average Belden Stock Price”). That same price is utilized to determine the number of PSUs granted.

In summary, the LTI Award is allocated into the number of units resulting from the following formulas:

PSUs = 50% of the LTI Award divided by the Average Belden Stock Price, rounded to the nearest unit.

SARs = 25% or 50% of the LTI Award divided by the Black-Scholes value of a Belden SAR, rounded to the nearest unit.

RSUs = 0% or 25% of the LTI Award divided by the Average Belden Stock Price, rounded to the nearest unit.

Half of the PSUs granted in 2019 will be measured based on total stockholder return (TSR) relative to the S&P 1500 Industrials Index. The other half of the PSUs will be measured based on cumulative consolidated free cash flow, as adjusted for certain restructuring expenses in connection with acquisition integration and other changes to the Company. The PSU agreements state that following the three-year performance period, a conversion factor ranging from 0 to 2.0 will be applied to each award. The result of that formula, rounded to the nearest whole unit, is the gross number of Belden shares the officer will receive. The actual number of shares to be distributed will be net of any required withholding taxes. The PSUs granted in 2019 will be measured on the performance period from February 28, 2019 (the grant date) to December 31, 2021, in the case of the TSR-based PSUs, and January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021, in the case of the free cash flow-based PSUs. The conversion and any required payout will occur in the first quarter of 2022.

Conversion will be effected based on threshold, target and maximum levels.

For the PSUs based on relative TSR, threshold performance results in a conversion factor of 0.25, target performance results in a conversion factor of 1.00 and maximum performance results in a conversion factor of 2.00. Performance between threshold and target and between target and maximum are interpolated on a linear basis.

For the PSUs based on consolidated free cash flow, threshold performance results in a conversion factor of 0.50, target performance results in a conversion factor of 1.00 and maximum performance results in a conversion factor of 2.00. Performance between threshold and target and between target and maximum are interpolated on a linear basis.

The SARs provide a material incentive for executives to increase the Company’s share price during their ten-year term since no value is realized unless at the time of exercise the share price is greater than the share price on the date of the grant. They also serve as a retention tool because they take three years to fully vest. The PSUs drive performance against targets during the three-year performance period, as PSUs will not convert to Belden shares if performance thresholds are not achieved (as was the case in 2020 for PSUs granted in 2017).

RSUs provide executives with an interest in the company designed to align the interest of the executives and stockholders, and they also serve as a retention tool because they cliff vest only after the passage of time, normally three years.

At its February 2019 meeting, the Compensation Committee approved equity award grants in the form of 234,585 SARs, 147,993 PSUs and 90,708 RSUs to over 270 employees. The Compensation Committee also approved equity award grants in the form of 33,124 PSUs and 33,124 RSUs as part of the Supplemental Incentive Program. The table below shows the total 2019 grants of SARs, PSUs and RSUs to the named executive officers.

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 27

 

2019 Equity Awards to NEOs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEO

    

SARs(1)

  

  

PSUs

  

  

RSUs

Mr. Stroup

 

 —

 

 

40,630

 

 

40,630

Mr. Derksen

 

19,247

 

 

7,110

 

 

 —

Mr. Anderson

 

10,448

 

 

14,899

 

 

11,039

Mr. McKenna

 

5,279

 

 

15,136

 

 

13,185

Mr. Vestjens

 

14,847

 

 

5,485

 

 

 —

 

(1)

The Committee granted the listed SARs to the NEOs at the closing price of Belden stock on February 28, 2019 ($61.79), the grant date of the awards.

2017‑2019 PSU Grant

The three-year performance measurement period for PSUs granted in 2017 ended on December 31, 2019. At its February 2020 meeting, the Compensation Committee certified a conversion ratio of 0 for both types of PSUs, resulting in each NEO receiving no shares of Belden stock in connection with this grant. The threshold, target, maximum and actual performance are shown below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factor

    

 

Threshold

  

  

 

Target

  

  

 

Maximum

  

  

 

Actual

  

Relative TSR

 

 

25th Percentile

 

 

 

50th Percentile

 

 

 

75th Percentile

 

 

 

14th Percentile

 

Consolidated Free Cash Flow

 

 

$620 million

 

 

 

$775 million

 

 

 

$930 million

 

 

 

$604 million

 

 

Free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities, adjusted for certain acquisition and divestiture transaction costs and capital expenditures, plus of the proceeds from the disposal of tangible assets.

VI.     Compensation Policies and Other Considerations

Stock Ownership Guidelines

To align their interests with those of the Company’s stockholders, the Company’s executive officers must hold stock whose value is at least three times their annual base salary (six times in the case of Mr. Stroup). Officers have five years from the date they are appointed as an officer to acquire the appropriate shareholdings. In addition, officers must make interim progress toward the ownership requirement during the five year period – 20% after one year, 40% after two years, 60% after three years and 80% after four years. For purposes of determining ownership, unvested RSUs and the value of vested but unexercised, in-the-money options and SARs are included. For calculation purposes, the Company will use the higher of the current trading price or the acquisition price. As of March 24, 2020 (our record date for the annual meeting), each of the named executive officers either met his interim or five-year stock ownership guideline. In accordance with Company policy, an officer is prohibited from selling Belden stock until the officer meets the applicable guideline.

Tax and Accounting Considerations

Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, precludes the Company from taking a federal income tax deduction for compensation paid in excess of $1 million to our “covered employees” (which included the CEO and our three other most highly-compensated executive officers, other than the Chief Financial Officer, for years prior to 2018 and now includes all NEOs, including the CFO). Prior to 2018, this limitation did not apply to “performance-based” compensation. While the Compensation Committee has generally attempted to maximize the tax deductibility of executive compensation, the Compensation Committee believes that the primary purpose of our compensation program is to support the Company’s business strategy and the long-term interests of our shareholders. Therefore, the Compensation Committee has maintained the flexibility to award compensation that may not be tax deductible if doing so furthers the objectives of our executive compensation program.

 

 

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Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

Under the December 2017 U.S. tax reform, the exception to Section 162(m) for performance-based compensation was repealed for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, subject to certain transition and grandfathering rules. Despite these new limits on the deductibility of performance-based compensation, the Compensation Committee continues to believe that a significant portion of our named executive officers’ compensation should be tied to the Company’s performance. Therefore, it is not anticipated that the changes to Section 162(m) will significantly impact the design of our compensation program going forward.

Annual non-equity based incentive compensation and PSUs for our Named Executive Officers are unguaranteed, subject to maximum payout amounts based on the achievement of the performance objectives established by the Compensation Committee annually. These objectives are selected by the Compensation Committee from among the performance metrics in the annual incentive plan for non-equity based compensation and the long term incentive plan for the PSUs. The Compensation Committee may exercise discretion to adjust the award based on an assessment of Company and individual performance. Also, our compensation plans comply with the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 409A, which requires that nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements must meet specific requirements.

In accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718, for financial statement purposes, we expense all equity-based awards over the period earned based upon their estimated fair value at grant date.

Executive Compensation Recovery

In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, Mr. Stroup, as CEO, and Mr. Derksen, as CFO, must forfeit certain bonuses and profits if the Company is required to restate its financial statements as a result of misconduct. In addition, if the Board of Directors determines that an executive officer has engaged in fraudulent or intentional misconduct that results in the Company restating its financial statements because of a material inaccuracy, the Company, as permitted by law, will seek to recover any cash incentive compensation or other equity-based compensation (including proceeds from the exercise of a stock option or SAR) received by the officer from the Company during the 12‑month period following the first public issuance or filing with the SEC of the financial statement required to be restated. The Company will revisit its clawback policies once the proposed rules issued by the SEC implementing the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) are finalized.

Insider Trading; Hedging and Pledging of Company Stock

Company policy requires executive officers and directors to consult the Company’s legal department prior to engaging in transactions involving Belden stock. In order to protect the Company from exposure under insider trading laws, executive officers and directors are encouraged to enter into pre-programmed trading plans under Securities Exchange Act Rule 10b5‑1. The Company will not approve hedging or monetization transactions including, but not limited to, through the use of financial instruments such as exchange funds, prepaid variable forwards, equity swaps, puts, calls, collars, forwards and other derivative instruments, or through the establishment of a short position in the Company’s securities. Executive officers and directors are prohibited from utilizing margin accounts to engage in transactions in Belden stock and from pledging Belden stock for any purpose. Such restrictions do not apply to non-executive officer employees.

Equity Compensation Grant Practices

The Compensation Committee approves all grants of equity compensation, including stock appreciation rights, performance stock units and restricted stock units, to executive officers of the Company, as defined in Section 16 of the Exchange Act. All elements of executive officer compensation are reviewed by the Compensation Committee annually at a first quarter meeting. Generally, the Company’s awards of stock appreciation rights, performance stock units and/or restricted stock units are made at that meeting, but may be made at other meetings of the Compensation Committee, as was the case in 2019 with grants made pursuant to the Supplemental Incentive Program. The Compensation Committee meeting date, or the next business day if the meeting falls on a non-business day, is the grant date for stock appreciation rights and restricted stock unit awards. The Company may also make awards in connection with acquisitions or promotions, or for retention purposes. Under the Company’s equity plan, the Compensation Committee may delegate to the Company’s CEO the authority to grant stock options to any employees of the Company other than executive officers of the Company as that term is defined in Section 16 of the Exchange Act. The Compensation Committee has exercised this authority and delegated to the CEO the ability to make limited equity grants in connection with promotion, retention

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 29

 

and acquisitions, which he uses strategically but infrequently. Awards made by the CEO are reported to the Compensation Committee on a periodic basis.

Employment Agreements: Severance, Termination and Retirement

The Company has entered into an employment agreement with each of the named executive officers. We believe that our agreements are essential in attracting and retaining the desired executive talent in a competitive market. In addition, the agreements benefit the Company by providing for the upfront agreement of each executive on certain important provisions, including post-termination covenants and an agreement to provide a full release of claims against the Company. These agreements address key provisions of the employment relationship, including payment of severance benefits upon a termination of employment before and after a change of control of the Company. Beginning in 2010, new executive employment agreements no longer contain a gross-up to compensate the executives for an Internal Revenue Code Section 280G excise tax. Instead the executives are given the option of either (a) collecting their full severance and paying the excise tax themselves with no assistance from the Company or (b) reducing the severance payments to an amount that prevents the excise tax from being imposed. Information regarding benefits under these agreements is provided following this Compensation Discussion and Analysis under the heading Potential Payments upon Termination or Change of Control.

Aircraft

The Company owns and from time to time leases corporate aircraft to provide flexibility to executive officers and other associates to allow more efficient use of executive time for Company matters. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee reviews management’s use of corporate aircraft throughout the year to confirm that it is consistent with this philosophy and in full compliance with the regulations promulgated by the Federal Aviation Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Benefits and Perquisites

The named executive officers receive retirement and health care benefits on a consistent basis with other Belden employees. As described in Pension Benefits and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation, excess defined benefit and defined contribution plans are offered to eligible U.S. employees. In order to attract and retain talented officers, we have provided certain other compensation to our NEOs. It is our policy to not provide tax gross-ups for any perquisites provided to executive officers.

Report of the Compensation Committee

The Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed with management the foregoing Compensation Discussion and Analysis section of this proxy statement. Based on such review and discussion, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board of Belden that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be included in the proxy statement.

 

 

 

Compensation Committee

 

 

 

David Aldrich (Chair)

 

Lance Balk

 

Jonathan Klein

 

Compensation and Risk

We consider the variable, pay-for-performance components of our compensation programs to assess the level of risk-taking these elements may create. The variable components of our compensation programs offered to management (including our executives) are our annual cash incentive plan and performance-based equity awards program. We believe the way we select and set performance goals and targets with multiple levels of performance; using gradually-sloped payout curves that do not provide large payouts for small incremental improvements; and confirming the achievement of performance before issuing the awards, all reduce the potential for management’s excessive risk-taking or poor judgment. Consistent with sound risk management, we limit the annual cash incentive  

 

 

Page 30

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

award by capping the financial factor component at two times the target, as well as capping the awards themselves at the lesser of three times target or $5 million. The long-term incentive is limited through the use of a fixed percentage of the participant’s base salary. In addition, we require that executive officers adhere to stock ownership guidelines to promote a long-term focus and have adopted a compensation recovery policy in the event of fraudulent or intentional misconduct that leads to a restatement of our financial results.

We also consider our variable compensation programs offered to other associates. These are primarily incentive programs offered to sales and marketing associates. We believe the way we administer these programs reduces the potential of their causing a material adverse impact on the Company through excessive risk-taking. We have customer contract practices with respect to operating margins, customer creditworthiness, and channel management that are designed to reduce poor judgment in connection with entering into sales contracts having unreasonable terms. Sales targets are not designed to provide large payouts that are either based on small incremental improvement or overly aggressive goals that could induce excessive risk-taking by the salesperson. These programs are monitored throughout the performance period to ensure they are being properly administered. The results are subject to multiple levels of approval, including through the involvement of internal and external audit resources.

Pay Ratio Disclosure

In accordance with its rulemaking responsibilities related to the Dodd-Frank Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted a rule that requires annual disclosure of the ratio of the total annual compensation of the Company’s principal executive officer (Mr. John Stroup) and the median of the annual total compensation of our employees (exclusive of Mr. Stroup). The Company’s principal executive officer is John Stroup, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.

Belden’s median employee was determined by reviewing the cash compensation paid to all Belden employees worldwide¸ including Belden employees based in countries where the cost of living and average salaries in the market are substantially lower than the United States, from November 1, 2016 to October 30, 2017. As permitted by item 402(u) to Regulation S-K, because Belden has not experienced a change in employee population that it reasonably believes would significantly affect its pay ratio disclosure, the data used to select the median employee in 2019 is the same data used in 2018 and 2017. The employee that was the median employee in 2017 was no longer with Belden at the time the 2019 Proxy Statement was finalized, and the employee selected as a replacement for the original median employee experienced a change in employment status in 2019 that would make his or her continued selection as the median employee inappropriate. Accordingly, a similarly situated and compensated employee has been substituted in his or her place and is the designated median employee for the purposes of this analysis.

Once the median employee was identified, the calculation of annual total compensation for that median employee was determined in the same manner as the “Total Compensation” shown for Mr. Stroup in the Summary Compensation Table contained herein. Compensation elements that were included in the annual total compensation for the median employee include: cash compensation received in 2019, matching payments related to Company retirement plans, and any other compensation received in 2019.1

The median total annual compensation of Belden associates, excluding Mr. Stroup, in 2019 was $42,332. As disclosed herein, Mr. Stroup’s total reported 2019 compensation was $7,487,775. Accordingly, Mr. Stroup’s reported 2019 compensation was approximately 177 times that of the median of the total annual compensation of all employees other than Mr. Stroup.

 


1  The median employee for each of 2019  was located in a foreign jurisdiction.  Foreign currency was translated to U.S. dollars using the average 2019 local currency to U.S. Dollar exchange rate as of 12/31/2019.

 

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

Page 31

 

Pay for Performance in Action

In reviewing the Compensation Tables that follow, it is important to note that equity based compensation is reported based on the fair value at the grant date as determined under GAAP. As a result, it is not fully illustrative of compensation actually received. For example, in two of the last three years, vesting PSUs failed to convert to common shares as a result of the Company’s failure to satisfy the conversion criteria. As a result, a significant portion of the compensation that was reported for NEOs in 2017 has not been realized. Further, the exercise price associated with the SARs in each of 2017, 2018, and 2019 is in excess of the price per share of Belden’s common stock as of December 31, 2019. Accordingly, none of the SARs granted during the last three grant cycles had value as of December 31, 2019. All of our NEOs and other senior managers are similarly affected. While extremely disappointing, this does illustrate how the interests of Belden’s executive officers are aligned with those of Belden’s shareholders.

As a result of the manner in which PSUs, RSUs and SARs are structured, it takes years to determine whether a particular year’s equity grant will end up resulting in the realization of more or less than the amount reported. It is subject to a number of factors, but is most sensitive to the price of Belden stock. The bottom line is that the Belden Compensation Program is effective in aligning pay and performance in that the reported level of compensation is only attained when performance is at a level satisfactory to the investor community.

 

Compensation Tables

Starting on the next page are the following compensation tables:

·

Summary Compensation Table;

·

Grants of Plan-Based Awards;

·

Outstanding Equity Awards at Fiscal Year-End;

·

Option Exercises and Stock Vested;

·

Pension Benefits;

·

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation; and

·

Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change-in-Control.

 

 

Page 32

Belden Inc. 2020 Proxy Statement

 

SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

    

  

 

  

  

 

  

  

Change

  

  

 

  

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in Pension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Value and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Equity

 

 

Nonqualified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incentive

 

 

Deferred

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan

 

 

Compen-

 

 

All Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock

 

 

Option

 

 

Compen-

 

 

sation

 

 

Compensa-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salary(1)

 

 

Bonus

 

 

Awards(2)

 

 

Awards(3)

 

 

sation(4)

 

 

Earnings(5)

 

 

tion(6)

 

 

Total

 

Name and Principal

 

Year

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

Position (a) 

 

(b)

 

 

(c)

 

 

(d)

 

 

(e)

 

 

(f)

 

 

(g)

 

 

(h)

 

 

(i)

 

 

(j)

 

John Stroup

 

2019

 

 

920,250

 

 

 —

 

 

5,408,056

 

 

 —

 

 

518,193

 

 

550,611

 

 

88,658

 

 

7,485,768

 

President and

 

2018

 

 

893,750

 

 

 —

 

 

2,584,766

 

 

2,142,882

 

 

620,100

 

 

 —

 

 

94,389

 

 

6,335,887

 

Chief Executive

 

2017

 

 

875,000

 

 

 —

 

 

2,824,820

 

 

2,353,193

 

 

455,000

 

 

372,982

 

 

131,409

 

 

7,012,404

 

Officer and Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henk Derksen

 

2019

 

 

581,625

 

 

 —

 

 

507,050

 

 

429,978

 

 

192,268

 

 

200,209

 

 

43,965

 

 

1,955,095

 

Senior Vice

 

2018

 

 

570,221

 

 

 —

 

 

3,458,402

 

 

413,425

 

 

227,779

 

 

16,182

 

 

45,780

 

 

4,731,789

 

President, Finance,

 

2017

 

 

551,391

 

 

 —

 

 

642,076

 

 

534,812

 

 

176,970

 

 

151,118

 

 

64,291

 

 

2,120,658

 

and Chief Financial