RiskMetrics Group, an international company that advises institutional investors on the corporate governance policies of publicly traded companies, has announced its 2008 proxy voting policies updates. The updates will apply to all companies with shareholder meeting dates after February 1, 2008. The updates explain how RiskMetrics Group’s ISS Governance Services unit determines whether to support various shareholder and management proposals.

As more U.S. companies move toward having shareholders approve an annual advisory vote on executive compensation (Say-On-Pay), ISS offers more information on how it will evaluate compensation programs. Currently, ISS evaluates executive compensation programs on a case-by-case basis but offers “five global principles” for appropriate compensation. High on the list is no “pay for failure,” meaning no excessive severance packages.