DEF 14A
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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

SCHEDULE 14A

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 §240.14a-12

Conduent Incorporated

(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

 

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

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  No fee required.
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LOGO

April 9, 2021

Dear Shareholders:

We are pleased to invite you to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Conduent Incorporated (the “Annual Meeting”) to be held on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. (EDT). Due to the unprecedented public health impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to support the health and well-being of our communities, associates, shareholders and other stakeholders, this year’s annual meeting will be conducted completely virtually, via a live audio webcast; there will be no physical meeting location. You will be able to attend and participate in the Annual Meeting by visiting www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 (password CNDT2021), where you will be able to listen to the meeting live, submit questions and vote. As always, we encourage you to vote your shares prior to the Annual Meeting.

The attached notice of the Annual Meeting and proxy statement provide important information about the meeting and will serve as your guide to the business to be conducted at the meeting. We urge you to carefully read the accompanying materials regarding the matters to be voted on at the meeting.

At the Annual Meeting, you will be asked to vote upon:

 

   

A proposal to elect eight directors;

 

   

A proposal to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2021;

 

   

A proposal to approve, on an advisory basis, the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers; and

 

   

A proposal to approve the Conduent Incorporated 2021 Performance Incentive Plan.

The Board of Directors unanimously recommends that you vote in favor of these proposals.

It is important that your shares be represented and voted at the Annual Meeting. Therefore, you are urged to vote your shares using one of the methods described on page 1 under “How do I vote?.”

Thank you for your continued support of, and ongoing interest in, Conduent Incorporated.

For the Board of Directors,

 

LOGO

Scott Letier

Chairman of the Board


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Notice of 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders

 

Date and Time:    Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time
Location:    The Annual Meeting will be conducted completely virtually, via a live audio webcast; there will be no physical meeting location. You will not be able to attend the Annual Meeting in person.
Virtual Meeting Access:    You will be able to participate online and submit your questions during the meeting by visiting www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 (password: CNDT2021). Details regarding how to participate in the meeting online are more fully described in the accompanying proxy statement.
Purpose:   

Our shareholders will be asked to consider and vote on the following matters:

 

(1) Election of eight director nominees;

 

(2) Ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for 2021;

 

(3) Approval, on an advisory basis, of the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers;

 

(4) Approval of the Conduent Incorporated 2021 Performance Incentive Plan; and

 

(5) Consider such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

Record Date:    March 26, 2021 — You are eligible to vote if you were a shareholder of record as of the close of business on this date.
Proxy Voting:   

(1) Telephone;

 

(2) Internet; or

 

(3) Proxy Card.

 

For voting instructions, please review the Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials or, if you requested and received a printed copy of the proxy materials, accompanying proxy card.

Importance of Vote:    Your vote is very important. Whether or not you plan to attend the virtual Annual Meeting, we encourage you to read this proxy statement and submit your proxy as soon as possible. You may submit your proxy for the Annual Meeting by using the Internet or telephone voting systems or by completing, signing, dating and returning your proxy card in the pre-addressed envelope provided. For specific instructions on how to vote your shares, please refer to the section entitled “How do I vote?” beginning on page 1 of this proxy statement and the instructions on the proxy card.

Important Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials for the

Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be Held on May 25, 2021.

The Proxy Statement and 2020 Annual Report are available at

www.edocumentview.com/cndt or https://investor.conduent.com.

By order of the Board of Directors,

 

LOGO

Michael Krawitz

Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

April 9, 2021


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

     1  

The Annual Meeting

     1  

What is the purpose of the Annual Meeting?

     1  

Who is entitled to vote?

     1  

How do I vote?

     1  

How does the Board recommend that I vote?

     2  

How can I attend the virtual Annual Meeting?

     2  

How do I ask questions during the virtual Annual Meeting?

     3  

How many shares are required to be present to hold the Annual Meeting?

     3  

How many votes are required to approve each proposal?

     3  

What is a broker non-vote and how will it affect the voting?

     4  

May I change my vote?

     4  

Who will count the vote? Is my vote confidential?

     4  

How are proxies solicited?

     4  

Why did I receive a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials in the mail instead of a full set of printed proxy materials?

     4  

How can I electronically access the proxy materials?

     5  

What are the deadlines and requirements for shareholder submission of proposals, director nominations and other business for the 2022 Annual Meeting?

     5  

How can I contact the Board?

     5  

What if multiple shareholders have the same address?

     5  

How may I get additional copies of the Annual Report and Proxy Statement?

     5  

Is there a list of shareholders entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting?

     6  

PROPOSAL 1 — ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

     7  

Biographies

     9  

Corporate Governance

     15  

Director Nomination Process

     15  

Board Leadership Structure

     15  

Risk Oversight

     16  

Director Independence

     16  

Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions

     16  

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND BOARD COMMITTEES

     17  

Committee Functions, Membership and Meetings

     17  

Board and Committee Meetings; Annual Meeting Attendance

     21  

Annual Director Compensation

     21  

SECURITIES OWNERSHIP

     24  

Securities Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners

     24  

Delinquent Section 16(a) Reports

     26  

COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

     26  

Compensation Committee Report

     43  

 

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Summary Compensation Table

     44  

Grants of Plan-Based Awards in 2020

     45  

Outstanding Equity Awards at 2020 Fiscal Year-End

     47  

Option Exercises and Stock Vested in 2020

     48  

Potential Payments upon Termination or Change in Control

     49  

Equity Compensation Plan Information

     51  

OTHER INFORMATION

     52  

Indemnification Actions

     52  

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and Indemnity

     52  

PROPOSAL 2 — RATIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

     57  

Principal Auditor Fees and Services

     57  

Audit Committee Report

     58  

PROPOSAL 3 — PROPOSAL TO APPROVE, ON AN ADVISORY BASIS, THE 2020 COMPENSATION OF OUR NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

     59  

PROPOSAL 4 — PROPOSAL TO APPROVE THE CONDUENT INCORPORATED 2021 PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE PLAN

     60  

Proposed share reserve

     60  

Summary of the 2021 Plan

     62  

Conduent Incorporated 2021 Performance Incentive Plan

     69  

 

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PROXY STATEMENT

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ANNUAL MEETING

 

 

The Annual Meeting

The 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of Conduent Incorporated (“Conduent,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) will be held on Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time. As a shareholder as of March 26, 2021, you are invited to attend the Annual Meeting via live audio webcast and are entitled to and requested to vote on the items of business described in this Proxy Statement. To participate at the Annual Meeting online, please visit www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 (password: CNDT2021). We intend, in future years, to resume holding in person or hybrid meetings under normal circumstances.

 

 

What is the purpose of the Annual Meeting?

At the Annual Meeting, shareholders will consider and vote on the following matters:

 

  1.

Election of the eight nominees named in this Proxy Statement to our Board of Directors (the “Board”), each for a term of one year.

 

  2.

Ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021.

 

  3.

Approval, on an advisory basis, of the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers.

 

  4.

Approval of the Conduent 2021 Performance Incentive Plan.

Shareholders will also act on any other business that may properly come before the Annual Meeting. In addition, our management will respond to questions from shareholders.

 

 

Who is entitled to vote?

Owners of our common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the “Common Stock”), as of the close of business on the record date, March 26, 2021 (the “Record Date”), are entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting. The shares owned as of that date include: (1) shares you held directly in your name as the shareholder of record (registered shareholder); and/or (2) shares held in the name of a broker, bank or other holder of record for you as the beneficial owner (beneficial owner). Each share of Common Stock is entitled to one vote on each matter to be voted on. As of the Record Date, there were 212,388,620 shares of our Common Stock outstanding and entitled to vote.

 

 

How do I vote?

Beneficial owners will receive a separate Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials (the “Notice”) with a voting instruction form from the bank, broker or other holder or nominee that must be followed in order for their shares to be voted. If you hold your shares through a broker, bank or other holder or nominee, you must obtain a proxy from such holder or nominee to vote at the virtual Annual Meeting.

Registered shareholders can vote in any one of four ways:

 

     

BY INTERNET

 

     

BY TELEPHONE

 

If you have Internet access, you may vote your shares by following the “Vote by Internet” instructions included in the Notice or on the enclosed proxy card. If you vote via the Internet, do not return your proxy card.

 

     

You may vote your shares by following the “Vote by Telephone” instructions on the enclosed proxy card. If you vote by telephone, do not return your proxy card.

 


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BY MAIL

 

 

 

ELECTRONICALLY DURING VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING

 

 

If you received a printed copy of the proxy materials, you may vote by completing and signing the proxy card enclosed with this Proxy Statement and promptly mailing it in the enclosed postage-prepaid envelope. The shares you own will be voted according to your instructions on the proxy card you mail. If you sign and return your proxy card but do not indicate your voting instructions on one or more of the matters listed, the shares you own will be voted by the named proxies in favor of each of the proposals in accordance with the recommendations of our Board.

 

 

 

 

If you are a registered shareholder with a control number or a beneficial shareholder that has submitted a legal proxy and has received a control number from Computershare, you will also be able to vote your shares electronically during the Annual Meeting by clicking on the “Cast Your Vote” link on the Meeting Center site.

 

 

 

If you vote your proxy by Internet, telephone or mail, you authorize each of the two directors, whose names are listed on the accompanying proxy card, or any substitution thereof, to act as your proxies to represent you and vote your shares as you direct.

The Internet and telephone voting procedures are designed to authenticate your identity, to allow you to vote your shares and to confirm that your voting instructions have been properly recorded. Specific instructions are set forth on the proxy card. Regardless of the method you choose, your vote is important. Please vote by following the specific instructions on your proxy card. All proxies will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of New York and applicable federal securities laws.

 

 

How does the Board recommend that I vote?

The Board recommends that you vote:

 

   

FOR the election of each of the eight director nominees;

 

   

FOR the ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021;

 

   

FOR the approval, on an advisory basis, of the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers; and

 

   

FOR the approval of the Conduent 2021 Performance Incentive Plan.

 

 

How can I attend the virtual Annual Meeting?

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 as it relates to the current, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the Annual Meeting will be a completely virtual meeting of shareholders, which will be conducted exclusively by a live webcast. No physical meeting will be held. The Annual Meeting will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. We encourage you to access the meeting prior to the start time leaving ample time for check in.

 

   

For Registered Holders: If you were a shareholder as of the close of business on March 26, 2021 and have your control number, you may participate at the Annual Meeting by following the instructions available on the meeting website. Registered shareholders can attend the meeting by accessing the meeting site at www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 and entering the 15-digit control number that can be found on your proxy card mailed with the proxy materials and the meeting password: CNDT2021.

 

   

For Beneficial Holders: If you were a shareholder as of the close of business on March 26, 2021 and hold your shares through an intermediary, such as a bank or broker or other nominee, you must register in advance to attend the Annual Meeting. To register you will need to obtain a legal proxy

 

from your bank, broker or other nominee. Once you have received a legal proxy form from them, forward the email with your name and the legal proxy attached or send a separate email with your name and legal proxy attached labeled “Legal Proxy” in the subject line to Computershare at legalproxy@computershare.com (In the alternative, you can send the legal proxy materials by mail to: Computershare, Conduent Incorporated Legal Proxy, P.O. Box 43001, Providence, RI 02940-3001.). Requests for registration must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on May 14, 2021. You will receive a confirmation email from Computershare of your registration. At the time of the Annual

 

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Meeting, go to www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 and enter your control number and the meeting password: CNDT2021. If you do not have your control number, you may attend as a guest (non-shareholder) by going to www.meetingcenter.io/219882700 (password: CNDT2021) and entering the information requested on the following screen. Please note that guest access is in listen-only mode and you will not have the ability to ask questions or vote during the Annual Meeting.

 

 

How do I ask questions during the virtual Annual Meeting?

If you are attending the virtual Annual Meeting as a shareholder of record or registered beneficial owner, questions can be submitted by accessing the meeting center at www.meetingcenter.io/219882700, entering your control number and meeting password: CNDT2021, and clicking on the message icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page. To return to the main page, click the “i” icon at the top of the screen. Please note that guest access is in listen-only mode and you will not have the ability to ask questions or vote during the Annual Meeting.

 

 

How many shares are required to be present to hold the Annual Meeting?

A quorum is necessary to hold a valid meeting of shareholders. For each of the proposals to be presented at the meeting, the presence at the meeting, in person or by proxy, of the holders of a majority of the shares of our Common Stock outstanding on the Record Date will constitute a quorum. As of the Record Date, there were 212,388,620 shares of our Common Stock outstanding. If you vote — including by Internet, telephone or proxy card — your shares will be counted towards the quorum for the Annual Meeting. Broker non-votes and abstentions are counted as present for the purpose of determining a quorum.

 

 

How many votes are required to approve each proposal?

Election of Directors. Under our by-laws, directors are elected by majority vote, meaning that in an uncontested director election, the votes cast “for” the nominee’s election must exceed the votes cast “against” the nominee’s election, with abstentions and broker non-votes not counting as votes “for” or “against.” Our by-laws require that any incumbent nominee for director who receives a greater number of votes cast “against” his or her election than “for” his or her election shall tender his or her resignation promptly after such election. The independent directors, other than any director receiving less than a majority of “for” votes, will then evaluate and determine, based on the relevant facts and circumstances, whether to accept or reject the resignation. The Board’s explanation of its decision will be promptly disclosed on a Form 8-K filed with the SEC.

Other Items

The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting will be required for approval of the following proposals, meaning these proposals will be approved if the number of votes cast “for” the proposal exceed the number of votes cast “against” the proposal:

 

   

Ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2021;

 

   

Approval, on an advisory basis, of the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers; and

 

   

Approval of the Conduent Incorporated 2021 Performance Incentive Plan.

Abstentions and broker non-votes are not considered votes cast and therefore have no effect on the outcome of the other above matters. For information regarding broker non-votes, see below under “What is a broker non-vote and how will it affect the voting?”

Although the advisory vote on the 2020 compensation of our named executive officers is non-binding, the Board and Compensation Committee value the opinions of shareholders and will consider the outcome of the vote on this proposal when making future decisions regarding executive compensation.

At present, the Board does not intend to present any other matters at this meeting and knows of no matters other than these to be presented for shareholder action at the Annual Meeting. If any other matters properly come before the Annual Meeting, the persons named in the accompanying proxy intend to vote the proxies in

 

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accordance with their best judgment, to the extent permitted by Rule 14a-4(c) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”).

 

 

What is a broker non-vote and how will it affect the voting?

Brokers are not permitted to vote the shares they hold on behalf of beneficial owners without the beneficial owner’s voting instruction for matters that are deemed to be “non-routine.” A broker non-vote occurs with respect to non-routine matters when the beneficial owner of the shares fails to furnish timely voting instructions to the broker, and the broker is not permitted to vote the shares in its discretion. The election of directors, advisory vote on executive compensation and approval of equity plan are considered non-routine matters. If you do not instruct your broker on how to vote your shares with respect to these non-routine matters, your broker will not be able to cast a vote on these proposals. Accordingly, we urge you to provide voting instructions to your bank, broker or other holder of record so that you may vote on these important matters. Shares constituting broker non-votes, while counted towards the quorum, are not counted as votes cast “for” or “against” for the purpose of determining whether shareholders have approved a non-routine matter. As a result, broker non-votes will have no impact on the outcome of these matters.

Ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm (sometimes referred to as our “independent auditors”) is a routine matter, and, therefore, brokers would have discretion to vote on this proposal without having received timely voting instructions. Accordingly, there will be no broker non-votes with respect to this proposal.

 

 

May I change my vote?

Yes. You may revoke your proxy at any time before the Annual Meeting by delivering a later dated proxy card, by a later telephone or on-line vote, by notifying the Secretary of the Company in writing that you have revoked your proxy or by voting electronically during the virtual Annual Meeting. Attendance at the virtual Annual Meeting will not revoke a proxy unless you actually vote electronically during the virtual meeting.

 

 

Who will count the vote? Is my vote confidential?

A representative of Computershare will act as Inspector of Election, supervise the voting, decide the validity of proxies and receive and tabulate proxies. As a matter of policy, we keep confidential all shareholder meeting proxies, ballots and voting tabulations that identify individual shareholders. In addition, the vote of any shareholder is not disclosed except as may be necessary to meet legal requirements.

 

 

How are proxies solicited?

The solicitation of proxies is made by our Board and will be conducted primarily by mail. We also request brokerage firms, nominees, custodians and fiduciaries to forward soliciting material to the beneficial owners of stock held of record and reimburse such persons for the cost of forwarding the material. We have engaged Innisfree M&A Incorporated to handle the distribution of soliciting material to, and the collection of proxies from, such entities. We will pay Innisfree M&A Incorporated a fee of $17,500, plus reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for this service. Proxies may also be solicited on our behalf by our directors, officers or employees by telephone, electronic or facsimile transmission or in person, without compensation. We bear the cost of preparing all proxy materials and proxy solicitation.

 

 

Why did I receive a Notice of Internet Availability of Proxy Materials in the mail instead of a full set of printed proxy materials?

Pursuant to rules adopted by the SEC, the Company has elected to provide access to its proxy materials over the Internet. Accordingly, on or about April 9, 2021, a Notice is being sent to all of the Company’s registered shareholders and beneficial owners of record as of March 26, 2021. The Notice contains instructions on how to access the proxy materials over the Internet and how to vote. It also contains instructions on how to request a paper copy of the proxy materials, including a proxy card, as well as how shareholders may request to receive proxy materials in printed form by mail, or electronically by email, on a going forward basis.

 

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How can I electronically access the proxy materials?

You can access the proxy materials online at www.edocumentview.com/cndt or https://investor.conduent.com. Shareholders may receive Proxy Statements, Annual Reports and other shareholder materials via electronic delivery. Registered shareholders can sign up for electronic delivery at www.computershare.com/investor. Beneficial owners can sign up for electronic delivery at http://enroll.icsdelivery.com/cndt or by checking the information provided in the proxy materials mailed to you by your bank or broker regarding the availability of this service. Opting to receive future proxy materials electronically by email will provide the Company cost savings relating to printing and postage and reduce the environmental impact of delivering documents to you.

 

 

What are the deadlines and requirements for shareholder submission of proposals, director nominations and other business for the 2022 Annual Meeting?

We expect to hold our 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders during the second half of May 2022 and to file and make available or mail, as applicable, our Proxy Statement for that meeting during the first half of April 2022. Under SEC proxy rules, if a shareholder wants us to include a proposal in our Proxy Statement and proxy card for the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the proposal must be received by us no later than December 6, 2021.

Any shareholder wishing to make a nomination for director or wishing to introduce any business at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (other than a proposal submitted for inclusion in the Company’s proxy materials) must provide the Company advance notice of such nominee or business which must be received by the Company no earlier than November 6, 2021 and no later than December 6, 2021. Any such notice must comply with requirements set forth in our by-laws. Nominations for director must be accompanied by a written consent of the nominee consenting to being named as a nominee and serving as a director if elected. Proposals and other items of business should be directed to Conduent Incorporated, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932, Attention: Corporate Secretary.

 

 

How can I contact the Board?

Under our Corporate Governance Guidelines, shareholders and other interested parties may contact the non-management members of the Board by contacting the Chairman of the Board, c/o Conduent Incorporated Corporate Secretary, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932.

 

 

What if multiple shareholders have the same address?

To reduce the expenses of delivering duplicate proxy materials, where multiple shareholders reside in the same household, we will deliver a single Notice, or for shareholders who receive paper copies of our proxy materials, a single Proxy Statement and Annual Report along with separate proxy cards, unless we have received instructions otherwise. If you share a household with one or more other shareholders and (i) would like to receive separate copies of the Notice or printed proxy materials, or (ii) you are receiving multiple copies of the Notice or printed proxy materials and, as a household, wish to receive only one Notice or one set of printed proxy materials, then you may request a change in delivery preferences. We will deliver promptly, upon written or oral request, a separate copy of the Notice or printed proxy materials, as applicable, to a shareholder at a shared address to which a single copy was delivered. For registered shareholders, you may contact our transfer agent at 866-574-5496 or write them at Computershare, P.O. Box 505000, Louisville, KY 40233. For beneficial owners, you may call the bank, broker or other nominee where your shares are held in street name.

 

How may I get additional copies of the Annual Report and Proxy Statement?

Copies of the 2020 Annual Report and 2021 Proxy Statement have been distributed to shareholders (unless you have received a copy of the Notice or have consented to electronic delivery). Additional paper copies of these documents are available at no cost upon request made to Conduent Incorporated, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932, Attention: Corporate Secretary. The 2020 Annual Report and 2021 Proxy Statement are also available on the Company’s website at https://investor.conduent.com or www.edocumentview.com/cndt. The Notice also provides you with instructions on how to request paper copies of the proxy materials. There is no charge to receive any such materials by mail. You may request paper copies of the materials until one year after the date of the Annual Meeting.

 

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Is there a list of shareholders entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting?

A list of registered shareholders entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting will be available during the Annual Meeting at the Annual Meeting website and for ten days prior to the Annual Meeting upon written request made by a shareholder to: Conduent Incorporated, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932, Attention: Corporate Secretary.

 

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PROPOSAL 1 — ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

Shareholders annually elect directors to serve for one year and until their successors have been duly elected and qualified. Based on the director nomination process described below, the eight persons whose biographies appear below have been nominated by the Board to serve as directors based on the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee. Each nominee brings to us valuable experience from a variety of fields. The biographical information presents each nominee’s specific experience, qualifications, attributes and skills that led our Board to conclude that he or she should serve as a director. All of our incumbent director nominees have demonstrated business acumen and an ability to exercise independent and sound judgment, as well as an understanding of the Company’s business environment and a commitment to serve the Company and our Board. We also value the significant experience of our nominees on other public company boards of directors and board committees.

Kathy Higgins Victor, Scott Letier, Jesse A. Lynn, Michael Montelongo, Margarita Paláu-Hernández and Clifford Skelton are currently directors of the Company and were elected by our shareholders at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Michael A. Nutter and Virginia M. Wilson, did not seek re-election to the Board at the 2020 Annual Meeting. At its February 25, 2020 meeting, the Board reduced the size of the board to eight members, effective May 19, 2020, and, acting on the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee, nominated Michael Montelongo to stand for election at the 2020 Annual Meeting. On March 30, 2020, Nicholas Graziano tendered his resignation and on March 31, 2020, the Board further reduced the size of the board to seven members, effective May 19, 2020. At its August 18, 2020 meeting, the Board increased the size of the Board to eight members and, acting on the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee, elected Hunter Gary to the Board on August 18, 2020. Effective February 3, 2021, the Board, acting on the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee, elected Steven Miller to the Board to replace Courtney Mather who resigned effective February 3, 2021.

On December 31, 2016, the Company entered into a Joinder Agreement to a letter agreement, dated as of January 28, 2016, entered into by Xerox Corporation, our former parent company, with Icahn Partners Master Fund LP, Icahn Partners LP, Icahn Onshore LP, Icahn Offshore LP, Icahn Capital LP, IPH GP LLC, Icahn Enterprises Holdings LP, Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc., Beckton Corp., High River Limited Partnership, Hopper Investments LLC, Barberry Corp., Jonathan Christodoro and Carl C. Icahn (collectively, the “Icahn Group”), pursuant to which, among other things, Hunter Gary, Jesse A. Lynn and Steven Miller were appointed to the Board (the “Icahn Agreement”). The Icahn Group is required pursuant to the Icahn Agreement to vote in favor of the directors nominated by the Board at the Annual Meeting.

On December 18, 2018, the Company entered into a Shareholder Agreement with Darwin Deason (the “Deason Agreement”) pursuant to which, among other things, Scott Letier was appointed to the Board and Darwin Deason is required to vote in favor of the directors nominated by the Board at the Annual Meeting.

The Board has determined that each of the nominees, other than Clifford Skelton, CEO of the Company, is independent under Nasdaq rules and the Company’s independence standards. Although not anticipated, if for any reason a nominee is unable to serve, the individuals named as proxies may use their discretion to vote for a substitute nominated by the Board.

 

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Board Overview

 

Director Independence    Gender Diversity    Ethnic Diversity
LOGO    LOGO    LOGO

 

                

 

 

Five Board Committees Led
by Independent Directors

 

   

 

 

Three Board Committees Led

by Diverse Directors

 

                

  Balance of Ages     Range of Tenures  
  LOGO     LOGO  

Environmental, Social, Governance (“ESG”) Oversight and Highlights

We are committed to conducting business in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner, and to managing the risks and opportunities that arise from ESG issues. We believe that operating in a socially responsible and sustainable manner will drive long-term value creation for our company and its shareholders. In 2020, the Corporate Governance Committee was responsible for overseeing the Company’s Environmental, Social, Governance processes, policies, and performance, and making recommendations to the full Board. To satisfy these oversight responsibilities, the Corporate Governance Committee received regular updates from management on progress and strategy.

Also, in 2020 Conduent launched a new initiative to enhance ESG policies and procedures, informed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) industry-specific disclosure guidelines. An ESG Steering Committee, comprised of Investor Relations, Marketing, Diversity and Inclusion and Real Estate leaders, was charged with working with Business Units and Corporate functions to set ESG goals and provide long term strategic guidance and direction on material ESG policies, processes and measurements. These recommendations are presented to Executive Management and the Board for review.

In recognition of the growing importance and scope of the Company’s environmental, social and governance impacts, in 2021, our Board formed a new Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee comprising several members of the Board. The Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee’s purpose is to assist the Board in providing oversight of Conduent’s material strategies, initiatives, investments, policies and progress to be a responsible participant in society. The Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee’s focus areas include the impact of climate change, energy and natural resource conservation, supply chain sustainability, employee health, safety and well-being, diversity, equity and inclusion, public policy engagement, political contribution, and corporate charitable and philanthropic activities. While the ESG strategy is executed by the ESG Steering Committee, our Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee provides the governance structure for programmatic oversight and guidance on this

 

8

 


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global initiative. Additional information regarding the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee can be found under “Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee” on page 21.

Policies and practices that have been recently enhanced address the following areas:

 

   

Environmental Footprint;

 

   

Health and Safety;

 

   

Diversity and Inclusion, including the naming of a new Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion;

 

   

Human Rights;

 

   

Data Privacy and Security; and

 

   

Board oversight of Environmental and Corporate Social Responsibility, including Charitable Giving.

Specific Highlights from the Company’s ESG Program include:

 

   

Environmental: Conduent adopted an Environmental Policy that ensures the Company’s commitment to environmental protection, climate change and biodiversity. These actions are managed in collaboration across departments and overseen by Conduent’s executive team and the Board. These actions include the reduction of the Company’s real estate footprint from approximately 9.7 million square feet in 2017, to 5.9 million square feet at year-end 2020, the recycling of nearly 300,000 pounds of paper in 2020, and the maintenance of a low water usage footprint at our delivery centers.

 

   

Social: Conduent named a new head of Diversity and Inclusion, reporting directly to our CEO, and established and encouraged participation in several employee impact groups to further our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion while providing diversity training to our employees. Conduent’s Human Rights Policy was expanded to specifically include anti-discrimination commitments. A social responsibility metric related to human capital was included in the Company’s short-term executive compensation program for 2021.

 

   

Governance: The Audit Committee charter was amended to include director oversight regarding cybersecurity issues and threats. The Audit Committee approved an enhanced Data Privacy and Security policy, which is well aligned with industry standards and best practices.

Along with our efforts in these areas, we released our 2019 SASB results furthering our Company’s commitment to transparency on ESG topics. Additionally, we completed the 2020 CDP Climate Change questionnaire, and anticipate completing the 2021 CDP Climate Change questionnaire, along with our 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility report this year.

For more ESG information, please refer to Conduent’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility report, and 2020 SASB disclosure located in the ESG section on our website at https://investor.conduent.com.

Biographies

The table below summarizes key qualifications, skills and attributes that each of our director nominees possesses which were most relevant to the decision to nominate him or her to serve on the Board. The lack of a mark does not mean the director nominee does not possess that qualification or skill or that other qualities were not also considered; rather, a mark indicates a specific area of focus or expertise on which the Board relies most heavily. Each director nominee’s biography below describes his or her qualifications and relevant experience in more detail.

 

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Skills and Qualifications of our Board of Director Nominees

 

Experience,
expertise
or attribute

 

 

 Skelton 

 

 

 Gary 

 

 

 Higgins 

 Victor 

 

 

 Letier 

 

 

 Lynn 

 

 

 Miller 

 

 

 Montelongo 

 

 

 Paláu- 

 Hernández 

 

 

Industry Expertise (1)

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                         

 

X

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Global Business

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                X    

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Financial

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

         

Public Company

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

      X       X                 X          

 

Boards & Corporate Governance

 

             

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

X

 

   

 

 

 

X

 

      X              

 

 

 

X

 

      X

Business Operations

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                       

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Information Security

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                                                     

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

         

 

Diversity

 

                       

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

ESG Oversight

 

                       

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

(1)

Several director nominees have experience in the Services industry, including Mr. Montelongo who is the chair of the Audit Committee.

In addition to the qualifications and skills referenced above, we have provided below the principal occupation and other information about the relevant experience, qualifications, attributes or skills that the Board has concluded qualify each of the nominees to serve as a director of the Company.

 

LOGO

  

Clifford Skelton

Age: 65         Director since: 2019

Non- Independent

Occupation: Chief Executive Officer, Conduent Incorporated

Other Public Company Directorships: None

Other Background: On February 25, 2020, the Board appointed Mr. Skelton to serve as our Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Skelton had served in this role on an interim basis since August 2019. He previously served as our Chief Operating Officer from June 2019 to August 2019. Prior to joining Conduent, Mr. Skelton served as President of Fiserv Output Solutions from March 2017 to June 2019 and as the Group President and Chief Information Officer at Fiserv from April 2012 until March 2017. Mr. Skelton also held a variety of leadership roles at companies such as Ally Financial (formerly General Motors Acceptance Corporation) and Bank of America. Mr. Skelton is a former Navy fighter pilot and served in the Navy for over 20 years.

Mr. Skelton brings to the Board unique client services, financial and operational experience and a proven track record of leading growth and corporate transformations through his leadership positions with Fiserv, Ally Financial and Bank of America.

 

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LOGO   

Hunter Gary

Age: 46         Director since: 2020

Independent

Occupation: Senior Managing Director, Icahn Enterprises L.P.

Other Public Company Directorships: CVR Energy, Inc. (since 2018); Herbalife Nutrition LTD. (2014-2021); CVR Partners, L.P. (2018 to 2019), Federal-Mogul (2012 to 2016), Voltari Corporation (2007 to 2015); American Railcar Industries, Inc. (2008 to 2015); Viskase Companies Inc. (2012 to 2015), Tropicana Entertainment Inc. (2010 to 2018) and Cadus Corporation (2014 to 2018). Carl C. Icahn has a non-controlling interest in CVR Energy, Inc. through the ownership of securities.

Other Background: Mr. Gary has served as Senior Managing Director of Icahn Enterprises L.P. (“IEP”), a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, including investment, energy, automotive, food packaging, metals, real estate, and home fashion, and has been employed by IEP since November 2010. Prior to that time, Mr. Gary was employed by Icahn Associates Corporation, an affiliate of IEP, in various roles since June 2003. From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Gary worked, most recently as Managing Director, at Kaufhof Warenhaus AG.

Mr. Gary has served as director for CVR Energy, Inc., a diversified holding company primarily engaged in the petroleum refining and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing industries, since September 2018. He has also served in various operational and oversight roles of several other public companies and private companies. Mr. Gary received his B.S. with senior honors from Georgetown University as well as a certificate of executive development from Columbia Graduate School of Business.

Mr. Gary is a director selected by the Icahn Group pursuant to the Icahn Agreement. He brings to the Board significant operational and finance expertise and experience providing strategic advice and guidance gained from his positions with IEP and his experience as a director and in operational roles at other public and private companies.

 

LOGO   

Kathy Higgins Victor

Age: 64         Director since: 2019

Independent

Occupation: Founder, President and CEO Centera Corporation

Other Public Company Directorships: Best Buy (1999-2020)

Other Background: Ms. Higgins Victor has served as the President and CEO of Centera Corporation, an executive development and leadership coaching firm since 1995, where she advises CEOs and C-suites on leadership effectiveness, executive and CEO succession and corporate governance. Prior to Centera, Ms. Higgins Victor served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Northwest Airlines, Inc., where she was responsible for executive compensation, employee benefits and labor relations. She also held Human Resource-related leadership roles at The Pillsbury Co., Grand Metropolitan PLC and Burger King Corp. earlier in her career.

Ms. Higgins Victor brings to the Board significant experience in human resources, talent management, organizational culture and succession planning from her roles at Centera, Northwest Airlines Inc., The Pillsbury Co., Grand Metropolitan PLC and Burger King Corp. She also brings corporate governance expertise from her decades of experience at Centera and public company board experience.

 

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LOGO   

Scott Letier (Chairman of the Board)

Age: 60         Director since: 2018

Independent

Occupation: Managing Director of Deason Capital Services, LLC, the family office for Darwin Deason

Other Public Company Directorships: Xerox Holding Corporation (since 2018). Darwin Deason has a non-controlling interest in Xerox Holding Corporation through the ownership of securities.

Other Background: Mr. Letier has been Managing Director of Deason Capital Services, LLC (“DCS”) since July 2014. Prior to joining DCS, Mr. Letier was the Managing Director of JFO Group, LLC, the family office for the Jensen family from September 2006 to July 2014. Mr. Letier has over 20 years of prior leadership roles serving as a private equity investment professional and chief financial officer, and began his career in the audit group at Ernst & Whinney (now Ernst & Young). Mr. Letier has served on numerous boards in the past, and in addition to Xerox Holding Corporation, he currently serves on the board of directors for a number of private companies including: MV Transportation, Inc., the leading provider of paratransit services and the largest privately-owned passenger transportation contracting firm in the United States, Stellar Global, LLC, an Australian and U.S. based BPO/CRM Call Center Company, Colvin Resources Group, a Dallas based search and staffing firm, Grow 52, LLC (dba, Gardenuity), a tech enabled retailer, and serves on the fund advisory board of Griffis Residential, a Denver based multi-family real estate management and investment firm. Mr. Letier also serves as treasurer, board member, executive committee member, and is chairman of the audit and finance committees of the Dallas County Community College District Foundation. Mr. Letier is a Certified Public Accountant and has a BBA with a concentration in accounting from the Southern Methodist University – Cox School of Business.

Mr. Letier is a director selected by Darwin Deason pursuant to the Deason Agreement. With his over 20 years of prior leadership roles and service on other company boards and committees, Mr. Letier brings to the Board expertise relevant to Conduent, including his significant audit experience and his investment and financial expertise gained from serving as a private equity and investment professional and chief financial officer.

 

LOGO   

Jesse A. Lynn

Age: 50         Director since: 2019

Independent

Occupation: General Counsel, Icahn Enterprises L.P.

Other Public Company Directorships: FirstEnergy Corp. (since 2021); Cloudera, Inc. (since 2019); Herbalife Nutrition LTD. (2014-2021); and The Manitowoc Company, Inc. (2015-2018). Carl C. Icahn has a non-controlling interest in FirstEnergy Corp. and Cloudera, Inc. through the ownership of securities.

Other Background: Mr. Lynn has been general counsel of IEP, a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, including investment, energy, automotive, food packaging, metals, real estate, home fashion and pharma, since 2014. From 2004 to 2014, Mr. Lynn was Assistant General Counsel of IEP. Mr. Lynn has been a director of: FirstEnergy Corp., an electric utility company, since March 2021; and Cloudera, Inc., a company that provides a software platform for data engineering, data warehousing, machine learning and analytics, since August 2019. Mr. Lynn was previously a director of: Herbalife Nutrition Ltd., a nutrition company, from 2014 to January 2021; and The Manitowoc Company, Inc., a capital goods manufacturer, from April 2015 to February 2018. Prior to joining Icahn Enterprises, Mr. Lynn worked as an associate in the New York office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. in its business and finance department from 2000 until 2004. From 1996 until 2000, Mr. Lynn was an associate in the corporate group at Gordon Altman Butowsky Weitzen Shalov & Wein. Mr. Lynn received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law.

Mr. Lynn is a director selected by the Icahn Group pursuant to the Icahn Agreement. He brings to the Board legal and finance expertise gained both in private practice as well as his positions with Icahn Enterprises and his experience as a director of other public companies.

 

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LOGO   

Steven Miller

Age: 32         Director since: 2021

Independent

Occupation: Portfolio Manager, Icahn Capital LP

Other Public Company Directorships: Bausch Health Companies Inc. (since 2021). Carl C. Icahn has a non-controlling interest in Bausch Health Companies Inc. through the ownership of securities.

Other Background: Mr. Miller has been a Portfolio Manager of Icahn Capital LP since October 2020. Mr. Miller is responsible for analysis and engagement in connection with investments by Icahn Capital in public securities. Icahn Capital is a subsidiary of Icahn Enterprises L.P., a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, including investment, automotive, energy, food packaging, metals, real estate and home fashion. Prior to joining Icahn Capital, Mr. Miller was an Analyst in the Distressed and Special Situations investment group in the New York office of BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC (“BlueMountain”) from 2013 to 2019. Mr. Miller represented BlueMountain on the Ad Hoc Group of Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority Bondholders from 2014 to 2019. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Miller was an Analyst in the Distressed Products Group in the New York office of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Miller has served on the Bausch Health Companies Inc. board since March 2021. Mr. Miller received a B.S. summa cum laude from Duke University in 2011.

Mr. Miller is a director selected by the Icahn Group pursuant to the Icahn Agreement. He brings to the Board experience in finance.

 

LOGO   

Michael Montelongo

Age: 65         Director since 2020

Independent

Occupation: President and Chief Executive Officer of GRC Advisory Services, LLC

Other Public Company Directorships: Herbalife Nutrition LTD (2015); Unitek Global Services, Inc. (2010-2015); Denny’s Corporation (2005-2009)

Other Background: Mr. Montelongo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of GRC Advisory Services, LLC, a board governance firm, since July 2016, and was previously Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Corporate Affairs for Sodexo, Inc., a facilities and hospitality outsourcing services enterprise, from January 2008 to July 2016. He is a former George W. Bush White House appointee serving as the 19th Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Air Force from August 2001 to March 2005 and concluded his tenure at the Pentagon as acting Secretary of the Air Force. Mr. Montelongo is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was an executive with a global management consulting firm and a regional telecommunications company. He completed a career in the U.S. Army that included line and staff assignments, a Congressional Fellowship in the U.S. Senate and service as an assistant professor teaching economics and political science at West Point. Mr. Montelongo is also a senior advisor at leadershipForward, Inc., a premier leadership performance firm, and serves on the Herbalife Nutrition LTD board as well as private company boards, including the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation. Mr. Montelongo earned his B.S. from West Point and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Mr. Montelongo is a director nominee who brings to the Board significant experience and a cross-industry background in board governance, strategy, financial and risk management, policymaking and operational excellence from his roles as a business services executive and corporate governance leader at GRC Advisory Services, LLC, Sodexo, Inc. and the Pentagon. He also brings to the Board financial and audit committee experience from serving as a director on other public company boards.

 

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LOGO   

Margarita Paláu-Hernández

Age: 64         Director since: 2019

Independent

Occupation: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hernández Ventures

Other Public Company Directorships: Occidental Petroleum Corporation (since 2020); Herbalife Nutrition LTD (2018); and ALJ Regional Holdings, Inc. (2015-2019)

Other Background: Ms. Paláu-Hernández is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hernández Ventures, a private firm engaged in the acquisition and management of a variety of business interests in the United States and Mexico, a position she has held since November 1988. Prior to founding Hernández Ventures, Ms. Paláu-Hernández was an attorney with the law firm of McCutcheon, Black, Verleger & Shea, where she focused on domestic and international business and real estate transactions from September 1985 until August 1988. In September 2018, Ms. Paláu-Hernández was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as United States Representative to the Seventy-Third Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Ms. Paláu-Hernández has served as a member of the Herbalife Nutrition LTD board since 2015 and serves on the Occidental Petroleum Corporation board, and was previously a member of the ALJ Regional Holdings, Inc. board from 2015 to 2019. Ms. Paláu-Hernández earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law.

Ms. Paláu-Hernández brings to the Board over 30 years of knowledge and experience regarding international business and legal matters from her roles at Hernández Ventures and McCutcheon, Black, Verleger & Shea. She also brings to the Board her experience as a director on other public company boards.

The Board recommends a vote

FOR

the election of the eight (8) Directors nominated by the Board

 

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The Company is committed to the highest standards of business integrity and corporate governance. All of our directors, executives and employees must act ethically. In addition, our directors must act in accordance with our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for Members of the Board of Directors; our principal executive officer, principal financial officer and principal accounting officer, among others, must act in accordance with our Finance Code of Conduct; and all of our executives and employees must act in accordance with our Code of Business Conduct. Each of these codes of conduct, as well as our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters of our Audit, Compensation, Corporate Governance, Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committees can be accessed through our website at https://www.conduent.com/corporate-governance/ethics-and-compliance. They are also available to any shareholder who requests them in writing addressed to Conduent Incorporated, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932, Attention: Corporate Secretary. We will disclose any future amendments to, or waivers from, provisions of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for Members of the Board and our Code of Business Conduct and our Finance Code of Conduct for our officers on our website as promptly as practicable, and consistent with the requirements of applicable SEC and Nasdaq rules. The Corporate Governance Committee of the Board periodically reviews and reassesses the adequacy of our overall corporate governance and Corporate Governance Guidelines.

Director Nomination Process

The Corporate Governance Committee considers candidates for Board membership recommended by Board members, management and shareholders (see below). The Corporate Governance Guidelines require that a substantial majority of the Board consist of independent directors and that management representation on the Board should be limited to senior Company management. There are no specific minimum qualifications that the Corporate Governance Committee believes must be met by prospective candidates; however, the Corporate Governance Committee applies the criteria set forth in our Corporate Governance Guidelines. These criteria include, among other things, the candidate’s broad perspective, integrity, independence of judgment, experience, expertise, diversity, ability to make independent analytical inquiries, understanding of the Company’s business environment and willingness to devote adequate time and effort to Board responsibilities. The Corporate Governance Committee does not assign specific weight to particular criteria and no particular criterion is necessarily applicable to all prospective nominees.

Our Corporate Governance Guidelines dictate that diversity should be considered by the Corporate Governance Committee in the director identification and nomination process. This means that the Corporate Governance Committee seeks nominees who bring a variety of business backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to the Board. We believe that the backgrounds and qualifications of the directors, considered as a group, should provide a broad diversity of experience, professions, skills, geographic representations, knowledge and abilities that will allow the Board to fulfill its responsibilities.

Shareholders who wish to recommend individuals for consideration by the Corporate Governance Committee as director nominees may do so by submitting a written recommendation to the Secretary of the Company at Conduent Incorporated, 100 Campus Drive, Suite 200, Florham Park, NJ 07932. Submissions must include sufficient biographical information concerning the recommended individual, including age, employment and current board memberships (if any), for the Corporate Governance Committee to consider. The submission must be accompanied by the written consent of the nominee to stand for election if nominated by the Board and to serve if elected by the shareholders. All submissions are reviewed by the Corporate Governance Committee. Recommendations received no earlier than November 6, 2021 and no later than December 6, 2021 will be considered for nomination at the Company’s 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Board Leadership Structure

We believe that the most effective board structure is one that emphasizes Board independence and ensures that the Board’s deliberations are not dominated by management while also ensuring that the Board and senior management act with a common purpose and in the best interest of the Company. At this time, we believe this balance is achieved through the appointment of an independent Chairman of the Board. Accordingly, Scott Letier, an independent director, serves as Chairman of the Board. Under our Corporate Governance Guidelines, each regularly scheduled Board meeting must include an executive session of all directors and the CEO and a separate executive session attended only by the independent directors. As of the date of this Proxy Statement, all

 

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of our current directors and director nominees qualify as independent directors, except for Mr. Skelton, and each of our standing Board committees is comprised solely of independent directors, including our Corporate Governance Committee, which establishes our corporate governance policy and monitors the effectiveness of this policy at the Board level. You can find more information on our Board leadership structure in the Corporate Governance Guidelines posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance.

Risk Oversight

Our Board of Directors has ultimate oversight responsibility for our Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) program. This oversight is facilitated primarily through the Audit Committee of the Board, which previews the ERM program, related assessments and remediation activities for subsequent review by the Board. Our ERM program is designed to strengthen our risk-management capability by developing and implementing a governance structure, policy, processes and standards that enable the identification, assessment, monitoring and management of strategic, financial, operational, cybersecurity, technology and compliance business risks. The ERM program is designed to preserve and create organizational value through effective control management and integration of risk practices into strategic planning and organizational decision making. ERM is administered within our Global Risk organization under the direction of our Chief Risk Officer. Our Global Risk organization works throughout the enterprise with management to identify and address emerging risks, review and establish risk tolerances, prioritize risk remediation and review and report on risk mitigation plans and progress. The Audit Committee meets quarterly with the Chief Risk Officer.

Director Independence

A director is not considered independent unless the Corporate Governance Committee and Board determines that he or she has no material relationship with the Company. The Board makes a determination as to each director’s independence broadly considering all relevant facts and circumstances. A director is presumed not to have a material relationship with the Company if the director meets all the bright-line independence and other applicable requirements under the listing standards of the NASDAQ Stock Market (“Nasdaq”) and all other applicable laws, rules and regulations regarding independence.

In addition, the Corporate Governance Committee and the Board review relationships involving members of the Board, their immediate family members and affiliates, and transactions in which members of the Board, their immediate family members and their affiliates have a direct or indirect interest in which the Company is a participant to determine whether such relationship or transaction is material and could impair a director’s independence. In making independence determinations, the Board considers all relevant facts and circumstances from the point of view of both the director and the persons or organizations with which the director has relationships. See “Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions.”

As a result of the this review, our Board has determined that all of the nominees for election as directors at the Annual Meeting, as well as all directors who previously served on our Board during 2020, are independent under the Nasdaq rules and our Corporate Governance Guidelines, with the exception of Clifford Skelton, our CEO.

Certain Relationships and Related Person Transactions

Related Person Transactions Policy

The Board has adopted a policy addressing the Company’s procedures with respect to the review, approval and ratification of “related person transactions” that are required to be disclosed pursuant to Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K. The policy, which is administered by the Corporate Governance Committee, provides that any transaction, arrangement or relationship, or series of similar transactions, in which the Company will participate or has participated and a “related person” (as defined in Item 404(a) of Regulation S-K) has or will have a direct or indirect material interest, and where the amount involved exceeds $120,000 in the aggregate, is subject to review (each such transaction, a “Related Person Transaction”). In its review of Related Person Transactions, the Corporate Governance Committee reviews the material facts and circumstances of the transaction and takes into account certain factors, where appropriate, based on the particular facts and circumstances, including: (i) the nature of the “related person’s” interest in the transaction; (ii) the significance of the transaction to the Company and to the “related person”; and (iii) whether the transaction is likely to impair the judgment of the “related person” to act in the best interest of the Company. No member of the Corporate Governance Committee may participate in the review, approval or ratification of a transaction with respect to which he or she is a “related person.”

 

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In the normal course of business, the Company provides services to (including human resources, end-user support and other services and solutions), and purchases from (office equipment and related services and supplies), certain parties in which Carl C. Icahn and his affiliates (collectively, the “Icahn shareholders”), a beneficial owner of more than five percent of the Company’s voting securities, have an ownership interest. Total transactions with the Icahn shareholders in 2020 were as follows: revenue from these parties was approximately $24 million; purchases from these parties was approximately $36 million.

In 2020, one of the Company’s vendors, Summus Group, engaged a consultant who was assigned to work at the Company. The consultant is Sara Prout, spouse of Mark Prout, our Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer. This was a routine consulting arrangement entered into in the ordinary course of business. Summus Group was paid $290,149 in respect of the work done by Sara Prout during 2020.

Icahn Agreements and Deason Agreement

See above under “Proposal 1 – Election of Directors” for information regarding our interest in (1) agreements between Xerox and the Icahn Group and (2) the agreement with Darwin Deason.

Certain Employment Arrangements

We actively recruit qualified candidates for our employment needs. Relatives of our executive officers and other employees are eligible for hire. In 2020, no immediate family member of our executive officers or directors was employed by the Company or one of its subsidiaries and received more than $120,000 in annual compensation (salary, incentive cash awards, equity awards and commissions).

BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND BOARD COMMITTEES

Committee Functions, Membership and Meetings

Our Board has five standing committees: Audit, Compensation, Corporate Governance, Finance and Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy. Set forth below is a summary of the responsibilities of each committee, the number of committee meetings held during 2020 for each committee and a list of the members of each committee. The Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee was created in March 2021.

Audit Committee (8 meetings)

A copy of the charter of the Audit Committee is posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance.

The responsibilities of the Audit Committee are set forth in the Audit Committee charter and include the following:

 

   

appoint, retain, compensate, evaluate and replace our independent auditors;

 

   

review and pre-approve audit services to be performed by our independent auditors;

 

   

examine and make recommendations with respect to the audit scope, plans for and results of the annual audit;

 

   

assess independent auditor’s qualifications and independence;

 

   

oversee the activities, qualifications, adequacy of resources, performance and effectiveness of the internal audit organization and review and approve the internal audit scope and internal audit plan;

 

   

review with management, the independent auditors and the internal auditors the quality and adequacy of internal controls;

 

   

review and make recommendations to the Board regarding the Company’s policies and disclosures with regard to affiliate transactions;

 

   

oversee the Company’s risk assessment policies and practices, including the ERM process, and preview the ERM assessment and process for subsequent review by the Board;

 

   

oversee the integrity of the Company’s financial statements;

 

   

review the Company’s audited financial statements, including the Company’s “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and recommend to the Board their inclusion in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K;

 

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review the effectiveness of the Company’s compliance and ethics program, including reviewing and approving the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and Finance Code of Conduct;

 

   

oversee the Company’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements;

 

   

assess performance of the Company’s independent auditors and the internal audit function; and

 

   

meet quarterly with management regarding strategy for monitoring and maintaining information security.

The Audit Committee is also responsible for the preparation of the Audit Committee Report that is included in this Proxy Statement beginning on page 58.

Members: Kathy Higgins Victor, Steven Miller and Michael Montelongo (Nicholas Graziano served on the Audit Committee until March 30, 2020. Michael A. Nutter and Virginia Wilson served until May 19, 2020. They were replaced by Ms. Higgins Victor and Mr. Montelongo. Scott Letier served until March 9, 2021 and was replaced by Mr. Miller.)

Chair: Mr. Montelongo

The Board has determined that: (1) all of the members of the Audit Committee are independent under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and under the applicable SEC and Nasdaq rules and are able to read and understand financial statements; and (2) Mmes. Wilson and Higgins Victor and Messrs. Letier and Montelongo are “audit committee financial experts,” as defined in the applicable SEC rules. Designation or identification of a person as an audit committee financial expert does not impose any duties, obligations or liability that are greater than the duties, obligations and liability imposed on such person as a member of the Audit Committee and the Board in the absence of such designation or identification.

Compensation Committee (7 meetings)

A copy of the charter of the Compensation Committee is posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance.

The responsibilities of the Compensation Committee are set forth in the Compensation Committee charter and include the following:

 

   

oversee development and administration of the Company’s executive compensation plans;

 

   

set the compensation of the CEO and other executive officers;

 

   

review and approve the performance goals and objectives with respect to the compensation of the CEO and other executive officers;

 

   

have sole authority to retain, terminate and assess the independence of the consulting firms engaged to assist the Compensation Committee in the evaluation of the compensation of the CEO and other executive officers, and oversee the work of the compensation consultants, including determination of compensation to be paid to any such consultant by the Company;

 

   

review and approve employment, severance, change-in-control, termination and retirement arrangements for executive officers;

 

   

review, and approve all executive officer compensation and retirement plans, and administer and interpret such compensation plans;

 

   

oversee the evaluation of the CEO and other executive officers;

 

   

review and recommend to the Board the Company’s stock ownership guidelines and all material compensation-related policies;

 

   

oversee the development and succession planning for executive officers;

 

   

oversee and review the assessment and mitigation of risks associated with the Company’s compensation policies and practices; and

 

   

oversee shareholder communications on executive compensation.

The Compensation Committee is also responsible for reviewing and discussing the Compensation Discussion and Analysis (“CD&A”) with management, and has recommended to the Board that the CD&A be included in

 

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this Proxy Statement (beginning on page 26) and incorporated by reference into the Company’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K. The CD&A discusses the material aspects of the Company’s compensation objectives, policies and practices. The Compensation Committee’s report appears on page 43 of this Proxy Statement.

The Compensation Committee has not delegated its authority with respect to executive compensation decisions. The Compensation Committee has, however, delegated authority under the Company’s equity plan to the CEO and Global Head of Human Resources to grant equity awards to employees who are not executive officers. The CEO is also responsible for setting the compensation of, reviewing performance goals and objectives for, and evaluating officers who are not executive officers.

Executive officer compensation decisions are made by the Compensation Committee after discussing recommendations with the CEO and the Global Head of Human Resources. The Chief Financial Officer confirms the Company’s financial results used by the Compensation Committee to make compensation decisions. The Chief Financial Officer attends Compensation Committee meetings to discuss financial targets and results for the Annual Performance Incentive Plan and the Long-Term Incentive Program as described in the CD&A. The Compensation Committee meets in executive session to review and approve compensation actions for the CEO.

The Compensation Committee has retained Frederic W. Cook & Co. (“F.W. Cook”) as an independent consultant to the Compensation Committee. F.W. Cook provides no services to management and provides an annual letter to the Compensation Committee regarding its independence, which the Compensation Committee reviews and determines whether there is any conflict of interest. Based on its review for 2020, the Compensation Committee determined that F.W. Cook’s work has not raised any conflict of interest and that such firm is independent. The consultant’s responsibilities are discussed on page 33 of this Proxy Statement.

Members: Hunter Gary, Scott Letier and Margarita Paláu-Hernández (Nicholas Graziano served on the Compensation Committee until March 30, 2020. Michael A. Nutter served until May 19, 2020 and was replace by Jesse Lynn. Mr. Lynn served until August 18, 2020 and was replaced by Mr. Gary. Kathy Higgins Victor served until March 9, 2021 and was replaced by Mr. Letier.)

Chair: Mr. Gary

The Board has determined that all of the members of the Compensation Committee are independent under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and the applicable Nasdaq rules and that each Committee member is a “non-employee director” as defined in Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act.

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation

During 2020, Ms. Higgins Victor, Mr. Gary, Mr. Graziano, Mr. Lynn, Mr. Nutter and Ms. Paláu-Hernández each served on our Compensation Committee. No member of the Compensation Committee was during 2020 or, with respect to current members of the Compensation Committee, is, an officer or employee of the Company or any of its subsidiaries. In addition, during the last fiscal year, none of our executive officers served on the compensation committee (or its equivalent) or board of directors of another entity whose executive officer served on our Board or Compensation Committee.

Corporate Governance Committee (6 meetings)

A copy of the charter of the Corporate Governance Committee is posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance.

The responsibilities of the Corporate Governance Committee are set forth in the Corporate Governance Committee charter and include the following:

 

   

identify, screen and recommend candidates for membership on the Board, consistent with criteria recommended by the Corporate Governance Committee and approved by the Board;

 

   

review and make recommendations to the Board concerning the size, structure, composition and procedures of the Board and Board committees;

 

   

review and make recommendations to the Board concerning length of Board services and retirement age for Board members;

 

   

review and assess the independence of each director and make recommendation to the Board regarding the independence of each director;

 

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review director compensation and recommend to the Board any changes;

 

   

advise the Board regarding Board composition, procedures and committees;

 

   

consider matters of corporate governance and review the Company’s corporate governance policies, including the Corporate Governance Guidelines;

 

   

monitor compliance with the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for members of the Board;

 

   

review significant environmental and corporate social responsibility matters;

 

   

administer the Company’s Related Person Transactions Policy;

 

   

review and recommend director orientation and continuing director education;

 

   

provide oversight and make recommendations to the Board regarding the Company’s response to shareholder proposals;

 

   

review and discuss with management disclosure of Company’s corporate governance practices to be included in Company’s proxy statement and Form 10-K; and

 

   

oversee the annual evaluation processes process of the Board and Board committees.

The Corporate Governance Committee recommends to the Board nominees for election as directors of the Company and considers the performance of incumbent directors in determining whether to recommend their nomination.

Members: Hunter Gary, Jesse Lynn and Margarita Paláu-Hernández (Courtney Mather served on the Corporate Governance Committee until May 26, 2020 and was replaced by Kathy Higgins Victor. Ms. Higgins Victor served until March 9, 2021 and was replaced by Mr. Gary.)

Chair: Ms. Paláu-Hernández

The Board has determined that all of the members of the Corporate Governance Committee are independent under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and the applicable Nasdaq rules.

Finance Committee (4 meetings)

A copy of the charter of the Finance Committee is posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance.

The responsibilities of the Finance Committee are set forth in the Finance Committee charter and include the following:

 

   

review the Company’s cash position, capital structure, status of credit ratings and strategies, financing strategies and insurance coverage and report to the full Board with respect thereto as appropriate;

 

   

review and make recommendations to the management and the full Board as appropriate with respect to the Company’s dividend policy and capital allocation policy;

 

   

review the adequacy of the funding of the Company’s funded retirement plans and welfare benefits plans (other than those plans maintained pursuant to a collective agreement that names the Joint Administrative Board as the governing plan fiduciary) in terms of the Company’s corporate purposes;

 

   

review the Company’s policy on derivatives;

 

   

approve, at least annually, whether the Company and its subsidiaries shall enter into swap and security-based swap transactions that are not cleared with a Commodity Exchange Act registered clearing organization in reliance on the exemptions provided under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and rules and regulations thereunder (the “Dodd-Frank Act”);

 

   

review and approve the three-year strategic plan and the annual capital budget; and

 

   

review and approve (1) acquisitions in excess of $75 million or involving the issuance of Company stock and (2) dispositions of assets or stock of a subsidiary in excess of $50 million.

Members: Scott Letier, Steven Miller and Michael Montelongo (Mr. Montelongo replaced Virginia A. Wilson on May 26, 2020 and Mr. Miller replaced Courtney Mather on February 3, 2021.)

Chair: Mr. Miller

 

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The Board has determined that all of the members of the Finance Committee are independent under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and the applicable Nasdaq rules.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee

On March 9, 2021, the Board created the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee. A copy of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee charter will be posted on the Company’s website at www.conduent.com/corporate-governance when it is adopted.

Members: Kathy Higgins Victor, Jesse Lynn and Michael Montelongo

Chair: Ms. Higgins Victor

The Board has determined that all of the members of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee are independent under the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines and the applicable Nasdaq rules.

Board and Committee Meetings; Annual Meeting Attendance

Board and Committee Meeting Attendance: 11 meetings of the Board of Directors were held in 2020. The number of meetings held by each of our Board committees is noted above under “Committee Functions, Membership and Meetings.” All incumbent directors attended at least 97% of the total number of meetings of the Board and Board committees on which they served. We believe that attendance at meetings is only one means by which directors may contribute to the effective management of the Company and that the contributions of all directors have been substantial and are highly valued.

Annual Meeting Attendance Policy: The Company’s policy generally is for all members of the Board to attend the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. All nominees who were serving as directors at the time attended the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Annual Director Compensation

Our Board, upon the review and recommendation of our Corporate Governance Committee, adopted a compensation program for our non-employee directors effective January 1, 2018. The following is a brief summary of the material elements of the program.

Cash Compensation

Under the program, non-employee directors receive $80,000 per year as an annual cash retainer for their service on the Board. In addition, non-employee directors receive additional cash retainers for the following roles:

 

   

The Non-Executive Chairman receives $125,000 per year;

 

   

The Chair of the Audit Committee receives $25,000 per year and each other member of the Audit Committee receives $15,000 per year;

 

   

The Chair of the Compensation Committee receives $20,000 per year and each other member of the Compensation Committee receives $12,000 per year;

 

   

The Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee receives $15,000 per year and each other member of the Corporate Governance Committee receives $10,000 per year; and

 

   

The Chair of the Finance Committee receives $15,000 per year and each other member of the Finance Committee receives $10,000 per year.

 

   

The Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee receives $15,000 per year and each other member of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee receives $10,000 per year.(1)

All directors are also reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with service on the Board or any of its Committees.

 

(1) 

Compensation for the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Policy Committee was adopted on March 9, 2021.

 

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Equity Compensation

Under the program, each non-employee director is automatically eligible for an annual equity award granted in the form of deferred stock units (“DSU”) under the Director Equity Plan. A DSU is a bookkeeping entry that represents the right to receive one share of our Common Stock at a future date. DSUs are vested on the date of grant and include the right to receive dividend equivalents, which are credited in the form of additional DSUs, at the same time and in approximately the same amounts that the holder of an equivalent number of shares of our Common Stock would be entitled to receive in dividends. For 2020, our non-employee directors were entitled to an annual grant of DSUs with a grant date fair value of $190,000. Each of Messrs. Gary and Montelongo received a prorated grant of DSUs in connection with their appointment to the Board. If a director separates from service prior to year-end, DSU grants include a clawback provision allowing for recovery of DSUs granted during the year of separation from service on a pro rata basis. Each of Messrs. Graziano and Nutter and Ms. Wilson forfeited DSUs under the clawback provision in connection with their respective resignations from the Board.

Deferral of Retainer Fees

Board members can elect to receive up to 100% of their $80,000 annual cash retainer in the form of DSUs, the payout of which are deferred for a specified number of years following grant, as determined by the director, or until any earlier separation from service.

Director Stock Ownership Guidelines

The program includes stock ownership guidelines that require directors to own Common Stock in a minimum amount equal to 6 times the annual cash retainer ($80,000 x 6 = $480,000). Directors are required to retain 50% of all shares received upon the vesting of equity awards (net of shares which may be sold to cover applicable taxes) until the threshold is achieved.

2020 Director Compensation Table

The following table shows the compensation paid by Conduent to its non-employee directors for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020. Clifford Skelton, Chief Executive Officer is not included in this table because he was an employee of the Company during 2020 and received no additional compensation for his service as a director. The compensation received by Mr. Skelton as an employee is included in the 2020 Summary Compensation Table below.

 

Name (1)

 

 

Fees Earned or

Paid in Cash ($) (2)

 

   

    Stock Awards    

($)(3)

 

 

All Other

    Compensation ($)    

 

   

Total ($)

 

 

Hunter Gary

    35,000     79,170  

 

 

 

 

 

    114,170  

Nicholas Graziano

    53,500     47,500  

 

 

 

 

 

    101,000  

Kathy Higgins Victor

    112,667     190,000  

 

 

 

 

 

    302,667  

Scott Letier

    110,000 (4)    190,000  

 

 

 

 

 

    300,000  

Jesse Lynn

    88,000     190,000  

 

 

 

 

 

    278,000  

Courtney Mather

    219,167 (4)    190,000  

 

 

 

 

 

    409,167  

Michael Montelongo

    72,667     126,667  

 

 

 

 

 

    199,334  

Michael Nutter

    53,500     79,167  

 

 

 

 

 

    132,667  

Margarita Paláu-Hernández

    105,153     190,000  

 

 

 

 

 

    295,153  

Virginia M. Wilson

    57,500     79,167  

 

 

 

 

 

    136,667  

 

(1)

Messrs. Gary, Graziano, Montelongo and Nutter and Ms. Wilson did not serve on the Board for the full year. Mr. Gary joined the Board on August 18, 2020 and received a prorated grant of DSUs on August 18, 2020 as well as a prorated annual cash retainer. Mr. Graziano resigned from the Board effective March 30, 2020 and a prorated portion of his DSUs were forfeited. Mr. Montelongo joined the Board on May 19, 2020 and received a prorated grant of DSUs on May 19, 2020 as well as a prorated annual cash retainer. Mr. Nutter and Ms. Wilson did not stand for re-election to the Board on May 19, 2021 and a prorated portion of their DSUs were forfeited.

 

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(2)

On May 5, 2020, in connection with the Company’s cost-cutting measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board elected to reduce the fees payable to the Company’s non-employee directors by 20% of the retainer in respect of Board services for a period of three months during the second half of 2020.

 

(3)

This column reflects the aggregate grant date fair value of the annual equity grant made to non-employee directors in the form of DSUs ($190,000) (prorated for Messrs. Gary, Graziano, Montelongo and Nutter and Ms. Wilson) and computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (“FASB ASC”) Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation.

 

(4)

Directors elected to defer a portion of their annual cash retainer reflected in the Fees Earned or Paid in Cash column in the form of DSUs as follows: Messrs. Mather and Letier: $80,000 each.

The total number of all DSUs held by each director as of December 31, 2020 is as follows: Mr. Gary: 21,112; Mr. Graziano: 0; Ms. Higgins Victor: 32,816; Mr. Letier: 76,982; Mr. Lynn: 32,816; Mr. Mather: 106,385; Mr. Montelongo: 56,802; Mr. Nutter: 9,687; Ms. Paláu-Hernández: 32,816; and Ms. Wilson: 9,687.

 

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SECURITIES OWNERSHIP

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners (1)

We are not aware of any person who, or group which, owns beneficially more than 5% of any class of the Company’s equity securities as of February 28, 2021, except as set forth below.

 

Title of Class                Name and Address of Beneficial Owner   

Amount and

Nature of

Beneficial

Ownership

    

Percent

of Class

 

Common Stock

  

Mr. Carl C. Icahn (2)

c/o Icahn Capital LP

767 Fifth Avenue, 47th Floor

New York, NY 10153

     38,149,336        18.00

Common Stock

  

The Vanguard Group (3)

100 Vanguard Blvd.

Malvern, PA 19355

     15,194,959        7.15

Common Stock

  

Mr. Darwin A. Deason (4)

3953 Maple Avenue, Suite 150

Dallas, TX 75219

     12,320,307        5.80

Common Stock

  

BlackRock, Inc. (5)

55 East 52nd Street

New York, NY 10055

     12,272,689        5.78

 

 

(1)

The words “group” and “beneficial” are as defined in regulations issued by the SEC. Beneficial ownership under such definition means possession of sole voting power, shared voting power, sole dispositive power or shared dispositive power. The information provided in this table is based solely upon the information contained in the most recent Schedule 13G or 13G/A (or in the case of Mr. Icahn and Mr. Deason, the most recent Schedule 13D or 13D/A) filed by the named entity with the SEC.

 

(2)

Based on a Schedule 13D/A filed with the SEC on August 16, 2019 by Carl C. Icahn to report his beneficial ownership as of that date.

Represents shares of Common Stock held by the following group of entities associated with Carl C. Icahn: High River Limited Partnership (“High River”), Hopper Investments LLC (“Hopper”), Barberry Corp. (“Barberry”), Icahn Partners Master Fund LP (“Icahn Master”), Icahn Offshore LP (“Icahn Offshore”), Icahn Partners LP (“Icahn Partners”), Icahn Onshore LP (“Icahn Onshore”), Icahn Capital LP (“Icahn Capital”), IPH GP LLC (“IPH”), Icahn Enterprises Holdings L.P. (“Icahn Enterprises Holdings”), Icahn Enterprises G.P. Inc. (“Icahn Enterprises GP”) and Beckton Corp. (“Beckton”) (collectively, the “Reporting Persons”). The principal business address of (i) each of the Reporting Persons is White Plains Plaza, 445 Hamilton Avenue - Suite 1210, White Plains, NY 10601, and (ii) Mr. Icahn is c/o Icahn Associates Holding LLC, 767 Fifth Avenue, 47th Floor, New York, NY 10153.

High River has sole voting power and sole dispositive power with regard to 7,629,868 shares of Common Stock. Each of Hopper, Barberry and Mr. Icahn has shared voting power and shared dispositive power with regard to such shares of Common Stock. Icahn Master has sole voting power and sole dispositive power with regard to 12,672,483 shares of Common Stock. Each of Icahn Offshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn has shared voting power and shared dispositive power with regard to such shares of Common Stock. Icahn Partners has sole voting power and sole dispositive power with regard to 17,846,985 shares of Common Stock. Each of Icahn Onshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn has shared voting power and shared dispositive power with regard to such shares of Common Stock.

Each of Hopper, Barberry and Mr. Icahn, by virtue of their relationships to High River, may be deemed to indirectly beneficially own the shares of Common Stock which High River directly beneficially owns. Each of Hopper, Barberry and Mr. Icahn disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares of Common Stock for all other purposes. Each of Icahn Offshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises

 

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GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn, by virtue of their relationships to Icahn Master, may be deemed to indirectly beneficially own the shares of Common Stock which Icahn Master directly beneficially owns. Each of Icahn Offshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares of Common Stock for all other purposes. Each of Icahn Onshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn, by virtue of their relationships to Icahn Partners, may be deemed to indirectly beneficially own the shares of Common Stock which Icahn Partners directly beneficially owns. Each of Icahn Onshore, Icahn Capital, IPH, Icahn Enterprises Holdings, Icahn Enterprises GP, Beckton and Mr. Icahn disclaims beneficial ownership of such shares of Common Stock for all other purposes.

 

(3)

Based on a Schedule 13G/A filed with the SEC on February 10, 2021 by The Vanguard Group (“Vanguard”), Vanguard has no sole voting power for shares of Common Stock, sole dispositive power for 14,874,415 shares of Common Stock, shared voting power for 169,738 shares of Common Stock and shared dispositive power for 320,544 shares of Common Stock.

 

(4)

Based on a Schedule 13D/A filed with the SEC on February 16, 2021 by Darwin A. Deason. Mr. Deason has sole voting power and sole dispositive power for 12,320,307 shares of Common Stock and has no shared voting power or shared dispositive power for any shares of Common Stock, which shares include 5,393,256 shares of Common Stock issuable upon the conversion of 120,000 shares of Conduent Series A Convertible Perpetual Preferred Stock held by Mr. Deason.

 

(5)

Based on a Schedule 13G/A filed with the SEC on January 29, 2021 by BlackRock, Inc. (“BlackRock”), BlackRock has sole voting power for 11,934,521 shares of Common Stock, sole dispositive power for 12,272,689 shares of Common Stock and has no shared voting power or shared dispositive power for any shares of Common Stock.

Shares of Common Stock of the Company owned beneficially by the directors and nominees for director, each of the named executive officers named in the Summary Compensation Table and all current directors and executive officers as a group, as of February 28, 2021, were as follows. To our knowledge, these individuals have sole voting and dispositive power with respect to the reported shares.

 

Name of

Beneficial Owner

Amount

Beneficially

Owned (1)(2)(3)

   
Clifford Skelton   433,109
   
Mark Brewer   49,374
   
Hunter Gary   0
   
Kathy Higgins Victor   12,708
   
Louis Keyes   102,624
   
Michael Krawitz   121,644
   
Scott Letier   122,251
   
Jesse A. Lynn   43,967
   
Steven Miller   0
   
Michael Montelongo   0
   
Margarita Paláu-Hernández   45,524
   
Mark Prout   88,606
   
Brian Webb-Walsh   281,101
   
Stephen Wood   0
   
All directors and executive officers as a group (14)   1,300,908

 

(1) Percent Owned by Directors and Executive Officers: Each director and executive officer beneficially owned less than 1% of the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock outstanding as of February 28, 2021. The amount beneficially owned by all directors and executive officers as a group also amounted to less than 1%.

 

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(2) Amount Beneficially Owned: The numbers shown above are the shares of Common Stock considered beneficially owned by the directors and executive officers in accordance with SEC rules and includes shares held indirectly.

(3) Shares of Common Stock which executive officers, directors and nominees have a right, within 60 days of February 28, 2021, to acquire upon the exercise of options or rights or upon vesting of performance shares, DSUs or restricted stock units are also required to be included for purposes of determining beneficial ownership. None of our executive officers, directors or nominees hold any Company securities which are exercisable or scheduled to vest within 60 days of February 28, 2021.

Delinquent Section 16(a) Reports

Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act (“Section 16”) requires the Company’s directors, executive officers and persons who own more than ten percent of the Common Stock of the Company, to file with the SEC initial reports of beneficial ownership and reports of changes in beneficial ownership of Common Stock of the Company. Based solely on review of these reports, or written representations from these persons that no other reports were required to be filed with the SEC, the Company believes that all reports for the Company’s directors, executive officers and ten percent shareholders that were required to be filed under Section 16 during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 were timely filed, except that Mario Pompeo and Brian Webb-Walsh each filed one late Form 4 with respect to two transactions and Courtney Mather and Scott Letier each filed one late Form 4 with respect to one transaction.

COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

In this Compensation Discussion and Analysis (“CD&A”), we discuss the compensation philosophy, programs and practices adopted by the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of Conduent (the “Compensation Committee”) for our named executive officers and review the various objectives and elements of our executive compensation program, its alignment with performance and the 2020 compensation decisions regarding our named executive officers.

For purposes of this CD&A and the disclosure that follows, the following are our named executive officers for 2020:

 

   

Clifford Skelton, Chief Executive Officer

 

   

Brian Webb-Walsh, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

 

   

Michael Krawitz, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

 

   

Louis Keyes, Executive Vice President, Chief Revenue Officer

 

   

Mark Prout, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

With revenues of approximately $4 billion, we are a leading provider of business process services with expertise in transaction-intensive processing, analytics and automation. We serve as a trusted business partner in both the front office and back office, enabling personalized, seamless interactions on a massive scale that improve end-user experience.

Headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, we have a team of approximately 63,000 people as of December 31, 2020, servicing customers from service centers in 22 countries. In 2020, 10% of our revenue was generated outside the U.S.

We create value for our clients through efficient global service delivery combined with a personalized and seamless experience for the end-user. We apply our expertise, technology and innovation to continually modernize our offerings for improved customer and constituent satisfaction and loyalty, increased process efficiency and rapid response to changing market dynamics.

2020 Strategic Focus

Our vision is to become the leading business services partner of choice for businesses and governments globally. Through our dedicated associates, we deliver mission-critical services and solutions on behalf of businesses and governments, creating valuable outcomes for our clients and the millions of people who count

 

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on us. To achieve this mission and purpose, we are focused on delivering outcomes simultaneously across three dimensions: Growth, Efficiency and Quality. Our business strategy is designed to deliver value by creating profitable growth, expanding operating margins, focusing on process efficiencies and deploying a disciplined capital allocation strategy. As our CEO, Clifford Skelton is leading these efforts and driving our strategic direction. Mr. Skelton was named interim CEO in August 2019 and the Board named him as CEO in February 2020. Mr. Skelton, along with many of Conduent’s new executive leaders, are prioritizing the importance of these strategic initiatives.

Growth: Our opportunity for growth comes from understanding our clients’ businesses, strengthening our relationships and driving valuable outcomes for our clients that enable them to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and grow their businesses. To capitalize on the growth opportunities, we are focused on the following strategies during 2020:

 

   

Sales Performance Optimization: Our sales activities reside under a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) and we have been making steady investments in sales training and process improvements. We continued to improve client responsiveness and increased sales coverage, including in international markets. We provide our sales team with regular training tailored for their roles, streamlined processes and implemented systems to equip them with modern tools that enable them to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively. In 2020, we also began efforts to enhance our delivery by bringing standardization in core services, creating efficiencies through automation and optimizing our cost structure by shifting to a shared services model.

 

   

Offering Development: We augmented our portfolio of services and solutions with innovative technology capabilities, including data analytics, robotic process automation (RPA) tools and machine learning capabilities, to create differentiated, high-value services for our clients and penetrate attractive market segments.

As we improved our quality and efficiency, our clients have renewed contracts with us and have given us more work in adjacent service lines, and we have gained new clients who have put their trust in us. We have also had a significant improvement in our client Net Promoter scores for three consecutive bi-annual periods. Driving our clients’ success has fueled our success. We are measuring more immediate success in our Growth initiative through revenue retention and new business signings, among other metrics.

Efficiency: We continued to find ways to reduce costs and deliver more effectively via increased efficiencies. We simplified and standardized our operating model by removing redundant management layers and implementing more robust processes to enable faster decision-making and greater transparency. In addition, we are continuing to unlock further efficiencies through the following strategies:

 

   

Automation: We have and will continue to invest in embedding automation capabilities into operations, including document processing and intelligent virtual assistant customer care tools. Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms will complement RPA tools by improving processes through pattern recognition. Additionally, we are exploiting synergies from sharing and coordinating automation capabilities across our various lines of business.

 

   

Technology Consolidation: We have identified and rationalized duplicative technology systems across our lines of business. Centralizing technology systems drives economies of scale, amplifies the impact of investments and creates consistent, resilient service delivery.

 

   

Delivery Optimization: We began the process of exploring several delivery optimization opportunities such as identifying common activities across our businesses and delivering them via shared service models, utilizing new staffing models including work for home and flexible “gig worker” models, and optimizing our geographic footprint

We responded with agility to clients’ shifting needs and received positive client feedback for our services and proactivity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are measuring success in “Efficiency” by associate retention and improved adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Adjusted EBITDA) margin, among other metrics.

 

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Quality: Our clients count on consistent, high-quality service delivery. We have made significant progress in improving platform uptime and operational readiness, and significantly boosting client confidence and satisfaction by focusing on the following strategies:

 

   

Proactive, Real time Monitoring of Applications and Service Performance: We are investing in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to proactively monitor and prevent incidents. In 2020, we opened a state-of-the-art global IT command center in Sandy, UT to deliver more seamless and reliable service to our global clients.

 

   

Data Center Optimization: We are standardizing our technology footprint to improve performance and lower costs. As part of this, we have launched a data center optimization program to consolidate our multiple data centers into a select few.

 

   

Improve End User Experience: We are improving user interface/user experience across our offerings by introducing self-service tools, launching mobile apps and leveraging analytics to create deeper insights.

Our strategic focus on Growth, Quality and Efficiency serves as the foundation for our compensation programs. Key aspects of the program design were directly aligned to our improvement journey, including incentivizing revenue growth and operational efficiency, and creating sustainable shareholder value. To this end, our compensation program positively influenced 2020 operational and financial results.

2020 Operational Results

Throughout the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, the Conduent team continued to provide critical and best-in-class services to our clients and their end users, while ensuring the health and safety of our greatest asset, our associates. More than ever, the Company increased its focus on ensuring that the right people, processes and technology are in place to improve performance, retain revenues, reduce employee attrition and grow the Company, while most recently responding to the impact from the coronavirus pandemic. The company achieved significant operational achievements in 2020 including:

 

   

Strong new business signings results A strong year of new business with total contract value (TCV) signings of $1,934 million in 2020, representing an increase of 94% compared to that of the prior year period.

 

   

Cost containment – We focused on efficiencies and cost containment to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

   

Operational Improvements – We made significant progress on our Growth, Quality and Efficiency plan by leveraging changes to people, process and technology. Specific actions included standardizing governance processes for client implementations, account management, and incident response, centralizing and enhancing the salesforce, restructuring to leverage a shared services model and addressing spans and layers, instituting a technology command center, continuing to make progress on the data center consolidation plan, among others. For example, we have shown a significant improvement in system availability, improvements in associate experience survey results and increases in service level agreement payments from customers.

2020 Financial Results

 

   

Revenue of $4,163 million, (6.0)% year over year decline from 2019 Adjusted Revenue, driven by net COVID -19 impacts and prior year lost business, partially offset by new business ramp.

 

   

Net loss of $(118) million; pre-tax loss of $(139) million.

 

   

Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $480 million, (2.6)% year over year decline driven by lower revenue, including COVID-19 related impact, partially offset by cost savings program.

 

   

$161 million of cash flow from operations and $145 million of adjusted free cash flow.(1)

The 2020 performance goals were established in March 2020 and the Committee did not reset these goals or use positive discretion in determining overall APIP Funding. The 2020 operational and financial achievements resulted in above target results for our Annual Performance Incentive Plan (APIP), mainly due to:

 

   

Revenue above target; resulting from improved client retention, increased volumes from government business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased non-recurring revenue and increased

 

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ramp of revenue associated with 2020 sales, partially offset by other negative COVID-related impacts on revenue.

 

   

Adjusted EBITDA margin above target; related to, revenue mix improvements, operational efficiencies, improved employee attrition, employee satisfaction as indicated by our employee engagement survey results and high external scores, among other items.

Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) Results

The three-year performance period of our 2018 LTIP grant ended on December 31, 2020. Cumulative performance over this three-year period fell short of target levels, due to client losses and lack of new business sales, primarily in 2018 and 2019.

Our 2020 LTIP grant, included a combination of restricted stock units vesting over a three-year period, and performance-restricted stock units tied to growth in our share price that also have a three-year service condition. We selected share price hurdles as the performance metric for these 2020 awards because of the challenge in developing multi-year financial goals, as we execute our strategy and pivot to growth. Our share price significantly increased from the time awards were granted on April 1, 2020, resulting in the vesting of the first tranche of this 2020 LTIP award with achievement of the 50% share price appreciation hurdle, and the satisfaction of the share price appreciation hurdle for the second tranche, 100% share price appreciation, that will vest on December 31, 2021, after completion of the service requirement.

Looking forward, our 2021 compensation plan metrics, including our 2021 LTIP, will continue to align with our strategic plans, adding an additional focus on annual revenue growth.

(1)Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Non-GAAP Reconciliations” on pages 52 in this Proxy Statement for information on our non-GAAP financial measures.

Advisory Say on Pay Vote and Shareholder Engagement

Our executive compensation is subject to an annual advisory vote of shareholders at our Annual Meeting. The Compensation Committee considers the outcome of Say on Pay votes when making compensation decisions for our named executive officers. At the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, 94% of shares voted were in favor of our executive compensation program, demonstrating strong shareholder support. Our Board and the Compensation Committee greatly value the benefits of maintaining a dialogue with our shareholders and understanding their views. Our management team established and participated in various shareholder engagement activities in 2020. Our investor relations function proactively engages with our shareholders to provide updates on the performance of the Company and solicit feedback on various topics.

OUR EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAM

Compensation Philosophy

Our executive compensation program is designed to attract, motivate, reward and retain top talent necessary to drive our business strategy, creating shareholder value. Our programs are designed to follow these principles:

 

   

provide competitive compensation to attract and retain executives critical to our long-term success;

 

   

align executive and shareholder interests using both short-term and long-term financial and strategic objectives that build a sustainable Company;

 

   

recognize and reward collective accountability and individual contribution to drive enterprise results;

 

   

instill high standards of corporate governance and best practices; and

 

   

mitigate excess risk taking and/or behavior that is inconsistent with the Company’s strategic plans and high ethical standards.

 

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Checklist of Compensation Practices

 

   

  What We Do

  

What We Don’t Do

   Deliver a significant portion of compensation through long-term incentives tied directly to shareholder value creation.    X    Permit re-pricing of underwater stock options.

   Balance short- and long-term incentives with multiple performance metrics.    X    Provide defined-benefit pension plan or SERPs to executives (only all-employee 401(k) plan).

   Maintain a recoupment policy that allows clawback of compensation earned because of fraudulent or illegal conduct or in the event of an accounting restatement.    X    Provide special executive perquisites or excessive termination payments.

   Maintain stock ownership requirements for all our named executive officers.    X    Allow directors, named executive officers and other senior leaders to hedge or pledge Company stock.

   Conduct an annual review of programs to ensure they do not encourage risks that have a material adverse effect on the Company.    X    Permit tax gross-ups on change in control or other severance payments.

   Maintain non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with our named executive officers that prohibit competing against Conduent and soliciting our customers or current employees after termination.    X    Maintain written employment contracts with our executive officers

   Employ an Independent Consultant under the direction of the Compensation Committee.    X    Allow single-trigger vesting change in control arrangements.

   Impose caps on our annual incentive awards for our named executive officers    X    No guaranteed incentive payouts for named executive officers; all annual bonuses require performance against annually established goals by the Compensation Committee

 

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2020 Total Direct Compensation Targets for Named Executive Officers

The Compensation Committee approved the annual target total direct compensation levels for all executive officers for 2020. The table below illustrates annual base salary, target short-term incentive and target long-term equity-based incentive for each named executive officer as of December 31, 2020.

 

 

Executive

 

 

Title

 

 

Annual Base

Salary

 

 

Target Short-

Term Incentive

(% of Base
Salary)

 

Target Long-
Term Incentive

 

Target  Total
Direct
Compensation

 

Clifford Skelton

 

 

  Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

 

 

$

 

 

750,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

125

 

 

%              

 

 

$

 

 

3,000,000

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

4,687,500

 

 

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

 

 

  Executive Vice President,

  Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

 

 

$

 

 

510,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75

 

 

%

 

 

$

 

 

975,000

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

1,867,500

 

 

 

 

Michael Krawitz

 

 

  Executive Vice President,

  General Counsel & Secretary

 

 

$

 

 

450,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70

 

 

%

 

 

$

 

 

735,000

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

1,500,000

 

 

 

 

Louis Keyes

 

 

  Executive Vice President, Chief

  Revenue Officer

 

 

$

 

 

450,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75

 

 

%

 

 

$

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

1,287,500

 

 

 

 

Mark Prout

 

 

  Executive Vice President, Chief   Information Officer

 

 

$

 

 

425,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

75

 

 

%

 

 

$

 

 

425,000

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

1,168,750

 

 

 

The chart below reflects the 2020 target total direct compensation pay mix for our CEO and other named executive officers and the portion of their targeted total direct compensation that is variable pay. Basing this variable compensation upon financial results and share price, directly aligns our executives with shareholder value creation. To reinforce the Company’s pay for performance philosophy, 84% of our CEO’s targeted total direct compensation, and on average 68% for our other named executive officers, is variable and “at risk.” Additionally, 52% of targeted total direct compensation for our CEO and, on average, 46% for our other active named executive officers is subject to achievement of performance goals, while 50% of all named executive officer’s long-term incentives are subject to achievement of performance goals.

 

LOGO

 

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Linking Pay with Performance

Short-Term Incentives

In early 2020, the Compensation Committee approved an Annual Performance Incentive Program (“APIP”) that aligned with the interests of shareholders and the Company. Each of our named executive officers participated in the APIP which focused on our business priorities for 2020. The 2020 performance measures and weightings for APIP were: Revenue (adjusted for currency) (30%); Adjusted EBITDA Margin (25%); New Business Total Contract Value (15%); and Strategic Goals (improvement in: client retention, employee attrition and system availability) (30%).

Additional information regarding short-term incentives can be found under “2020 Compensation for the Named Executive Officers—Short-Term Incentives.”

Long-Term Incentives

In early 2020, the Compensation Committee approved a Long-Term Incentive Program (“LTIP”) that aligned with the interests of management and long-term shareholders. The 2020 annual LTIP award for our named executive officers includes a mix of 50% performance-based awards (“Performance Restricted Stock Units”) and 50% time-based awards (“Restricted Stock Units”). This approach balances the need to motivate and drive future performance while also fostering retention and stock ownership. The Performance Restricted Stock Units vest based on the achievement of certain share price hurdles on or prior to December 31, 2022. Vesting for each tranche of Performance Restricted Stock Units occurs on the later of the date the applicable share price is achieved or December 31 of each year, during the performance period. Restricted Stock Units vest 1/3 on each December 31 of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Additional information regarding long-term incentives can be found under “2020 Compensation for the Named Executive Officers—Long-Term Incentives.”

PROCESS FOR DETERMINING COMPENSATION

Role of the Compensation Committee

The Compensation Committee administers the executive compensation program for our named executive officers on behalf of our Board and shareholders. All members of the Compensation Committee are independent directors in accordance with applicable SEC and Nasdaq standards, including heightened independence requirements for Compensation Committee members.

The Compensation Committee retains an independent consultant for the purpose of reviewing and providing guidance related to executive compensation programs. The Compensation Committee’s responsibilities are discussed beginning on page 18 of this Proxy Statement.

The Compensation Committee evaluates many factors when designing and establishing the executive compensation plans and targets. In determining the appropriate compensation levels, the Compensation Committee considers the scope and impact of the executive’s role within the organization, experience, sustained performance and future potential. The Committee also reviews the compensation levels of similarly positioned executives at peer companies, general industry compensation data and internal pay considerations.

Role of the CEO

While the Compensation Committee is ultimately responsible for making all compensation decisions affecting compensation of our named executive officers, the CEO participates in the process by:

 

   

Periodically discussing the performance of the Company and each executive officer with the Compensation Committee.

 

   

Making recommendations on the components of compensation for the other executive officers.

After receiving input from the CEO, the Compensation Committee makes its own assessments and formulates compensation amounts for each of our executive officers, including our named executive officers, ensuring that the total target compensation for each is appropriate and competitive.

 

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Role of the Independent Consultant

The Compensation Committee has retained the services of an independent compensation consulting firm, Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. (the “Consultant”), to assist with its responsibilities. The Consultant reports only to the Compensation Committee and has not performed any other work for Conduent since being retained as an independent consultant to the Compensation Committee, except in its capacity as an independent advisor to the Corporate Governance Committee on non-employee director compensation matters. As provided in its charter, the Compensation Committee has the authority to determine the scope of the Consultant’s services and may terminate the Consultant’s engagement at any time. The Compensation Committee evaluated the independence of the Consultant and concluded that no conflict of interest existed that would prevent the Consultant from independently advising the Compensation Committee.

During 2020, the Consultant provided the following services:

 

   

regularly updated the Compensation Committee on trends in executive compensation, including providing proactive advice on emerging trends and best practices;

 

   

reviewed officer compensation levels and overall performance compared to a peer group made up of organizations with which Conduent is likely to compete for business, investor capital and/or executive talent;

 

   

reviewed incentive compensation designs for short-term and long-term programs;

 

   

advised the Compensation Committee on peer group companies for pay and performance comparisons;

 

   

reviewed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis and related compensation tables for inclusion in this Proxy Statement;

 

   

reviewed Compensation Committee meeting materials with management before distribution;

 

   

attended Compensation Committee meetings, including meetings in executive session, as requested by the Compensation Committee chair; and

 

   

offered independent analysis and input on CEO compensation.

Peer Group

Conduent’s peer group was used to benchmark 2020 compensation for our named executive officers, as well as to review general pay practices and trends. The Compensation Committee approved a new peer group on May 18, 2020, which the Compensation Committee believes more closely aligns with Conduent’s size, scope, nature of business operations, competitors for executive talent and investor capital. Relative to the May 18, 2020 peer group, Conduent’s revenue ranks near the median. Companies were removed from the previous peer group due to size and business fit considerations. Our new and previous peer groups are depicted below:

 

Peer Group as of May 18, 2020

   

Alliance Data Systems

  

ExlService

   

Broadridge Financial

  

Genpact LTD

   

CACI International Inc.

  

ManTech Intl.

   

CGI Group

  

Maximus, Inc.

   

Cognizant Technology

  

Paychex

   

Solutions Corp.

  

Perspecta Inc.

   

CSG Systems Intl.

  

Roper Technologies

   

Cubic Corp.

  

Sykes Enterprises Inc.

Previous Peer Group

   
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation(1)    Genpact LTD
   
CACI International Inc.    Global Payments Inc.(1)
   
Cerner Corporation(1)    IQVIA Holdings, Inc.(1)
   
CGI Group    Leidos Holdings, Inc.(1)
   
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp.    Maximus, Inc.
   
Fidelity National Information    Roper Technologies
   
Services, Inc.(1)    Public Limited
   
First Data Corporation(1)    Company(1)

 

(1) 

Removed from current peer group

 

 

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Competitive Market Information

At the end of 2019, the Compensation Committee received a report comparing the compensation of its named executive officers with the compensation of executives in comparable positions at our peer group companies based on the most recent proxy filings (primarily used for the CEO, CFO and General Counsel) as well as general industry survey data to supplement the peer group proxy data. This comparison included compensation data for these elements of pay:

 

   

base salary;

 

   

short-term incentives;

 

   

total target cash compensation (base salary plus target short-term incentives);

 

   

target long-term incentives; and

 

   

total direct compensation (total target cash compensation plus target long-term incentives).

The competitive market data was prepared, analyzed, and presented to the Compensation Committee by the Compensation Committee’s Consultant. The market pay range is viewed by the Compensation Committee as a competitive reference point, but that data is not used to match a specific percentile of the market. Emphasis is placed on total direct compensation. For 2020, the Compensation Committee reviewed total direct compensation against the market data using the 50th median as a reference point. The Compensation Committee exercises judgement in setting individual compensation levels to reflect an assessment of the executive’s experience, responsibilities and expected contributions to Conduent, as well as potential for advancement.

2020 COMPENSATION FOR THE NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

2020 Total Direct Compensation

Total direct compensation includes base salary, target short-term incentives and target long-term incentives. The majority of our named executive officers’ compensation is provided under our variable incentive compensation programs. Variable pay increases with responsibility while long-term incentive compensation represents the greatest component of pay. The 2020 total direct compensation of our named executive officers can be found under the heading “Executive Summary—2020 Total Direct Compensation Targets for Named Executive Officers.” For further information regarding the process the Compensation Committee used to determine compensation for our named executive officers, please see above under “Process for Determining Compensation.”

More complete compensation information appears in the “Summary Compensation Table” on page 44.

Base Salary

Base salary is the fixed pay element of our compensation program that reflects the level and scope of responsibility within the Company. The Compensation Committee reviews each named executive officer’s base salary annually as well as in connection with a promotion or other change in responsibility. The 2020 base salaries for our named executive officers, then serving, were unchanged from 2019, except for the base salary of Mr. Skelton, which was increased from $650,000 to $750,000 in connection with his appointment as Chief Executive Officer. The 2020 annual base salary rates for our named executive officers are disclosed above under “2020 Total Direct Compensation Targets for Named Executive Officers.”

In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and in order to manage expenses for 2020, management recommended and the Compensation Committee approved temporary base salary reductions for the CEO and officers that directly report to the CEO. For the months of June, July and August of 2020, the base salaries of each of these executives, including each named executive officer, was reduced by 20%. The base salary reductions were temporary, and base salaries were reinstated in September 2020. For purposes of calculating the short-term incentive awards for each of the named executive officers and other participants in the program, these temporary base salary reductions were not reflected.

Short-Term Incentives

The Annual Performance Incentive Plan provides for short-term incentive awards that reward performance against our annual operating plan, paid in the form of cash to our named executive officers and other eligible employees. Each year, the Compensation Committee reviews the target short-term incentive award opportunity, scaled to the executive’s level of responsibility and stated as a percentage of base salary, and the maximum payout opportunity.

 

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The following chart reflects Conduent’s process for setting short-term incentive awards. This process typically takes place in the first quarter of the year.

 

LOGO

Short-Term Incentive Target Award Opportunity for the Named Executive Officers

The annual short-term incentive target award opportunity for each of our named executive officers considers many factors, including scope of responsibility, expected contributions, internal pay equity and competitive executive compensation practices. If an executive’s role or responsibilities change after the terms of the award are approved, the Compensation Committee is permitted to adjust the short-term incentive target award opportunity at that time.

The target award opportunities for our named executive officers for 2020 APIP are disclosed above under “2020 Total Direct Compensation Targets for Named Executive Officers.” Mr. Skelton’s 2020 APIP target award was increased from 100% of base salary to 125% of base salary, in order to align his total compensation more closely with the peer group in connection with his appointment to CEO. The 2020 APIP target award opportunities for our other named executive officers, Messrs. Webb-Walsh, Krawitz, Keyes, and Prout, remain unchanged from 2019.

Short-Term Incentive Performance Measures

The Compensation Committee established the APIP for 2020 pursuant to which each named executive officer is eligible to receive an incentive payout, assuming Conduent attains certain pre-established performance goals. In 2020, the performance goals for the APIP were designed to align with Conduent’s overall strategies, goals and objectives. Our 2020 performance measures were based on Revenue (at constant currency), Adjusted EBITDA Margin, New Business Total Contract Value and Strategic Goals of improvement in client retention, employee attrition and system availability.

Our targets were consistent with our overall budget for the year, noting that the 2020 revenue target was less than the 2019 actual revenue, due to the expected decreased revenue from client losses incurred primarily between 2016 and 2018. The Committee did not amend the goals under the APIP for 2020 or exercise discretion to increase payouts under the APIP as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges

 

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on our business. The alignment of our short-term incentive performance measures in the APIP with our Business strategy and goals is depicted below:

 

LOGO

APIP metric definitions were measured as follows:

Revenue was measured at constant currency which excludes the impact of changes in the translation of foreign currencies into U.S. Dollars.

Adjusted EBITDA Margin represents income or loss before income taxes, divided by Revenue. Adjusted EBITDA is adjusted for interest expense, depreciation and amortization, restructuring and related costs, (gain) loss on divestitures and transaction costs related to divestitures and acquisitions, settlements/reserves/insurance recoveries associated with litigation matters, net, other (income) expenses and legacy charges/credits such as New York Medicaid Management Information System (NY MMIS), Health Enterprise (HE) and goodwill impairment.

New Business Signings/Total Contract Value is measured by estimated future revenues from contracts signed during the year related to new logo, new service line or expansion with existing customers.

Strategic Goals consist of goals relating to improvement in client retention, employee attrition, and system availability.

In no event may an APIP payout exceed the maximum payout (200%). Payout for achieving threshold performance for each performance goal is 25% of target, payout for achieving target performance is 100% of target, and payout for achieving maximum performance is 200% of target. Performance below threshold results in zero payout. Performance results and payouts are interpolated between these points. The following table notes the Threshold, Target and Maximum payout targets for our Non-Strategic Goals:

 

Performance Measure

 

     Threshold
25%
Funding  
    

Target

100% Funding

    

Maximum

200% Funding

 
       

 

Revenue (at constant currency)

 

  

 

$

 

 

3,954M

 

 

 

 

  

 

$

 

 

4,119M

 

 

 

 

  

 

$

 

 

4,201M

 

 

 

 

       

 

Adjusted EBITDA Margin

 

  

 

 

 

 

10.59

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

11.3%

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

11.5%

 

 

 

 

       

 

New Business Total Contract Value

 

  

 

$

 

 

1,120M

 

 

 

 

  

 

$

 

 

1,600M

 

 

 

 

  

 

$

 

 

1,840M

 

 

 

 

 

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Our overall 2020 APIP performance was measured as follows:

 

Performance Measure(1)

 

 

  Weighting  

(A)

 

 

Actual

As
adjusted
(2)

 

 

Performance
Achievement
%

(B)

 

   

Funding

Percentage %
(A) x (B)

 

 

Revenue (at constant currency)

 

 

  30%

 

 

  $4,156M

 

 

   

 

 

145

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

43.5

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA Margin

 

 

  25%

 

 

  11.5%

 

 

   

 

 

200

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

New Business Total Contract Value

 

 

  15%

 

 

  $1,943M

 

 

   

 

 

200

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

Strategic Goals:

 

 

                       

Improvement in Client Retention (Reduction % in losses)

 

 

  15%

 

 

  Below
Target

 

 

   

 

 

51

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

7.65

 

 

 

 

Reduction in Employee Attrition (% Improvement)

 

 

  10%

 

 

  Below
Threshold

 

 

   

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

Improvement in System Availability (% Improvement)

 

 

 

  5%

 

 

  Above
Target

 

 

   

 

 

200

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

Final Calculated Funding

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

141

 

 

 

 

 

(1) 

The performance measures were aligned with Conduent’s 2020 operating plan at the time they were established and designed to be challenging yet achievable.

 

(2) 

Revenue was adjusted for the impact of currency movements from the point at which the targets were set.

Determining Short-Term Incentive Award Payouts

After the end of the fiscal year, the CFO confirms the financial results and communicates the results to the Compensation Committee. Subject to the Compensation Committee’s review and approval, any material unusual charges or gains are reviewed with the Compensation Committee for possible impact on APIP calculations.

Each performance measure is assessed and calculated independently. The weighted results of each measure are added together to determine overall performance results. Payouts are made proportionately for achievement at levels between the goals. Even if pre-established performance measures are achieved, the Compensation Committee retains discretion to determine a lesser short-term incentive than the calculated incentive payout, or no short-term incentive at all, as it deems appropriate. The Compensation Committee also retains its discretion to increase or decrease an APIP award based on individual performance, provided that the named executive officer’s award may never exceed their maximum payout target.

 

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2020 Performance for Short-Term Incentive Award Payouts

Following the certification of the financial results for 2020, the Compensation Committee reviewed the achievement of the performance measures under the 2020 APIP. Mr. Skelton and Mr. Webb-Walsh each received a short-term incentive equal to the corporate funding level, based on the results stated above. The Compensation Committee exercised its discretion to increase the short-term incentive awards for Messrs. Krawitz, Keyes and Prout. For Mr. Krawitz, this increase was based on his exceptional 2020 performance. For Mr. Keyes, this increase was based on his role in the turnaround of the sales team and a strong year of new business signings. For Mr. Prout, this increase was based on his success in the product side of his technology role and building client confidence. Details of 2020 Target bonus and actual payouts are:

 

Name

 

2020 Target
Bonus
(USD)

 

2020 Actual
Bonus

(USD)

 

Actual Bonus
as a % of
Target

 

 

Clifford Skelton

 

 

$

 

 

894,296

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

1,260,957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

141

 

 

%

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

 

 

$

 

 

 

382,499

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

540,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

141

 

 

%

 

 

Michael Krawitz

 

$

 

315,000

 

 

 

$

 

 

465,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

148

 

 

%

 

 

Louis Keyes

 

 

$

 

 

337,500

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

525,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

156

 

 

%

 

 

Mark Prout

 

 

 

$

 

 

318,749

 

 

 

 

$

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

157

 

 

%

 

 

Note that Mr. Skelton’s target APIP reflects the changes to base salary and short-term incentive target in 2020. Additional information about the short-term incentive opportunities is shown in the “Grants of Plan-Based Awards in 2020” table.

Long-Term Incentives

We provide long-term incentives to reward our named executive officers for sustained performance, as a retention incentive and to align executive’s interests with shareholders to drive long-term value creation. Awards are intended to encourage a strong ownership stake in the Company to drive superior performance on long-term Company objectives. When determining long-term incentive awards, the Committee considers peer data, relative impact of the executive’s position, responsibilities and role at Conduent and each named executive officer’s performance.

During the first fiscal quarter of 2020, the Compensation Committee approved LTIP grants for our named executive officers. As part of this approval, the Compensation Committee established performance goals and award values, and an April 1, 2020 grant date. Additional information regarding the 2020 LTIP awards can be found in the “Summary Compensation Table” and the “Grants of Plan-Based Awards in 2020” table.

Long-Term Incentive Program and Performance Measures

Long-term incentive awards are made pursuant to the Conduent Incorporated Performance Incentive Plan. Half of the value of each award was granted in the form of Restricted Stock Units (“RSU”) and the other half in the form of Performance Restricted Stock Units (“PRSU”). Restricted Stock Units vest 1/3 each December 31 of 2020, 2021 and 2022, and the number of RSU shares are calculated for each named executive officer by dividing 50% of the approved target long-term incentive award value by the closing price of Conduent Common Stock on the grant effective date. The RSU shares are then rounded down to the nearest whole share.

For 2020, the Compensation Committee changed the design of the performance-based portion of the long-term incentive program from Performance Stock Units, which vest based on the achievement of three-year financial performance goals, to PRSU, which vest based on the achievement of share price hurdles and continued service, over the performance period ending December 31, 2022. The Compensation Committee adopted share price hurdles as the performance metric because they are transparently measured, are readily understood by participants, provide direct alignment between shareholder value creation and earned compensation, and serve to help the Company attract and retain the talent needed to deliver on its business strategies.

 

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PRSUs were granted with three share price hurdles that require the average closing price of Conduent Common Stock to have increased by 50%, 100% or 150% during a consecutive 20-day trading period from the price of Conduent Common Stock on April 1, 2020, the long-term incentive grant date, a date consistent with Conduent’s previous granting practices. Additionally, PRSUs have a service condition that requires executives to remain with the Company through December 31 of each of 2020, 2021 and 2022. PRSUs do not vest until the date that both the share price hurdle and the service condition have been satisfied. If any tranche of PRSUs has not met the share price hurdle as of December 31, 2022, it will be forfeited. The target number of PRSU was determined by dividing 50% of the approved long-term incentive award value by the grant date fair value per share. For the April 1, 2020 grant, the grant date fair value of the PRSU was $1.29 (As determined by the Monte Carlo simulation), which was lower than the stock price on the date of grant, reflecting the challenging stock price appreciation goals incorporated into the three share price hurdles. The calculated PRSU shares are then rounded down to the nearest whole share. Details for the April 1, 2020 PRSU grant are as follows:

 

 

Grant Date Common Stock Price: $2.06

 

 

Tranche  

 

 

 

Hurdle Description

 

 

 

Price        
Hurdles        

 

 

 

  Price Hurdle Achieved  
as of 12/31/20

 

 

 

Service Condition    

 

         
1  

 

+50% stock price appreciation

 

    $3.09   Yes   December 31, 2020
         
2  

 

+100% stock price appreciation

 

    $4.12   Yes   December 31, 2021
         
3  

 

+150% stock price appreciation

 

    $5.15   No   December 31, 2022

Once vested, RSUs and PRSUs are paid out in the form of shares of Conduent Common Stock. Any dividends during the vesting period would be accrued and settle at the same time the underlying award vests.

Although equity awards generally are granted on a regular annual cycle, the Compensation Committee may grant off-cycle equity awards for special purposes, such as new hire, promotion, retention and recognition. No off-cycle equity awards were granted to our named executive officers in 2020.

PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND PAYOUTS UNDER PRIOR EQUITY AWARDS

2018 – 2020 Performance Share Grant

In February 2021, our performance shares granted under the 2018 LTIP were certified to have vested at 56% of target based on achievement of Adjusted Profit Before Tax (“PBT”) and Adjusted Free Cash Flow, each equally weighted and measured over the three-year performance period ending December 31, 2020. The, measures, weightings and threshold to maximum payout ranges were set by the Compensation Committee.

 

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The performance year, weightings, payout ranges, target goals, results and performance achievement for the 2018-2020 performance share grants were:

 

Performance Measures

 

 

Year

 

   

Weighting

 

   

Payout Range

 

   

Target

(in millions)

 

   

 

Adjusted
Results(1)
(in millions)

 

   

Performance   
Achievement

 

 

Threshold

 

   

Target

 

   

Maximum

 

 
                 

Adjusted Profit Before Tax (PBT)

 

   

 

2018

 

 

 

   

 

50

 

 

   

 

50%

 

 

 

   

 

100%

 

 

 

   

 

200%

 

 

 

  $

 

311

 

 

 

  $

 

346

 

 

 

  100%
                 
     

 

2019

 

 

 

   

 

50

 

 

    50%       100%       200%     $ 386     $ 215     0%
                 
      2020       50     50%       100%       200%     $ 446     $ 196     0%
               

Cumulative PBT Results

 

                            33%
                 

Free Cash Flow (FCF), as adjusted

 

    2018       50     50%       100%       200%     $ 200     $ 217     67%
                 
      2019       50     50%       100%       200%     $ 250     $ 45     0%
                 
      2020       50     50%       100%       200%     $ 275     $ 127     0%
                 

Cumulative FCF, as adjusted

 

                                                  23%
                 

Total Calculated Payout

 

                                                          56% payout

 

 

(1)

Adjustments to reported results were as follows:

 

Performance Measures   

Year

 

  

Actual
(A)

 

  

Adjustments
(B)

 

  

Adjusted
Results

 

 

Adjusted PBT

 

  

 

2018

 

  

 

$307

 

  

 

$39

 

  

 

$346

 

    

 

2019

 

  

 

$200

 

  

 

$15

 

  

 

$215

 

    

 

2020

 

  

 

$198

 

  

 

($2)

 

  

 

$196

 

 

Free Cash Flow, as adjusted

 

  

 

2018

 

  

 

$232

 

  

 

($15)

 

  

 

$217

 

    

 

2019

 

  

 

$60

 

  

 

($15)

 

  

 

$45

 

    

 

2020

 

  

 

$145

 

  

 

($18)

 

  

 

$127

 

 

(A)

Adjusted PBT is defined as income or loss before income taxes as reported on the Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss), excluding amortization of intangible assets, restructuring and related costs, (gain) loss on divestitures and transaction costs, settlements/reserves/insurance recoveries associated with litigation matters, net loss on extinguishment of debt and other (income) expenses, currency (gains) losses, and all other expenses, net, including goodwill impairment. Free Cash Flow, as adjusted, is defined as cash flow from operating activities as reported in the Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, less cost of additions to land buildings and equipment, cost of addition to internal use software, including proceeds from the sale of land, buildings and equipment, and excluding payments related to divestitures, transaction costs, deferred compensation payments and tax payments related to transaction costs, debt extinguishment and deferred compensation payments.

 

(B)

Further adjustments to Adjusted PBT and Free Cash Flow to arrive at final metric for LTIP results include upward adjustments for strategic contract exits and divested businesses, and downward adjustments for interest benefit, vendor financed capital leases (for 2018 and 2019 only), stranded cost removal and 401(k) savings.

 

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Severance Protection and Change-in-Control Benefits

For separations due to the elimination of the executive’s position, our named executive officers are covered under the U.S. Executive Severance Policy. See “Employment and Separation” section of this CD&A for additional detail.

The Company also provides certain Change In Control Severance benefits, which are enhanced benefits provided to key management employees who the Company determines are most likely to be impacted by a change in control (primarily the Company’s executive officers), as per the Executive Change in Control Severance Plan (“CIC Plan”), which became effective October 1, 2017. The CIC Plan payments and benefits become payable only when both a change-in-control and a qualifying termination take place.

Conduent does not provide excise tax reimbursement on severance payments.

Additional information and the amount of the estimated payments and benefits payable to the named executive officers assuming a change in control of Conduent and a qualifying termination of employment is presented in the “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change in Control” table.

SAVINGS PLANS

Conduent Savings Plan (“401(k)”)

All our named executive officers are eligible to participate in the Conduent Savings Plan in the same manner as all U.S. employees. In 2020, after one year of service, participants are eligible for a 100% match on 3% of eligible pay saved, subject to IRS-qualified plan compensation limits and highly compensated threshold limits and may not receive 401(k) benefits in excess of these limits. Conduent suspended all matching contributions under the Savings Plan for our exempt employee population in April 2019, including our named executive officers, but the suspension was lifted in November 2020.

The Company does not maintain any non-qualified deferred compensation plans or other retirement plans.

PERQUISITES AND OTHER BENEFITS

General Benefits

We generally maintain medical and dental coverage, life insurance, accidental death insurance and disability benefits programs or plans for all our full-time employees, as well as customary vacation, leave of absence and other similar policies. Our named executive officers are eligible to participate in these programs and plans on the same basis as all other salaried employees, except as otherwise disclosed.

Perquisites

In 2020, our named executive officers are eligible for limited perquisites which remained substantially consistent with 2019. Conduent does not provide tax gross-ups in connection with perquisites (except in cases related to relocation per the U.S. relocation policy).

In 2020, our named executive officers were eligible for Company-paid financial and tax planning assistance of up to $15,000 per year, annual credit monitoring up to $350 and to receive an annual physical examination through our preferred provider or reimbursement of up to $5,000 for the cost of a physical should the named executive officer choose to use their own physician. The total cost to Conduent for providing these perquisites and personal benefits to the named executive officers during 2020 is shown in the “Summary Compensation Table.”

In 2020, Conduent eliminated credit monitoring and effective February 5, 2021 and going forward, Conduent has decided to become a perquisite-free Company but will continue to afford our named executive officers with a benefit package consistent with all Conduent associates.

EMPLOYMENT AND SEPARATION

Named executive officers serve at the will of the Board. This enables the Board to remove a named executive officer whenever it is in the best interests of Conduent, with full discretion of the Compensation Committee to decide on an appropriate severance package. When a named executive officer is removed from his or her position, the Compensation Committee exercises its business judgment in considering whether to approve a severance arrangement in light of all relevant circumstances, including how long the officer was with the Company, past accomplishments and the reasons for separation. If the Compensation Committee does not approve a special severance arrangement for a named executive officer whose position has been eliminated, that officer will be covered under the Company’s U.S. Executive Severance Policy, as applicable.

 

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For separations due to the elimination of the executive’s position, the U.S. Executive Severance Policy entitles executives, including our named executive officers, to 26 weeks of base pay, paid out over the severance period, with continued health benefits (excluding disability and 401(k) participation). This payment is contingent upon signing a release of claims against Conduent as may be required.

GOVERNANCE OF THE EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION PROGRAMS

Risk Assessment

The Compensation Committee believes that its programs encourage positive behavior while balancing risk and reward, consistent with the interests of its shareholders. Conduent management conducts risk assessments each year and presents the findings to the Compensation Committee. Based on the assessment of programs covering its employees and executives for 2020, the Compensation Committee determined that its compensation plans, programs and practices do not motivate behavior that is reasonably likely to have a material adverse impact on Conduent, based on the following factors:

Key Program Features:

 

   

Balanced mix of cash and equity, with incentives tied to both short- and long-term performance

 

   

Balanced mix of performance measures (financial, operational and stock price) approved by the Compensation Committee in advance

 

   

Executive incentive plan payouts are capped

 

   

Overlapping performance periods for long-term incentives

Risk Mitigators:

 

   

Independent Compensation Committee oversight

 

   

Officer stock ownership guidelines

 

   

Pay recoupment policy

 

   

Anti-hedging and anti-pledging policies

Ownership Requirements

The Company maintains a stock ownership policy for the executive officers in order to ensure they build and maintain a meaningful level of stock ownership. In 2020, the stock ownership guidelines were adjusted to better reflect market practice and are as follows:

 

   

Ownership requirements of 6x (increased from 5x), 3x and 1x base salary, for the CEO, CEO’s officer direct reports and all other officers, respectively.

 

   

Officers are required to retain 50 percent of all shares received upon the vesting of equity awards (net of taxes) until the requirement is achieved.

 

   

CEO (or, with respect to the CEO, the Board) has the authority to permit discretionary hardship exceptions from the ownership and holding requirements.

The following types of awards count toward the guidelines described above: Common Stock held outright; unvested Restricted Stock Units net of expected taxes; and PRSUs to the extent the performance hurdle has been achieved but the service condition has not been met, net of expected taxes. The following types of equity awards do not count toward the stock ownership guidelines: unexercised stock options, unearned Performance Stock Units and any cash-settled units. Once stock ownership levels are achieved, named executive officers are required to continue to hold that amount of stock as long as they remain with Conduent.

Trading, Hedging and Pledging

All directors and officers are prohibited from engaging in short-swing trading and trading in puts and calls with respect to our Common Stock and from using any strategies or products to hedge against potential changes in the value of our Common Stock.

Under our insider trading policy, our executive officers may purchase or sell Conduent securities only during “window” periods, which are generally the periods commencing on the second business day following the date of each quarterly earnings announcement and ending on the penultimate trading day of each fiscal quarter. The only exception to this restriction is for our named executive officers who have entered into trading plans pursuant to SEC Rule 10b5-1.

 

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In addition, our executive officers are prohibited from pledging our Common Stock as collateral, including holding our Common Stock in a margin account.

Compensation Recovery Policy (Clawbacks)

Under the Conduent Performance Incentive Plan and Conduent’s Compensation Recoupment Policy, if the Compensation Committee deems a named executive officer to have engaged in activity that is detrimental to Conduent, it may cancel any awards granted to that individual. In addition, if such a determination is made before any change in control of Conduent, the Compensation Committee may rescind any payment or delivery of any equity and annual cash incentive award that occurred within the six months preceding the detrimental activity. For this purpose, detrimental activity may include a violation of a non-compete agreement with Conduent, disclosing confidential information (except for reporting and other communications protected by “whistleblower” provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act), soliciting an employee to terminate employment with Conduent or soliciting a customer to reduce its level of business with Conduent. If a payment or award is rescinded, the named executive officer will be expected to pay Conduent the amount of any gain realized or payment received in a manner the Compensation Committee or its delegate requires.

Conduent’s Compensation Recoupment Policy and stock award agreements from years prior to 2021 include a clawback provision that applies if an accounting restatement is required to correct any material non-compliance with financial reporting requirements. Under this provision, Conduent can recover, for the three prior years, any excess incentive-based compensation (the excess over what would have been paid under the accounting restatement) from executive officers or former executive officers.

In addition, under the Compensation Recoupment Policy, if an accounting restatement is required to correct any material non-compliance with financial reporting requirements under relevant securities laws, Conduent may recover from the executive officer or former executive officer any incentive-based compensation paid to him or her during the three-year period preceding the date on which Conduent is required to prepare the accounting restatement that was in excess of what would have been paid based on the restated results. Conduent may implement any policy or take any action with respect to the recovery of excess incentive-based compensation that Conduent determines to be necessary or advisable in order to comply with the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act, including the recoupment of shares of Common Stock issued upon the vesting of a long-term incentive award.

CERTAIN TAX IMPLICATIONS OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code limits to $1 million per year the federal income tax deduction available to corporations for compensation paid in any fiscal year to the corporation’s named executive officers and certain former named executive officers included in the Summary Compensation Table in the corporation’s proxy statement. Pursuant to Section 162(m), as in effect prior to 2018, compensation in excess of $1 million per year paid to Conduent’s CEO and three other highest paid executive officers (other than the CFO) was not deductible unless it qualified as “performance-based” compensation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law on December 22, 2017, eliminated this exception for “performance-based” compensation with respect to 2018 and future years. As a result, compensation over $1 million per year paid to any named executive officer, including our CFO (and any person who was a named executive officer for any year beginning with 2017), is nondeductible under Section 162(m).    

COMPENSATION COMMITTEE REPORT

The Compensation Committee has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis with Conduent management. Based upon its review and discussions, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be incorporated by reference in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and be included in the Proxy Statement for the 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Hunter Gary, Chair

Scott Letier

Margarita Paláu-Hernández

 

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Table of Contents

SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE

The Summary Compensation Table below provides compensation information for the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and three other most highly compensated executive officers as of December 31, 2020 (collectively referred to as our “named executive officers”).

 

               

Name &

Principal

Position

 

 

Year

 

   

Salary
($) (A)

 

   

Bonus
($)

 

   

Stock
Awards
($) (B)

 

   

Non-Equity
Incentive Plan
Compensation
($) (C)

 

   

All Other
Compensation
($) (D)

 

   

Total
($)

 

 

 

Clifford Skelton

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

697,693

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,999,999

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,260,957

 

 

 

 

 

 

15,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,973,649

 

 

Chief Executive Officer

    2019       325,000       -       3,999,990       -       16,929       4,341,919  

 

Brian Webb-Walsh,

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

487,770

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

974,998

 

 

 

 

 

 

540,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

13,317

 

 

 

 

 

 

2,016,085

 

 

Executive Vice President &

    2019       492,692       -       974,994       -       18,466       1,486,152  

Chief Financial Officer

    2018       450,000       100,000       1,161,384       210,600       39,289       1,961,273  

 

Michael Krawitz

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

430,385

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

734,999

 

 

 

 

 

 

465,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

14,122

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,644,506

 

 

Executive Vice President,

    2019       34,615       -       199,994       -       130       234,739  

General Counsel & Secretary

                                                       

 

Louis Keyes

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

430,385

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

499,998

 

 

 

 

 

 

525,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,455,383

 

 

Executive Vice President,

                           

Chief Revenue Officer

                                                       

 

Mark Prout

 

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

406,475

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

499,996

 

 

 

 

 

 

500,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,312

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,407,783

 

 

Executive Vice President,

                           

Chief Information Officer

                                                       

 

Compensation reported in this table is in U.S. dollars and rounded to the nearest dollar.

 

(A)

Amounts represent base salary earned in fiscal year 2020. All of our named executive officers took a temporary, three-month, 20 percent reduction in base salary during 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, after which base salaries were restored to pre-COVID-19 rates. Additionally, Mr. Skelton received a base salary increase upon his appointment as our CEO in February 2020.

 

(B)

Included in this column are the aggregate grant date fair values of equity awards made to our named executive officers in fiscal year 2020 as computed in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718. For additional information, refer to Note 19 in the Company’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, included in the 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 24, 2021. These amounts reflect an estimate of the grant date fair value and may not be equivalent to the actual value recognized by the named executive officer.

 

    

As part of the annual 2020 LTIP award process, Performance Restricted Stock Unit awards and Restricted Stock Unit awards were granted on April 1, 2020. The grant date fair market values and the fair value of the Performance Restricted Stock Units, based upon the Monte Carlo method, are shown below. The grant date fair value of the Performance Restricted Stock Unit awards is based on the probable outcome of the performance conditions as of the grant date, or target, and the grant date maximum value of these awards shown in the table assumes the PRSUs achieve the fair market value on the grant date.

 

     
     

Performance Restricted Stock Units

 

    

Restricted Stock Units

 

 
       

Name

 

  

Fair Value Based on
Monte Carlo Method

 

    

Fair Market Value on
Grant Date

 

    

Fair Market Value on
Grant Date

 

 

 

Clifford Skelton

  

 

 

 

1,499,999

 

 

  

 

 

 

2,386,949

 

 

  

 

 

 

1,499,999

 

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

  

 

 

 

487,499

 

 

  

 

 

 

775,757

 

 

  

 

 

 

487,499

 

 

 

Michael Krawitz

  

 

 

 

367,499

 

 

  

 

 

 

584,801

 

 

  

 

 

 

367,500

 

 

 

Louis Keyes

  

 

 

 

249,999

 

 

  

 

 

 

397,823

 

 

  

 

 

 

250,000

 

 

 

Mark Prout

  

 

 

 

212,500

 

 

  

 

 

 

338,151

 

 

  

 

 

 

212,499

 

 

 

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(C)

Included in this column are payments to our named executive officers under the 2020 APIP based on 2020 performance.

 

(D)

The table below provides additional data on the amounts included under the “All Other Compensation” column. Effective December 31, 2020, the financial planning and credit monitoring perquisites were eliminated. Effective February 5, 2021, the executive physical perquisite was eliminated, and there will be no perquisites exclusive to our named executive officers.

 

           

Name

 

 

 Year 

 

 

Life

Insurance

  Premiums  

Paid by

Registrant

($) (1)

 

 

401(K)

   Match   

($) (2)

 

   

Miscellaneous

($) (3)

 

   

Total All Other

Compensation

($)

 

 

 

Clifford Skelton

 

 

2020

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

15,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

15,000

 

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

 

 

2020

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

1,277

 

 

 

 

 

 

12,040

 

 

 

 

 

 

13,317

 

 

 

Michael Krawitz

 

 

2020

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

14,122

 

 

 

 

 

 

14,122

 

 

 

Louis Keyes

 

 

2020

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

Mark Prout

 

 

2020

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

1,312

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,312

 

 

 

 

(1)

In 2020, the group life insurance benefit afforded to the named executive officers was the same as that offered to all Conduent associates and is therefore not considered a perquisite.

 

(2)

Company matches paid under the Conduent 401(k) Savings Plan were reinstated in November 2020 and included in this column. Conduent associates, including our named executive officers, are not eligible for the 401(k) Company match until one full year of service is completed.

 

(3)

Amounts in the column for 2020 include financial and tax planning for Messrs. Skelton, Webb-Walsh and Krawitz. While executive physicals and credit monitoring were offered as benefits in 2020, there was no use of these benefits in 2020.

GRANTS OF PLAN-BASED AWARDS IN 2020

The following table provides information regarding our named executive officers’ equity grants and annual cash incentive awards in 2020, including additional detail regarding the potential threshold, target and maximum award opportunities payable under the 2020 APIP and Performance Restricted Stock Units under the LTIP. No stock options were awarded in fiscal year 2020.

 

               
Name  

Award

(A)

 

   Grant   
   Date   

   (A)   

   

   Approval   
   Date   

   (A)   

   

Estimated Future Payout Under

Non-Equity Incentive Awards

(B)

       

Estimated Future Payout Under

Equity Incentive Awards

(C)

   

 

   All Other   
Stock
Awards:

Number
of Shares
or Units
(#)(D)

    Grant
Date Fair
Value of
Stock
Awards
($)(E)
 
 

   Threshold   

   ($)   

   

   Target   

($)

   

   Maximum   

($)

       

   Threshold   

(#)

   

   Target   

(#)

   

   Maximum   

(#)

 

 

Clifford Skelton

             

 

 

 

223,574

 

 

 

 

 

 

894,296

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,788,592

 

 

        -       -       -       -       -  
    LTIP RSU     4/1/2020       2/24/2020                                   728,155       1,499,999  
   

LTIP PRSU

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

2/24/2020

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

        386,200      

 

1,158,713

 

 

 

   

 

1,158,713

 

 

 

           

 

1,499,999

 

 

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

             

 

 

 

95,625

 

 

 

 

 

 

382,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

765,000

 

 

     

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

    LTIP RSU     4/1/2020       2/24/2020                                   236,650       487,499  
   

LTIP PRSU

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

2/24/2020

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

       

 

125,515

 

 

 

   

 

376,581

 

 

 

   

 

376,581

 

 

 

           

 

487,499

 

 

 

                         

 

Michael Krawitz

             

 

 

 

78,750

 

 

 

 

 

 

315,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

630,000

 

 

     

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

    LTIP RSU     4/1/2020       2/24/2020                                   178,398       367,500  
   

LTIP PRSU

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

2/24/2020

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

       

 

94,619

 

 

 

   

 

283,884

 

 

 

   

 

283,884

 

 

 

           

 

367,499

 

 

 

                         

 

Louis Keyes

             

 

 

 

84,375

 

 

 

 

 

 

337,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

675,000

 

 

     

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

    LTIP RSU     4/1/2020       4/1/2020                                   121,359       250,000  
   

LTIP PRSU

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

                               

 

64,367

 

 

 

   

 

193,118

 

 

 

   

 

193,118

 

 

 

           

 

249,999

 

 

 

                         

 

Mark Prout

             

 

 

 

79,687

 

 

 

 

 

 

318,749

 

 

 

 

 

 

637,498

 

 

     

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

    LTIP RSU     4/1/2020       4/1/2020       -       -       -           -       -       -       121,358       249,997  
   

LTIP PRSU

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

4/1/2020

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

       

 

64,367

 

 

 

   

 

193,118

 

 

 

   

 

193,118

 

 

 

   

 

-

 

 

 

   

 

249,999

 

 

 

 

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(A)

RSU refers to Restricted Stock Units subject to service-based vesting conditions. PRSU refers to Performance Restricted Stock Units subject to service-based and performance-based vesting conditions. The “Grant Date” is the effective date of the LTIP awards. The “Approval Date” is the date on which the Compensation Committee, or CEO for awards granted prior to executive officer status, took action to approve these awards.

 

(B)

These columns reflect the threshold, target and maximum payout opportunities for the performance measures under the 2020 APIP set by the Compensation Committee. The actual APIP payout, which was based on 2020 performance is presented in the “Summary Compensation Table” in column (E). The APIP measures and weightings for 2020 were Adjusted EBITDA margin (25%), Revenue (at constant currency) (30%), New Business Total Contract Value (15%) and Strategic Goals (30%). Please refer to the section entitled “Short-Term Incentives” in the CD&A for additional information on the 2020 APIP payout opportunity, measures and weightings that applied to each of our named executive officers. The target value reflects payout if target performance was achieved on all performance measures. The maximum value reflects payout if maximum or higher performance was achieved on all performance measures. The threshold value reflects 25% of target based on achievement of the minimum performance metrics (implemented by the Compensation Committee for 2020, as discussed in the CD&A under “Short-Term Incentives”). The target APIP amount reflected for Mr. Skelton was prorated for his annual salary of $650,000 and target incentive of 100 percent in effect in January through February 2020, and his base salary of $750,000 and target incentive of 125 percent, effective March through December 31, 2020.

 

(C)

The threshold, target and maximum payout opportunities for the 2020 LTIP Performance Restricted Stock Unit awards were set by the Compensation Committee. The number of units at target and maximum for these awards was determined by dividing the approved values of the respective awards by the closing stock price on the grant date and then applying a factor of 1.5913, as calculated using the Monte Carlo simulation, and rounding the number of shares down to the nearest share. The threshold number of shares is the minimum number of shares that can be earned if the first share price performance hurdle is achieved. The closing stock price on the April 1st grant date was $2.06.

Performance Restricted Stock Units awarded under the 2020 LTIP will vest in 1/3 increments, provided the share price hurdles and vesting periods are achieved.

The target and maximum columns reflect the number of Performance Restricted Stock Units that can be earned if all share price hurdles are achieved on each of the tranches of the total Performance Restricted Stock Unit grant. The threshold column reflects the lowest number of Performance Restricted Stock Units that can be earned assuming only the minimum share price hurdle is met for only one of 1/3 tranches. If the minimum share price hurdle is not achieved, no Restricted Performance Stock Units will be earned.

 

(D)

This column includes Restricted Stock Units granted under the LTIP on April 1, 2020, which vest ratably on December 31, 2020, December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022. The number of Restricted Stock Units was determined by dividing the approved values of the respective awards by the closing stock price on the grant date and rounding the number of shares down to the nearest share. The closing stock price on April 1, 2020 was $2.06.

 

(E)

The value reported in this column represents the grant date fair value of these awards determined in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718. These values are recorded over the requisite serviced period as required by FASB ASC Topic 718. See footnote (C) to the “Summary Compensation Table” and the “Long-Term Incentives” section in the CD&A for additional information on these equity awards.

For a description of the material features of the compensation disclosed in the 2020 Grants of Plan-Based Awards table see the “Short-Term Incentives” and the “Long-Term Incentives” section of the CD&A.

 

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OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT 2020 FISCAL YEAR-END

The following table summarizes the unvested stock awards held by the named executive officers at the end of fiscal year 2020. There are no outstanding stock option awards.

 

Name

 

  

Grant
Date

 

    

Grant
Type

 

    

Number of

Shares or

Units of Stock

That Have Not

Vested

(#) (1)

 

    

Market Value

of Shares or

Units of Stock

That Have Not

Vested

($) (2)

 

    

 

Equity

Incentive

Plan Awards:

Number of

Unearned

Shares, Units

or Other Rights

That Have Not

Vested

(#) (3)

 

    

 

Equity

Incentive Plan

Awards: Market

or Payout Value

of Unearned

Shares, Units

or Other Rights

That Have Not

Vested

($) (2)

 

 

 

Clifford Skelton

  

 

 

 

6/28/2019

 

 

  

 

 

 

PSU

 

 

            

 

 

 

39,103

 

 

  

 

 

 

187,694

 

 

       6/28/2019        RSU        52,139        250,267            
       6/28/2019        RSU        173,800        834,240                    
       4/1/2020        PRSU        386,199        1,853,755        386,314        1,854,307  
       4/1/2020        RSU        485,460        2,330,208                    

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

  

 

 

 

4/1/2018

 

 

  

 

 

 

PSU

 

 

                    

 

 

 

26,153

 

 

  

 

 

 

125,534

 

 

       4/1/2019        PSU                  17,436        83,690  
       4/1/2020        PRSU        125,514        602,467        125,552        602,650  
       4/1/2020        RSU        157,774        757,315                    

 

Michael Krawitz

  

 

 

 

11/18/2019

 

 

  

 

 

 

RSU

 

 

  

 

 

 

20,704

 

 

  

 

 

 

99,379

 

 

                 
       4/1/2020        PRSU        94,619        454,171        94,646        454,301  
       4/1/2020        RSU        118,937        570,898                    

 

Louis Keyes

  

 

 

 

9/30/2019

 

 

  

 

 

 

PSU

 

 

            

 

 

 

8,039

 

 

  

 

 

 

38,585

 

 

       9/30/2019        RSU        10,718        51,446                    
       4/1/2020        PRSU        64,366        308,957        64,385        309,048  
       4/1/2020        RSU        80,910        388,368                    

 

Mark Prout

  

 

 

 

6/28/2019

 

 

  

 

 

 

PSU

 

 

            

 

 

 

2,607

 

 

  

 

 

 

12,511

 

 

       6/28/2019        RSU        3,475        16,680                    
       4/1/2020        PRSU        64,367        308,962        64,384        309,043  
       4/1/2020        RSU        80,908        388,358                    

 

 

(1)

The awards presented in this column include earned unvested Performance Restricted Stock Units that have met the share price hurdle, and unvested Restricted Stock Units, as of December 31, 2020. The April 1, 2019, June 28, 2019, September 30, 2019 and November 19, 2019 Restricted Stock Units vest their last tranches on December 31, 2021, June 28, 2021, September 30, 2021 and November 19, 2021, respectively. The April 1, 2020 Restricted Stock Units vest one-half of their remaining shares on December 31, 2021 and the second half of remaining shares on December 31, 2022. The Performance Restricted Stock Units noted in this column have met their performance hurdle and will vest on December 31, 2021, provided the service condition is met.

 

(2)

The market value is based on the December 31, 2020 closing price of our Common Stock of $4.80 per share.

 

(3)

The awards presented in this column consist of unearned performance stock awards (as of December 31, 2020) granted under the LTIP. The performance period for the 2018 LTIP is January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020, and the performance period for the 2019 LTIP is January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2021. These LTIP awards vest following the end of the performance period upon Compensation Committee certification of results. The 2018 Performance Stock Units are presented here at target, and the 2019 Performance Stock Units are presented here at threshold. The 2020 Performance Restricted Stock Units included are those shares that have not met the share price hurdle as of December 31, 2020 and vest on December 31, 2022, provided the share price hurdle and service conditions are met.

 

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OPTION EXERCISES AND STOCK VESTED IN 2020

The following table shows the amount realized by named executive officers upon the vesting of stock awards during 2020.

 

Name

 

  

 

Number of
Shares

(#) (A)

 

    

 

Value Realized
on Vesting

($) (B)

 

 

 

Clifford Skelton

  

 

 

 

741,850

 

 

  

 

 

 

3,270,586

 

 

 

Brian Webb-Walsh

  

 

 

 

305,845

 

 

  

 

 

 

1,378,831

 

 

 

Michael Krawitz

  

 

 

 

164,431

 

 

  

 

 

 

783,162

 

 

 

Louis Keyes

  

 

 

 

110,175

 

 

  

 

 

 

520,158

 

 

 

Mark Prout

  

 

 

 

106,555

 

 

  

 

 

 

506,997

 

 

 

 

(A)

The shares shown in this column include: (i) restricted stock units that vested on June 29, 2020, September 30, 2020, November 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020; and (ii) performance shares that vested on December 31, 2019, that were granted on April 1, 2017 and settled in full based on cumulative results from the performance period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019. This column also includes Performance Restricted Stock Units granted on April 1, 2020 of which 1/3 vested on December 31, 2020.

 

(B)

Amounts shown are based on the number of shares that vested and the fair market value of our Common Stock on the applicable vesting date. The aggregate dollar value realized upon vesting includes the value of shares withheld to pay taxes.

 

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POTENTIAL PAYMENTS UPON TERMINATION OR CHANGE IN CONTROL

Conduent maintains certain plans that provide compensation to named executive officers in the event of a termination of employment or a change in control. The amount of compensation payable to each named executive officer, assuming that each hypothetical termination or change-in-control situation occurred on December 31, 2020, is listed in the table below. The values for equity incentive awards presented in this table reflect the acceleration of grants not vested and settled as of December 31, 2020 and are based on the closing market price of Conduent Common Stock of $4.80 as of December 31, 2020.

 

     

Involuntary
Termination Not
for Cause

(A)

     Involuntary
Termination Not
for Cause or
Termination for
Good Reason after
Change in Control
(B)
     Death &
Disability
(C)
 
       
Clifford Skelton           

•  Cash Severance ($)

     375,000        3,288,592        -  

•  Non-Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     1,260,957        1,260,957        1,260,957  

•  Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     896,798        7,498,166        7,122,778  

•  Healthcare Benefits ($)

     -        -        -  
       
Clifford Skelton Total Termination Benefits ($)      2,532,756        12,047,716        8,383,735  
       
Brian Webb-Walsh           

•  Cash Severance ($)

     255,000        1,785,000        -  

•  Non-Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     539,324        539,324        539,324  

•  Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     70,299        2,311,147        2,088,531  

•  Healthcare Benefits ($)

     6,136        12,273           
       
Brian Webb-Walsh Total Termination Benefits ($)      870,759        4,647,743        2,627,855  
       
Michael Krawitz           

•  Cash Severance ($)

     225,000        1,530,000        -  

•  Non-Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     444,150        444,150        444,150  

•  Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     4,140        1,578,749        1,578,749  

•  Healthcare Benefits ($)

     2,574        5,149           
       
Michael Krawitz Total Termination Benefits ($)      675,865        3,558,048        2,022,899  
       
Louis Keyes           

•  Cash Severance ($)

     225,000        1,575,000        -  

•  Non-Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     475,875        475,875        475,875  

•  Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     6,430        1,134,989        1,057,819  

•  Healthcare Benefits $)

     7,603        15,206           
       
Louis Keyes Total Termination Benefits ($)      714,907        3,201,069        1,533,694  
       
Mark Prout           

•  Cash Severance ($)

     212,500        743,750        -  

•  Non-Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     449,436        449,436        449,436  

•  Equity Incentive Awards ($)

     4,169        1,048,066        1,023,043  

•  Healthcare Benefits ($)

     7,324        14,647           
       
Mark Prout Total Termination Benefits ($)      673,428        2,255,899        1,472,479  

 

 

(A)

For our named executive officers, under the terms of the Conduent severance policy, they would receive salary continuance payments and continued benefits coverage (excluding disability and 401(k) contributions) for 26 weeks. The amounts reported in the table assume salary continuance is paid as a lump sum, although such payments are generally paid in installments consistent with the normal payroll cycle.

In addition, all named executive officers would receive a short-term incentive payment (Non-Equity Incentive Award) for 2020 performance, reflected above at actual achievement against performance goals.

For the equity incentive awards, pursuant to the terms of the grant agreements, after 9 months of employment with the Company, the NEOs would be entitled to pro-rated vesting of restricted stock units, performance stock units and performance based restricted stock units (based on the number of full months of service as an employee during the vesting period), with the number of performance stock units earned

 

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based on actual performance achievement, estimated at 56% for the 2018 PSUs, 0% for the 2019 PSUs, and the number of 2020 performance restricted stock units earned based on actual achievement, estimated at target for the 2020 PRSUs.

 

(B)

If there was a change in control on December 31, 2020, our named executive officers would have been covered under the Change-in-Control (“CIC”) Plan (effective January 1, 2018) as described in the CD&A, which provides them specified severance benefits if, within 90 days prior to, or within 12 months (or, for our CEO, 24 months) following a change in control of Conduent, their employment was terminated either involuntarily other than for cause, death or disability, or voluntarily for good reason. This arrangement whereby change in control severance benefits are provided only upon a qualifying termination event following a change in control is commonly described as “double-trigger.”

Change in control severance benefits for these named executive officers include:

 

   

A lump sum cash payment equal to two times the then-current annual base salary and short-term incentive award target for Messrs. Skelton, Webb-Walsh, Krawitz and Keyes; and one time the then current annual base salary and short-term incentive target award for Mr. Prout.

 

   

Continuation of specified welfare benefits at active employee rates for a period of 24 months for Messrs. Skelton, Webb-Walsh, Krawitz and Keyes; and 12 months for Mr. Prout.

 

   

Payment of reasonable legal fees and expenses incurred when the named executive officer, in good faith, is involved in a dispute while seeking to enforce the benefits and rights provided by the severance agreement.

 

   

Pursuant to the terms of the applicable agreements, accelerated vesting of stock awards, including performance stock units at target, and performance restricted stock units and restricted stock units at fair market value as of December 31, 2020, and a short-term incentive (Non-Equity Incentive Award) payment for the 2020 performance, reflected above at actual achievement against performance goals.

If excise tax is payable by any of the named executives, Conduent will reduce the named executive officer’s CIC payment to a level that will not trigger an excise tax payment if it is determined that doing so will result in a greater net after-tax amount for the executive.

 

(C)

Termination following disability or death on December 31, 2020, would entitle the named executive officer or his estate or, with respect to certain types of payments and elections made, his designated beneficiaries to receive a 2020 short-term incentive payment shown at actual achievement against performance goals; full vesting of Performance Stock Units, subject to actual performance achievement (amount shown here is based on 56% for the 2018 PSUs and 0% for the 2019 PSUs); full vesting of 2022 Performance Restricted Stock Units, subject to achievement of the share price hurdles prior to December 31, 2022; and accelerated vesting of Restricted Stock Units, per the terms of the applicable award agreements.

Involuntary Termination for Cause

Assuming involuntary termination for cause due to engagement in detrimental activity against Conduent, there would be no payments to the named executive officers other than their deferred compensation balance, if any. All unvested shares would be immediately cancelled upon termination for cause. See the “Governance of the Executive Compensation Programs—Compensation Recovery Policy (Clawbacks)” section of the CD&A for additional information.

Definitions Under the CIC Plan

Generally, for purposes of the CIC Plan, a change in control is deemed to have occurred, subject to specific exceptions, if:

 

   

Any person becomes a beneficial owner representing 50 percent or more of the combined voting power of the outstanding securities of Conduent.

 

   

A majority of the Conduent Board is replaced under specific circumstances.

 

   

There is a merger or consolidation involving Conduent unless (i) the directors of Conduent who were members of the Board immediately before the merger/consolidation continue to constitute a majority of the Conduent Board of Directors or (ii) the merger/consolidation is affected to implement a

 

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recapitalization and no person becomes the beneficial owner representing 50 percent or more of the combined voting power of Conduent’s then outstanding voting securities.

 

   

All or substantially all of Conduent’s assets are sold, or Conduent’s shareholders approve a plan of complete liquidation or dissolution.

A voluntary termination for good reason in the event of a CIC includes:

 

   

The material diminution of authority, duties or responsibilities, including being an executive officer of Conduent before a change in control and ceasing to be an executive officer of the surviving company. The change-in-control benefits for this provision will only be triggered if the executive officer has not voluntarily terminated his/her employment and the “material diminution of authority, duties, or responsibilities” has occurred and not been remedied.

 

   

A material reduction in annual base salary, annual target short-term incentive or employee benefits in the aggregate, except to the extent such reduction is consistent with an across-the-board reduction for employees.

 

   

A material change in the geographic location where the executive is required to be based.

 

   

Failure of Conduent to obtain a satisfactory agreement from any successor to assume and agree to perform in a manner consistent with the change in control agreement.

EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION

The following table summarizes information with respect to equity awards under Conduent’s equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2020:

 

       

Plan Category

 

 

(A)

  Number of Securities  

to be Issued Upon

Exercise of

Outstanding

Options, Warrants

and Rights(1)

 

 

(B)

  Weighted Average  

Exercise Price of

Outstanding

Options, Warrants

and Rights(1)

 

 

(C)

Number of Securities

Available for Future

Issuance Under Equity

Compensation Plans

(Excluding Securities

  Reflected in Column (A))(2)  

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders

 

 

 

12,086,238

 

 

-

 

 

7,754,074

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

-

 

Total

  12,086,238   -   7,754,074

 

 

(1)

Column (A) includes (i) 5,245,923 shares underlying outstanding restricted stock units, 4,439,479 shares of outstanding performance restricted stock units, and 1,013,133 shares of underlying outstanding performance stock units, and 1,013,133 shares earmarked for maximum PSU achievement, awarded under the Conduent Performance Incentive Plan; and (ii) 374,570 shares underlying outstanding DSUs awarded under the Conduent Director Equity Plan. There is no exercise price associated with performance stock units, restricted stock units, performance restricted stock units or DSUs, and because we do not have any options outstanding, there is no weighted-average exercise price calculation in column (B).

 

(2)

Any shares that are cancelled, forfeited or lapse under the Conduent Performance Incentive Plan become available again for issuance under the Conduent Performance Incentive Plan. Any shares that are cancelled, forfeited or lapse under the Conduent Director Equity Plan become available again for issuance under the Conduent Director Equity Plan. Shares earmarked for PSU maximum performance are excluded from the total available.

 

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CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure

For 2020, we have no material change in our employee compensation arrangements that we believe would significantly impact the pay ratio disclosure and thus are electing to use the same median employee as used in our 2019 pay ratio disclosure.

To determine the 2020 CEO Pay Ratio, we used the amount reported in the Total column in the 2020 Summary Compensation Table for our CEO total compensation of $4,973,649 and the 2020 compensation for our median employee of $27,576, as calculated using 2020 payroll data in a similar manner. Based on these total compensation numbers, we estimate the ratio of the annual total compensation of our CEO to the median of the annual total compensation of all of our employees for 2020 was 180:1. This represents a reasonable estimate, calculated in a manner consistent with SEC regulations.

The methodology to determine our median employee in 2019 (who was also used as our median employee in 2020), included examining our total employee population, as of the December 31, 2019 determination date. The total employee population in 2019 consisted of 67,144 employees, which included 30,035 U.S. employees and 37,109 non-U.S. employees. As is permitted under the SEC rules, we excluded employees from the following countries: Germany (1,175 employees) and Turkey (1,007 employees), which represented less than 5% of our total employee population as of the determination date. We then determined our “median employee” using the remaining employee population of 64,962, which included 30,035 U.S. employees and 34,927 non-U.S. employees.

We chose to use annual base compensation as our consistently applied compensation measure to determine our “median employee.” We determined annual base compensation for our salaried employees using base salary paid for 2019. We determined annual base compensation for our hourly paid employees by multiplying the hourly rate by the scheduled hours for the year. We annualized the compensation of all permanent employees in our population who were hired in 2019 but did not work for us the entire year. Once we identified our median employee, we determined that person’s annual total compensation in accordance with the requirements of the Summary Compensation Table.

OTHER INFORMATION

Indemnification Actions

The Company’s by-laws provide for indemnification of officers and directors to the fullest extent permitted by New York law. The Company has not advanced any counsel fees or other reasonable fees and expenses to any officer or director under our by-laws. In accordance with the requirements of the Business Corporation Law of the State of New York (the “BCL”), in the event the Company advances counsel fees or other reasonable fees and expenses, the individuals on whose behalf any such expenditures are made are required to execute an undertaking to repay such expenses if they are finally found not to be entitled to indemnification under the Company’s by-laws or the BCL.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and Indemnity

On June 1, 2020 the Company renewed its policies for directors’ and officers’ liability insurance. The policies are issued by Chubb insurance Company of New Jersey, XL Specialty Insurance Company, Associated Industries Insurance Co, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Continental Insurance Company of New Jersey, Ascot Insurance Company, Capitol Indemnity Corporation, Zurich American Insurance Company, Arch Insurance Company, Berkley Professional Liability, Ironshore Indemnity Inc., Argonaut Insurance Company, Hudson Insurance Company, RSUI Indemnity Company, Marsh Alpha (Lloyd’s of London), Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd, National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, AXIS Insurance Company, Tokio Marine HCC, Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., Old Republic Professional Liability, Inc. and Endurance American Insurance Company. The policies expire June 1, 2021, and the total annual premium is approximately $5,260,000.

NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURES

We have reported our financial results in accordance with U.S. GAAP. In addition, we have discussed our results using non-GAAP measures.

 

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We believe these non-GAAP measures allow investors to better understand the trends in our business and to better understand and compare our results. Accordingly, we believe it is necessary to adjust several reported amounts, determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, to exclude the effects of certain items as well as their related tax effects. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures provide an additional means of analyzing the results of the current period against the corresponding prior period. However, these non-GAAP financial measures should be viewed in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the Company’s reported results prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Our non-GAAP financial measures are not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for comparable U.S. GAAP measures and should be read only in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Our management regularly uses our supplemental non-GAAP financial measures internally to understand, manage and evaluate our business and make operating decisions, and providing such non-GAAP financial measures to investors allows for a further level of transparency as to how management reviews and evaluates our business results and trends. These non-GAAP measures are among the primary factors management uses in planning for and forecasting future periods. Compensation of our executives is based in part on the performance of our business based on certain non-GAAP measures.

A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP are provided below.

These reconciliations also include the income tax effects for our non-GAAP performance measures in total, to the extent applicable. The income tax effects are calculated under the same accounting principles as applied to our reported pre-tax performance measures under ASC 740, which employs an annual effective tax rate method. The noted income tax effect for our non-GAAP performance measures is effectively the difference in income taxes for reported and adjusted pre-tax income calculated under the annual effective tax rate method. The tax effect of the non-GAAP adjustments was calculated based upon evaluation of the statutory tax treatment and the applicable statutory tax rate in the jurisdictions in which such charges were incurred.

Adjusted PBT and Adjusted Net Income (Loss)

We make adjustments to PBT for the following items, as applicable to the particular financial measure, for the purpose of calculating Adjusted Net Income (Loss):

 

   

Amortization of acquired intangible assets. The amortization of acquired intangible assets is driven by acquisition activity, which can vary in size, nature and timing as compared to other companies within our industry and from period to period.

 

   

Restructuring and related costs. Restructuring and related costs include restructuring and asset impairment charges as well as costs associated with our strategic transformation program.

 

   

Goodwill impairment. This represents Goodwill impairment charge related to the unanticipated losses of certain customer contracts, lower potential future volumes and lower than expected new customer contracts for all reporting units.

 

   

(Gain)