Express Scripts DEF 14A 2007
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
SCHEDULE 14A INFORMATION
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )
Filed by the Registrant þ
Filed by a Party other than the Registrant o
Check the appropriate box:
Express Scripts, Inc.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)
(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)
Payment of Filing Fee (Check the appropriate box):
EXPRESS SCRIPTS, INC.
One Express Way
Saint Louis, Missouri 63121
NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
May 23, 2007
The 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders of EXPRESS SCRIPTS, INC., a Delaware corporation (the Company), will be held at the principal executive offices of the Company, One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121, on Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. Central Time (the meeting), to consider and act upon the following matters:
Only stockholders of record at the close of business on March 30, 2007, are entitled to notice of and to vote at the meeting. At least ten days prior to the meeting, a complete list of stockholders entitled to vote will be available for inspection by any stockholder for any purpose germane to the meeting, during ordinary business hours, at the office of the Secretary of the Company at One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121. As a stockholder of record, you are cordially invited to attend the meeting in person. Regardless of whether you expect to be present at the meeting, please either complete, sign and date the enclosed proxy and mail it promptly in the enclosed envelope, or vote electronically via the Internet or telephone as described in greater detail in the proxy statement. Returning the enclosed proxy, or voting electronically or telephonically, will not affect your right to vote in person if you attend the meeting.
By Order of the Board of Directors
Thomas M. Boudreau
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
One Express Way
Saint Louis, Missouri 63121
April 23, 2007
Even though you may plan to attend the meeting in person, please vote by telephone or the Internet, or execute the enclosed proxy card and mail it promptly. A return envelope (which requires no postage if mailed in the United States) is enclosed for your convenience. Telephone and Internet voting information is provided on your proxy card. Should you attend the meeting in person, you may revoke your proxy and vote in person.
EXPRESS SCRIPTS, INC.
One Express Way
Saint Louis, Missouri 63121
This proxy statement is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the Board of Directors of Express Scripts, Inc., a Delaware corporation, which we refer to as the Company, to be voted at our 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which we refer to as the annual meeting or the meeting) and any adjournment or postponement of the meeting. The meeting will be held at our principal executive offices, One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121, on Wednesday, May 23, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. Central Time, for the purposes contained in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders and in this proxy statement. This proxy statement and the accompanying proxy will be first sent or given to stockholders on or about April 23, 2007.
ABOUT THE MEETING
Because you were a stockholder of our company as of March 30, 2007, or the record date, and are entitled to vote at the annual meeting, our board of directors is soliciting your proxy to vote at the meeting.
This proxy statement summarizes the information you need to know to vote at the meeting. This proxy statement and form of proxy were first mailed to stockholders on or about April 23, 2007.
You are voting on two items:
1. Election of directors (see page 3); and
2. Ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as independent registered public accountants for 2007 (see page 39).
Stockholders of Record: If you are a stockholder of record, there are four ways to vote:
Street Name Holders: Shares which are held in a brokerage account in the name of the broker are said to be held in street name. If your shares are held in street name you should follow the voting instructions provided by your broker. You may complete and return a voting instruction card to your broker, or, in many cases, your broker may also allow you to vote via the telephone or internet. Check your proxy card for more information. If you hold your shares in street name and wish to vote at the meeting, you must obtain a legal proxy from your broker and bring that proxy to the meeting.
Regardless of how your shares are registered, if you complete and properly sign the accompanying proxy card and return it to the address indicated, it will be voted as you direct.
Our board recommends the following votes:
1. FOR each of the nominees as directors; and
2. FOR the ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as independent registered public accountants for 2007.
Unless you give instructions on your proxy card, the persons named as proxy holders will vote your shares in accordance with the recommendations of our board of directors.
We do not know of any other matters that will be brought before the stockholders for a vote at the annual meeting. If any other matter is properly brought before the meeting, your signed proxy card gives authority to George Paz and Thomas M. Boudreau to vote on such matters in their discretion.
Only stockholders of record at the close of business on the record date are entitled to receive notice of and to participate in the annual meeting. If you were a stockholder of record on that date, you will be entitled to vote all of the shares that you held on that date at the meeting, or any postponements or adjournments of the meeting.
You will have one vote for every share of our common stock you owned on the record date.
136,069,935, consisting of one vote for each share of our common stock outstanding on the record date. There is no cumulative voting.
The holders of a majority of the aggregate voting power of our common stock outstanding on the record date, or 68,034,968 votes, must be present in person, or by proxy, at the meeting in order to constitute a quorum necessary to conduct the meeting.
If you vote, your shares will be part of the quorum. Abstentions and broker non-votes will be counted in determining the quorum. A broker non-vote occurs when a bank or broker holding shares in street name submits a proxy that states that the broker does not vote for some or all of the proposals, because the broker has not received instructions from the beneficial owners on how to vote on the proposals and does not have discretionary authority to vote in the absence of instructions.
We urge you to vote by proxy even if you plan to attend the meeting so that we will know as soon as possible that a quorum has been achieved.
In the election of directors, the affirmative vote of a plurality of the votes present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at the meeting is required. A proxy that has properly withheld authority with respect to the election of one or more directors will not be voted with respect to the director or directors indicated, although it will be counted for the purposes of determining whether there is a quorum.
For the proposal to ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accountants, the affirmative vote of the holders of a majority of the shares represented in person or by proxy and entitled to vote on the proposal will be required for approval. An abstention with respect to this proposal will not be voted, although it will be counted for the purposes of determining whether there is a quorum. Accordingly, an abstention will have the effect of a negative vote.
Yes. Just send in a new proxy card with a later date, or cast a new vote by telephone or Internet, or send a written notice of revocation to our Corporate Secretary at the address on the cover of this proxy statement. Also, if you attend the meeting and wish to vote in person, you may request that your previously submitted proxy not be used.
This proxy statement and the 2006 annual report are available in the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com. Information on our website does not constitute part of this proxy statement. Most stockholders can elect to view future proxy statements and annual reports over the Internet instead of receiving paper copies in the mail by registering at our website. By electing to receive these materials electronically, you can save us the cost of producing and mailing these documents.
Any Express Scripts stockholder as of March 30, 2007 may attend the meeting. If you own shares in street name, you should ask your broker or bank for a legal proxy to bring with you to the meeting. If you do not receive the legal proxy in time, bring your most recent brokerage statement so that we can verify your ownership of our stock and admit you to the meeting. However, you will not be able to vote your shares at the meeting without a legal proxy.
If you return a proxy card without indicating your vote, your shares will be voted as follows: (i) for the nominees for director named in this proxy statement; (ii) for ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accountants for 2007; and (iii) in accordance with the recommendation of management on any other matter that may properly be brought before the meeting and any adjournment or postponement of the meeting.
The current term of office of all of our directors expires at the meeting or when their successors are duly elected and qualified. The Corporate Governance Committee of our board has nominated the eleven current directors and one new candidate, Dr. Woodrow Myers, to be elected to serve until the next Annual Meeting of Stockholders or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. Unless otherwise specified, all proxies will be voted in favor of the twelve nominees listed below for election as directors of our company.
Our board of directors has no reason to expect that any of the nominees will be unable to stand for election on the date of the meeting or will not serve. If a vacancy occurs among the original nominees prior to the meeting, the proxies will be voted for a substitute nominee named by our board and for the remaining nominees. Directors are elected by a plurality of the votes present in person or by proxy and entitled to vote at the meeting. Our board has determined that, in its judgment, with the exception of Mr. Paz, who is also an executive officer of our company, and Mr. Toan who retired as an executive officer of our company in March 2005, all of the members of our board of directors and the new candidate, Dr. Myers, are independent, as defined by the listing standards of The Nasdaq Global Select Market, as of the date of this Proxy Statement.
The following information is furnished as of March 1, 2007, for each of the nominees for our Board of Directors:
Gary G. Benanav, 61, was elected a director of Express Scripts in January 2000. Mr. Benanav served as Vice Chairman and a Director of New York Life Insurance Company or New York Life, a life insurance and financial services company, from November 1999 until his retirement in March 2005. Mr. Benanav also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life International from December 1997 until his retirement in March 2006. He was Executive Vice President of New York Life from December 1997 until November 1999. He is also a director of Barnes Group, Inc.
Frank J. Borelli, 71, was elected a director of Express Scripts in January 2000. Mr. Borelli has been a Senior Advisor to Stone Point Capital, an investment management company and formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. or M&MC, a global professional services firm, since his retirement from M&MC in January 2001. Prior thereto, he was Senior Vice President of M&MC from April 2000 to December 2000. He is also a director and Audit Committee Chairman of Genworth Financial, Inc. and is a director of the Interpublic Group of Companies and a director of Signal Holdings Inc., an investee company of Trident Fund, which is managed by Stone Point Capital LLC.
Maura C. Breen, 51, was elected a director of Express Scripts in July 2004. Ms. Breen is Senior Vice President and General Manager for the New York Region for Verizon Communications, Inc. or Verizon, a provider of communications services, a post to which she was appointed in March 2006. Previously, Ms. Breen was Senior Vice President/Support Services, Network Services Group for Verizon, from December 2003 through March 2006. Ms. Breen also served as Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Retail Market Groups for Verizon from July 2001 through December 2003, and as Group Vice President, Verizon Long Distance from April 1999 through July 2001.
Nicholas J. LaHowchic, 59, was elected a director of Express Scripts in July 2001. Mr. LaHowchic has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Limited Logistics Services, Inc. or LLS, from October 1997, and as Executive Vice President for Limited Brands, Inc., a retail apparel company and the parent of LLS, from April 2004 until his retirement in February 2007. LLS provides supply chain, compliance and procurement services to retailers including Limited Brands, Inc. Mr. LaHowchic is also a director of Advance Auto Parts Inc.
Thomas P. Mac Mahon, 60, was elected a director of Express Scripts in March 2001. Mr. Mac Mahon served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Executive and Management Committees of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings or LabCorp, the second largest independent clinical laboratory company in the U.S., from January 1997 until his retirement on December 31, 2006. Mr. Mac Mahon, who has been a director of LabCorp since April 1995, will continue serving as Chairman of the Board of LabCorp, a position he has held since April 1996.
Woodrow A. Myers Jr., M.D., 53, is being nominated for election as a director at the upcoming annual meeting. Dr. Myers has served as the Managing Director of Myers Ventures, LLC, a healthcare consulting company, since December 2005. Previously, Dr. Myers served as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Wellpoint, Inc, a health benefits company, from September 2000 through December 2005. Dr. Myers is also a director of Genomic Health, Inc. and ThermoGenesis Corp.
John O. Parker, Jr., 62, was elected a director of Express Scripts in July 2001. Mr. Parker has served as a Venture Partner with Rho Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm, since January 2002. Mr. Parker was a General Partner of Care Capital, LLC, a venture capital firm, from October 2000 to December 2001. Mr. Parker also serves on the boards of PHT Corporation and Medical Present Value, Inc., both privately held companies.
George Paz, 51, was elected a director of Express Scripts in January 2004 and has served as Chairman of the Board since May 2006. Mr. Paz was first elected President of Express Scripts in October 2003 and also assumed the role Chief Executive Officer of Express Scripts on April 1, 2005. Mr. Paz joined Express Scripts and was elected Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in January 1998 and continued to serve as Express Scripts Chief
Financial Officer following his election to the office of President until his successor joined Express Scripts in April 2004.
Samuel K. Skinner, 68, was elected a director of Express Scripts in February 2004. Mr. Skinner has been Of Counsel with the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP since 2004. Mr. Skinner previously served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of USF Corporation (formerly USFreightways Corporation) or USF, a transportation, freight forwarding and supply chain management company, from 2000 until his retirement in 2003. Mr. Skinner was also Chairman of the Board of USF from 2001 until his retirement. Mr. Skinner is also a director of Navigant Consulting, Inc., Midwest Air Group, Inc., Diamond Management and Technology Inc., Dade Behring Holdings, Inc., and the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Seymour Sternberg, 63, was elected a director of Express Scripts in March 1992. Mr. Sternberg currently is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life and has served in this capacity since April 1997. From October 1995 until October 2002, he was the President of New York Life, and from October 1995 until March 1997 he also held the position of Chief Operating Officer of New York Life. Mr. Sternberg is also a director of CIT Group, Inc., and is a director/manager of various New York Life subsidiaries.
Barrett A. Toan, 59, was elected a director of Express Scripts in October 1990 and served as Chairman of the Board from November 2000 until May 2006. Mr. Toan was Express Scripts Chief Executive Officer from March 1992 until his retirement in March 2005. Mr. Toan was an executive employee of Express Scripts from May 1989 until his retirement and served as President of Express Scripts from October 1990 to April 2002. Mr. Toan is also a director of Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, a specialty chemical company, and Genworth Financial, Inc., an insurance and financial services company.
Howard L. Waltman, 74, has been a director of Express Scripts since its inception in September 1986, and has served as Presiding Director since October 2006. Mr. Waltman served as Chairman of the Board of Express Scripts from March 1992 until November 2000. Mr. Waltman is also a director of Infocrossing, Inc. and Emergent Group, Inc.
The Board of Directors unanimously recommends a vote FOR the election of each of the nominees listed above.
Our board of directors is responsible for establishing broad corporate policies and for overseeing the overall management of the Company. In addition to considering various matters which require board approval, our board provides advice and counsel to, and ultimately monitors the performance of, our senior management.
Committees of the Board. Our board has four standing committees of the Board of Directors: the Audit Committee, the Compensation and Development Committee or the Compensation Committee, the Corporate Governance Committee, and the Compliance Committee. Each committee has a written charter and is composed entirely of directors deemed to be, in the judgment of our board, independent in accordance with Nasdaq listing standards. Our board of directors met seven times in 2006. Each director attended at least 75% of the total number of meetings of the board and the board committees of which he or she was a member in 2006. While we do not have a formal policy requiring members of the board to attend the annual meeting, we encourage all directors to attend. All
of the boards eleven members attended the annual meeting in 2006. The following table lists the members, primary functions and number of meetings held for each of the committees:
Our board has not determined which committee(s) Dr. Myers may sit on if elected to the board.
Presiding Director. Our corporate governance guidelines were revised in October 2006 to call for the selection of a Presiding Director of the board at such times as the position of chairman of the board is held by a member of management. The Presiding Director is a non-employee director selected by the other non-employee directors whose duties include the following:
Mr. Waltman was elected as Presiding Director of our board in October 2006.
Directors who are employed by our company or its subsidiaries do not receive compensation for serving as directors. Directors who were not employees of our company or its subsidiaries are entitled to receive:
$45,000 for the Audit Committee Chairperson,
$40,000 for the Compensation and Development Committee Chairperson,
$35,000 for other Committee Chairpersons, and
$30,000 for the other non-employee directors;
We also reimburse non-employee directors for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with attending board and committee meetings.
Our non-employee directors also receive equity awards under our 2000 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as amended or the 2000 LTIP, as follows:
The equity grants are divided between shares of restricted stock and stock-settled stock appreciation rights, or SSARs, as follows:
All of the SSARs granted to the non-employee directors under the 2000 LTIP have an exercise price of 100% of the fair market value of the shares on the date they are granted, and a seven-year term. The SSARs and restricted stock vest ratably over three years, with accelerated vesting upon the directors retirement, provided that the directors combined age and years of service on the Board total at least 75, or upon the failure by the Company to renominate the director for election.
The following table provides information regarding our compensation of non-employee directors for 2006:
DIRECTOR COMPENSATION IN 2006
On March 24, 2005, we entered into a consulting agreement with Mr. Toan which expired on May 24, 2006. Under the consulting agreement, Mr. Toan agreed to serve as non-executive Chairman of the Board, and to provide us with certain consulting services. As compensation for services performed as non-executive Chairman, Mr. Toan received only compensation at such times and in such amount as we pay under the policy generally in effect for non-
employee directors. In addition, Mr. Toan received compensation for up to thirty-five hours per month of consulting services in the amount of $30,000 per month. The consulting agreement ended on the date of our 2006 annual meeting and was not renewed.
Corporate Governance Guidelines and Committee Charters. We have adopted Corporate Governance Guidelines to outline our corporate governance structure and address significant corporate governance issues. Copies of these Guidelines as well as the Charters for each of our board committees can be found on the Corporate Governance page in the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com (information on our website does not constitute part of this proxy statement).
Code of Ethics. We have adopted a Code of Ethics which applies to all of our directors, officers, and employees including our senior financial officers. A copy of the Code of Ethics is available in the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com. We will post any amendments to the Code of Ethics, or any waivers of the Code of Ethics for any of our directors, executive officers or senior financial officers, in the same section of our website.
Communicating with the Directors. Stockholders wishing to communicate with our board of directors or with an individual board member with respect to our company may do so by writing to the board or the specific board member, and mailing the correspondence to: Attention: Corporate Secretary, Express Scripts Inc., One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121. The outside of the envelope should clearly indicate that it contains a stockholder communication. Our board of directors has approved a process pursuant to which the office of the Corporate Secretary will review and forward the correspondence to the appropriate person or persons for response, with the exception of correspondence which is inappropriate or unrelated to the duties and responsibilities of the board.
Selection of Nominees for the Board of Directors. The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for evaluating potential candidates to serve on our board of directors, and for selecting nominees to be presented for election to the board at our annual meeting of stockholders. In evaluating potential director candidates, the Corporate Governance Committee considers the skills and characteristics possessed by each candidate in the context of the perceived needs of the board at that point in time. Among the factors considered by the Corporate Governance Committee in considering a potential nominee are the following:
In identifying potential candidates for the board, the Corporate Governance Committee relies on recommendations from a number of possible sources, including current directors and officers. The Corporate Governance Committee may also retain outside consultants or search firms to help in identifying potential candidates for membership on the board. In the past, the Corporate Governance Committee has engaged the firm of Spencer Stuart to assist with director searches, including the search which resulted in the nomination of Dr. Myers. The Corporate Governance Committee will also consider candidates recommended by stockholders, and will consider them on the same basis as other candidates.
Any stockholder wishing to recommend a candidate for consideration by the Corporate Governance Committee to become a nominee for election to the board may do so by submitting a written recommendation to the committee in accordance with our procedures for the submission of Stockholder Proposals, as set out in our Bylaws (See Stockholder Proposals beginning on page 40). For a nominee to be considered, the following information must be submitted in accordance with the required procedures:
The request for nomination must also be accompanied by a written consent of the proposed nominee to being named as a nominee and to serve as a director if elected. Our Corporate Secretary will review all such stockholder recommendations, and will forward those that comply with the above-described requirements to the Corporate Governance Committee for evaluation and consideration.
We are a party to a Stockholder and Registration Rights Agreement with New York Life which, among other things, originally gave New York Life the right to nominate two candidates for election to our board, subject to certain stock ownership and other conditions as described in Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions Relationship with New York Life Stockholder and Registration Rights Agreement beginning on page 37. Following a series of transactions in 2003, New York Lifes nomination right was reduced to one candidate, and, following additional transactions in 2006, New York Lifes right to nominate a candidate to our board was eliminated.
COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
Our Compensation Discussion and Analysis explains our compensation policies, programs and practices for our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and our three other most highly compensated officers, as named in the Summary Compensation Table on page 21. We refer to these individuals collectively as the named executives or the named executive officers.
The broad topics discussed in this analysis include:
Aligning Compensation with Stockholder Interests. One of the primary goals of our compensation structure is to align the interests of our executives with our stockholders through compensation vehicles which reward the achievement of established intermediate and long-term goals with the ultimate objective of increasing long-term stockholder value. The elements utilized to help achieve this goal of alignment include the following:
Rewarding Annual and Long-Term Performance. Our compensation structure is also intended to reward the achievement of certain annual and long-term performance objectives by the individual executives, our distinct business units, and our company overall. This objective, in many ways, overlaps the alignment objective and is achieved through some of the same compensation vehicles. The elements intended to reward annual and/or long-term performance include the following:
Attracting and Retaining Talented Executives. In a constantly growing and changing business, it is vital that we be able to continually attract and retain superior employees in key executive positions. The key compensation elements aimed at accomplishing this goal include the following:
Compensation Committee Members and the Compensation Committee Charter. The Committee is responsible for establishing, overseeing and reviewing executive compensation policies and for approving, validating and benchmarking the compensation and benefits for named executive officers. The Committee includes three independent directors Gary G. Benanav (Chair), Thomas P. Mac Mahon and Howard L. Waltman. Each of
these directors satisfies the independence requirements of the Nasdaq Global Select Market. A Charter for the Compensation Committee was adopted in November 2000 and amended in December 2002. A copy of the Charter can be found on the Corporate Governance page in the Investor Information section of the website at www.express-scripts.com (information on our website does not constitute part of this proxy statement).
The Committees principal functions, as set forth in the Charter, include:
The Committee may, and has, delegated its authority to make certain equity grants to employees below the level of vice president to our Chief Executive Officer. Despite this delegation, the Committee generally considers and approves all such grants whenever practicable.
The Charter is reviewed at least annually by both the Committee and the Corporate Governance Committee of the board. The Committee is scheduled to meet four times per year to consider compensation activities applicable to senior executives and other matters. Additional meetings may be scheduled as required by the Committee.
Role of Management in Establishing Compensation. Management generally prepares the meeting materials for the Committee in advance of its meetings. The compensation consultant retained by the Committee may also prepare materials depending on the topics to be covered. In the meetings, management generally will request that the Committee consider and approve compensation changes for senior executives and equity grants for newly hired or promoted senior executives. Management also may ask that additional issues involving compensation policies or design be considered. During the annual evaluation process, the Chief Executive Officer is given the opportunity to evaluate senior executives for purposes of annual merit increases, annual incentive payments and long term equity grants. The Committee makes all compensation decisions for the named executives and other members of our senior management team. However, the Chief Executive Officer and certain other members of management may also provide recommendations to the Committee on these matters.
Management is asked to assist in conducting the meetings and to provide applicable data, information and other resources. The Committees independent compensation consultant also participates on an as-needed basis. As part of their regular meetings, Committee members generally meet in executive session during which members of management are not present.
In consultation with the Committee, management establishes compensation parameters below the senior executive level which generally reflect the compensation philosophy and direction established by the Committee in setting compensation for senior management.
Role of the Compensation Consultant. The Committee has traditionally engaged a nationally recognized consulting firm, or the compensation consultant, to review alternatives and to provide advice regarding appropriate compensation levels for the senior executive officers. As requested, the compensation consultant also provides data and analysis to support its recommendations and advice. The current compensation consultant, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, was selected in 2005 following a detailed RFP process managed by the Committee. The Committee considered several national consulting firms and, following interviews and evaluation by the Committee, Watson Wyatt Worldwide was retained. The Committee is solely responsible for commissioning the work of the compensation consultant. The consultant is independent of management and does no other executive compensation work for the company, although the consultant has provided salary survey information to management for
employees other than senior executives. The Committee has authority to hire and dismiss the compensation consultant and budgetary authority to establish engagements with the consultant. Management is copied on the work by the compensation consultant and discusses work in progress at the discretion of the Committee. The bills for consulting work go first to the Committee and then to our company for payment. As requested, a representative of the compensation consultant may attend the meetings of the Committee in person or by telephone.
The role of the compensation consultant is to provide independent, expert advice to the Committee on the design and level of compensation paid to our senior executives. To do this, the consultant compares the compensation elements for the senior executive officers, including the Chief Executive Officer, with the compensation received by executives in comparable positions at a peer group of companies. The Committee considers these peer group pay levels one of the factors utilized in arriving at its final compensation decisions. It is the Committees current intention to conduct a benchmark study annually to assure that the senior executives are compensated appropriately from a competitive and design perspective. Following its analysis, the compensation consultant makes recommendations for consideration by the Committee.
Management does not currently engage a separate executive compensation consultant.
Benchmarking of Executive Compensation Programs. Our compensation approach is to combine base pay, annual incentive pay, and long-term incentive awards to create a total package that is, in general, approximately at the median compensation level for executive officers of a peer group of companies if financial and non-financial objectives are achieved, and that can be at or above the 75th percentile of such compensation level if stretch financial and non-financial goals are achieved.
Analysis by the compensation consultant identified a group of 11 companies judged to be comparable to the company, which we refer to as the peer group companies, based on their revenue and market capitalization, industry, similarity to our company and complexity. These peer group companies are:
The peer group companies recommended by the compensation consultant and approved by the Committee include companies different from those in the peer group index in the stock performance graph included in our annual report to stockholders. With the exception of Caremark Rx, Inc, which was recently acquired, all of the peer group companies are public companies in the health care industry. The compensation consultant also compiled a secondary peer group of 54 companies from various industries; however, this group did not substantially influence any compensation decisions. The Committee expects it will be necessary, as a result of mergers, acquisitions and other changes, to update the list of peer group companies periodically in order to maintain a sufficient number of companies for pay comparisons. For example, the Committee will consider and decide how to account for the recent acquisition of Caremark Rx, Inc.
The Committee annually reviews and assesses the compensation levels provided by the compensation consultant for executive officers at the peer group companies, and also evaluates the financial and market performance of the peer group companies in making compensation decisions. In addition, the Committee also reviews publicly available compensation information contained in SEC filings and published survey information provided by various consulting firms. This review constitutes one of the factors the Committee uses in determining the appropriate pay levels for the senior executives. The review involves compensation received by executives in comparable positions and looks at the various elements of the compensation package and how these elements support corporate objectives.
Components of Executive Compensation
The Committee has structured an executive compensation program comprised of three primary components: base pay, annual incentive pay, and long-term incentive pay. Segmenting and stratifying the elements of executive compensation helps focus compensation resources where they will be most effective.
Base Pay. Adequate and competitive base pay allows for the recruitment of high caliber executives and helps to reduce turnover. The Committee uses base pay at the peer group companies as a reference point for equivalent or similar positions with us. The Committee determines the salary for each of the executive officers by considering the value and performance of the executive, recommendations by management (for executives other than the Chief Executive Officer) and the compensation consultant, the level and scope of responsibilities of the position, and the pay levels of similarly positioned executive officers in the peer group companies. Competitive pay levels are represented in median pay for the positions at the peer group companies and other sources as well as recommended pay range alternatives provided by the compensation consultant. At the senior executive level, results applicable to the business unit or functional division headed by the executive are also factored into decisions related to changes in the base pay of the executive.
The Committee typically reviews salary levels annually as part of our performance review process or upon a promotion or significant change in an executives responsibilities. Salary increases are based on both individual performance and changes in our overall budget for compensation. Changes in salary for the named executives and other members of senior management are approved by the Committee and annual changes are generally effective each year as of April 1.
Annual Incentive Bonus Pay. We believe the annual bonus plan provides us with a valuable tool to assist in focusing executives on accomplishing current operational and financial objectives over a one-year period. Each executive has a bonus target which is stated as a percentage of his or her annual base salary. The targets are set by the Committee taking into consideration the annual incentive pay levels existing at the peer group companies for similar positions as well as the other factors described above with respect to the determination of base pay. Payouts under the annual incentive program are determined as follows:
In 2006, the 2000 LTIP was amended to permit cash awards to be granted under the plan. This permits us to enhance the tax deductibility of annual bonus plan awards made to the named executive officers, as discussed under Deductibility of Compensation on page 19. Bonus awards made under the 2000 LTIP are granted at the maximum achievable level (i.e. 250% of target for most of the named executives), are conditioned upon the achievement of a minimum EPS target, and are subject to the downward discretion of the Committee. The annual bonus awards for the named executives for 2007 (to be paid in 2008) are the first to be awarded under the 2000 LTIP.
Long-Term Incentive Awards. The Committee believes that our long-term compensation program should orient and align senior executives with the interests of stockholders and focus the executives efforts on our long-term success. The long-term incentive awards are designed to retain executives and motivate them toward results that exceed those of the peer group companies. The long-term compensation program consists of grants of stock-settled stock appreciation rights, or SSARs, restricted stock and performance shares. These equity grants increase in value if the market value of our common stock appreciates over time. For that reason, our executives are motivated to engage in behaviors that will increase the long-term value of our common stock and thereby benefit all stockholders.
Each executive officer receives an equity grant upon employment (or upon promotion to senior executive status) and, in the past, typically has received an additional annual equity grant each succeeding year. The Committee believes that providing equity compensation opportunities provides a clear and powerful motivation to the executive team to achieve financial and operational objectives that will, over time, increase the market price of our common stock. The purpose of these grants for newly-hired executives is to provide incentive for high potential individuals to join the company and/or to compensate them for equity compensation they may have forfeited when leaving their prior employer. In the past, several of our senior executives also received special grants of non-qualified stock options and/or restricted stock in connection with their entering into employment agreements. Our current form of employment agreement for our executives does not provide for equity grants.
In connection with the 2005 executive compensation study, the Committee revised its approach with respect to long-term incentive compensation. Factors involved in determining the appropriate equity vehicles to use included consideration of the prevalence of equity grants in the peer group companies and general industry, the desired equity mix, rewarding share price improvement, retention, and relative stock and financial performance. Starting in 2006, the Committee implemented a long-term compensation program under which senior executives receive annual grants of long-term equity compensation divided among three different types of equity grants. The annual awards are approved by the Committee based on the dollar value of the entire equity package, which is allocated among the forms of equity as follows:
The weighting of the equity components that comprise the long-term plan package is subject to change based on the Committees evaluation and discretion. The Committee grants all three types of awards in order to meet several objectives. The Committee believes that measuring performance against our competitors with respect to important financial metrics adds a significant dimension to the long-term program design. By including performance shares, the Committee believes that the program provides motivation both to achieve results that will be positively responded to in the marketplace and to produce results that will exceed equivalent measures among the competitors.
The Committee has discretion to determine the vesting schedule for each SSAR grant and generally makes grants that become exercisable in equal amounts over three years. Except in the cases of retirement, disability or death, in general, executives must be employed by the company at the scheduled vesting time for their equity awards in order for such vesting to occur.
The Committee has historically made annual equity grants, including stock options and SSARs, during the first calendar quarter, following the finalization of our year-end financial results. By making grants at this time the Committee is able to consider the previous year financial performance in determining the size and structure of such grants, both in the aggregate and with respect to individual executives. Additionally, by making the awards during the first quarter, such grants are coordinated with the annual bonus awards and annual salary adjustments. For information regarding our current policy, see Other Compensation Related Matters Equity Granting Policy below.
The size of an executives equity compensation awards are based upon the evaluation by the Committee and, for awards other than his own, by the Chief Executive Officer, regarding the contribution that the executive officer is expected to make to the overall growth and profitability during the vesting period. The Committee also considers long-term incentive compensation levels at the peer group companies, and for initial equity grants any equity compensation which may have been forfeited by an executive upon leaving his or her former employer. While we maintain stock ownership guidelines, the Committee does not take into account existing stock ownership levels of individual executives in determining the amount of equity awards.
If a business transaction occurs that would change the basis for determining the results for incentive compensation payments, the Committee may adjust the metrics to reflect the new business circumstances in a manner that provides equivalent opportunity and results requirements. The Committee may also make similar adjustments to account for changes in accounting principles or practices, changes in the number of shares outstanding, and similar changes, and may determine whether adjustments should be made for one-time or extraordinary items, prior period adjustments, discontinued operations and similar items. Such adjustments could occur for the metrics in the annual bonus plan or the performance share portion of the equity grants.
Deferred Compensation. We provide an opportunity for executives to participate in the EDCP, a deferred compensation program that is intended to comply with the rules provided under section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code. Under the EDCP, participants can elect to defer up to 50% of their annual base pay and up to 100% of their annual bonus. In addition, we have historically made matching contributions to each executives account under the EDCP equal to 6% of the executives annual cash compensation, with the contributions subject to a cliff vesting at the end of the third calendar year following the year for which they are awarded. However, in the case of executive officers who are eligible for retirement under the plan, including Mr. Boudreau and Mr. Lowenberg, company contributions are fully vested. Other than the 6% annual cash contribution to the EDCP and the opportunity to participate in the ESI qualified 401(k) plan, we do not provide any retirement benefits to our executives.
Deferred compensation gives executives a tax favored method of accumulating assets for current or retirement living expenses. The three-year vesting schedule that applies to our contributions is intended to serve as a retention device for the executives. Amounts contributed to the EDCP by either the participant or us are assumed to have been invested in one or more of a number of publicly available mutual funds and/or a company common stock fund. The plan is not formally funded and the returns that are paid on the participants accounts are equal to the gain or loss on the hypothetical market investments. Due to these factors, and because, with the exception of the company common stock fund, the hypothetical investment options under the EDCP are identical to those under our 401(k) plan available to all employees, the Committee believes that we have not promised to pay above-market returns on any participants account under the EDCP.
Base Pay. During 2005, the Committee evaluated how we were paying our executive officers in comparison to the peer group companies and determined, based upon the recommendation of the compensation consultant, that they were generally paid below the market median. As a result, in 2006, the Committee decided to increase the base pay of the executive officers, including the Chief Executive Officer, to better align them with the pay for comparable jobs at peer group companies and as disclosed in various compensation surveys. Specific 2006 base salary amounts for the named executive officers are contained in the table below. Recommendations were based in part upon merit as a part of the annual review process and an assessment of the individuals performance. In 2006, the salary increases for the named executive officers, as a percentage of base pay, were as follows:
Annual Incentive Bonus Program. As described above, each named executive officers bonus target under the annual bonus plan for 2006 was determined based on a percentage of his base salary, and the bonus potential for
each named executive officer for 2006 ranged from 0% to 300% of such target (other than for Mr. Paz for whom the range was 0% to 200% of target). Generally, the bonus payouts for performance below the threshold performance level, at the threshold performance level, and at the target performance level for 2006 would have been 0%, 25% and 100% respectively, and the maximum payout for the achievement of stretch performance goals would have been 300% (200% for Mr. Paz). For the 2006 performance period, the various bonus targets and payouts for the named executive officers (paid in March 2007) were as follows:
The payouts under the annual bonus plan for 2006 were based on our actual EPS of $3.29 (excluding certain non-recurring benefits related to non-cash net tax benefits) versus a budgeted EPS of $3.16, and actual EBITDA of $925.1 million against a target of $919.6 million. Individual payouts were also adjusted based on the achievement of various workplan goals for the individual, our various business units or operating groups, as applicable, and/or our company. For 2007, the maximum payout under the annual bonus plan has been capped at 250% of target (200% of target for Mr. Paz).
2006 Long Term Incentive Awards. Specific 2006 long term incentive awards to the named executive officers are contained in the table under the caption Grants of Plan Based Awards Table on page 22.
Perquisites and Additional Benefits. The Committee does not believe it is in the best interests of our company or its stockholders to provide our executive officers with significant perquisites which are not available to all employees. In accordance with our compensation philosophy to pay for results, no perquisites are provided to the senior executive officers that exceed SEC reporting thresholds. In fact, the only perquisite available to our named executives is a company-paid comprehensive physical examination and wellness recommendations at a nationally recognized medical facility. These examinations are available to our senior executives every two years before age 50 and annually thereafter. The estimated value of this program is about $5,000 per examination.
Except as specifically described in this Compensation Discussion and Analysis, our executive officers participate only in employee benefit plans generally available to all employees on the same terms as similarly situated employees, including our 401(k) plan and health and welfare plans. We provide equivalent health insurance to all employees, and the employee paid portion of the premiums on such insurance is tiered such that more highly-compensated employees pay higher premiums in order to subsidize the premiums for lower-paid employees. As a result, the employee contributions paid by our executives are more than 300% higher than those paid by our lower paid employees.
All of the offices in our headquarters building are the same size regardless of title and position, including those for our Chief Executive Officer and other senior executives, and reserved parking is not provided for employees at any level. No financial counseling programs are provided and we do not permit personal use of corporate aircraft without express prior approval of the Committee, which approval has never been sought nor granted.
Employment Agreements. We have entered into employment agreements with each of our senior executive officers, which also contain severance and change in control provisions. The Committee believes these agreements are appropriate for a number of reasons including the following:
These agreements do not materially affect the Committees annual compensation determinations, as they only restrict its ability to reduce base salary and target bonus percentage below the amounts stated in the agreement. All of the employment agreements with the exception of the agreement with Mr. Paz were re-executed in 2006 in order to make them generally consistent among the executive officers. Additional information about the severance and change in control provisions of the agreements can be found under the caption Employment Agreements and Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change in Control on page 25.
Deductibility of Compensation. The goal for the deductibility of compensation is to comply with the requirements of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to the extent deemed practicable or appropriate by the Committee. Section 162(m) places a limit of $1 million on the amount of compensation that a publicly-traded company may deduct in any one year for any of its named executive officers. This limitation does not apply to performance-based compensation meeting certain requirements (including the requirement that such compensation be paid under a stockholder approved plan). For 2006, the grants of SSARs and performance shares were designed to satisfy the deductibility requirements of Section 162(m).
As discussed above, in 2006, the stockholders approved amendments to the 2000 LTIP which, among other things, provided for the annual bonus awards to be awarded and paid under the plan, thus satisfying the requirement under Section 162(m) that performance based compensation be paid pursuant to a stockholder approved plan. Accordingly, the Committee intends for these awards under the annual incentive program to be deductible.
Stock Ownership Guidelines. In 2001, the Committee established guidelines for stock ownership among its executive group. The purpose of the guidelines is to have each executive assert his or her commitment to our company and stockholders by holding a prescribed number of full value shares. Shares owned outright and fully-vested phantom share equivalents under the EDCP are included in these thresholds; however, unvested performance shares and restricted stock, all stock options and SSARs, (whether vested or unvested), and unvested phantom share equivalents under the EDCP are not included in the guidelines. Even though these guidelines are not mandatory, each executives status with respect to stock ownership is annually reviewed and communicated. Each executive has five years from the time of becoming an executive officer to attain the recommended ownership level. The guidelines require each individual to hold a number of eligible shares with a value at least equal to a multiple of his or her base annual salary as follows: 4.0x for the Chief Executive Officer, 3.5x for the Chief Operating Officer, 3.0x for all Senior Vice Presidents, and 1.0x for all Vice Presidents. Currently, each of our Named Executive Officers has met his stock ownership requirements.
Equity Granting Policy. Effective in November 2006, the Committee adopted a Policy for Grant Approvals and for Establishing Grant Date for Equity Grants. Under this policy:
In connection with our offer to acquire the stock of Caremark Rx, Inc., our annual earnings release for 2006 was accelerated by several weeks. At the date of the earnings release our annual compensation review process had not been completed. As a result, the Committee authorized the granting of annual equity awards for 2007 at a regular Committee meeting held during the open trading window following the earnings release. Accordingly, these grants had a grant date on the actual date of the Committee meeting.
Derivatives Trading. Because a primary goal of equity-based incentive compensation is to align the interests of our executives with our stockholders, our trading policy prohibits the trading of derivative securities related to our common stock.
The Compensation Committee and Development Committee of Express Scripts, Inc. has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis section of this proxy statement with management, and based on such review and discussions the Committee recommended to the board of directors that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be included in this proxy statement.
April 23, 2007
COMPENSATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Gary Benanav, Chairman
Thomas P. Mac Mahon
The Compensation Committee is comprised of Gary Benanav (Chair), Thomas Mac Mahon and Howard Waltman, none of whom are employees or current or former officers of our company, or had any relationship with our company required to be disclosed under Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions.
SUMMARY COMPENSATION TABLE
The following table summarizes the compensation of our named executive officers listed in the table for the year ended December 31, 2006.
GRANTS OF PLAN-BASED AWARDS IN 2006
The following table provides additional information about awards of restricted stock, stock-settled stock appreciation rights and performance shares granted to the named executive officers in 2006:
OUTSTANDING EQUITY AWARDS AT 2006 FISCAL YEAR-END
The following table provides information on vested and unvested equity awards held by the named executive officers as of December 31, 2006:
The following table provides information on the value realized by the executive officers for stock options exercised during 2006, and for restricted stock awards which vested during 2006:
The following table provides information on contributions, earnings and account balances for the named executives in our Executive Deferred Compensation Plan, or EDCP:
The material terms of the EDCP are described in our Compensation Discussion and Analysis under Components of Executive Compensation Deferred Compensation on page 17.
EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTS AND POTENTIAL PAYMENTS
UPON TERMINATION OR CHANGE IN CONTROL
Employment Agreement with Mr. Paz
General Terms. On April 1, 2005, we entered into an employment agreement with Mr. Paz in connection with his promotion to the office of Chief Executive Officer. This new agreement terminated the our previous employment agreement with Mr. Paz except those terms addressing the stock option and restricted stock grants under the agreement, all of which had vested by the end of 2006.
The new agreement with Mr. Paz was effective as of April 1, 2005 with an initial term through March 31, 2008. The agreement provides for:
Termination by Us for Cause or by Mr. Paz other than for Good Reason or Retirement. If Mr. Pazs employment is terminated before the employment period expires for cause, as defined in the agreement, or by Mr. Paz other than for good reason or retirement, as those terms are defined in the agreement, he is not entitled to receive any further payments or benefits that have not already been paid or provided, including any unvested portion of the option grant or restricted stock awards. However, Mr. Paz is entitled to the following accrued rights:
Termination by Us (other than for Cause or Disability) or Termination by Mr. Paz for Good Reason. If Mr. Paz is terminated other than for cause or disability, or by him for good reason, as those terms are defined in the agreement, he will receive:
Termination upon Death. If Mr. Paz dies before the employment period expires, his estate will receive:
Termination for Disability or Retirement. If Mr. Paz is terminated for disability or retirement (i.e., voluntary retirement on or after age 591/2 but not within 90 days after a change in control of us) before the employment period expires, he will receive:
Effect of Change in Control on Deferred Bonus. If a change in control, as defined in the 2000 LTIP, occurs prior to March 31, 2008 Mr. Paz will receive:
Post-Employment Restrictive Covenants. Upon termination of employment, Mr. Paz is prohibited from:
Mr. Paz must comply with these restrictions in order to receive the severance benefits described above.
Section 409A Adjustments. If any severance payments made to Mr. Paz following termination (other than payments under the EDCP) should be subject to the restrictions of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, then we must negotiate in good faith to amend his employment agreement to the extent necessary to create payment terms with respect to such post-termination payments which are as close as possible to those originally set forth in his employment agreement while not violating the terms of Section 409A.
Excise Tax Gross-Up Payment. If any severance payments would result in Mr. Pazs liability for the payment of an excise tax under Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code, or any similar state or local tax, we will make a gross-up payment to him to fully offset such tax provided the aggregate present value of the benefit amount is equal to or exceeds 125% of the maximum total payment which could be made to him without triggering the excise tax. If the aggregate present value of the amount of the benefit, however, exceeds such maximum amount, but is less than 125% of such maximum amount, then we may reduce the benefit so that no portion of the amount is subject to the excise tax, and no gross-up payment will be made.
Estimated Benefits. The table below reflects the amount of incremental compensation which would be paid to Mr. Paz upon the termination of his employment or upon a change in control. These amounts assume that such termination or change in control was effective as of December 31, 2006, and that the price of our common stock upon which certain of the calculations are made was the closing price of $71.60 per share on that date. Accordingly, the computation of these amounts requires the company to make certain estimates which are further described in the description of Mr. Pazs employment agreement above or in the accompanying footnotes. Some of these amounts are payable pursuant to the terms of the employment agreement while others arise from the terms of the applicable grant and/or benefit plan. Those amounts payable pursuant to the employment agreement generally require the executive to sign a general release and to comply with certain contractual terms including those related to noncompetition, nonsolicitation and non-disparagement.
Because the incremental amount of payments to be made depend on several factors, the actual amounts to be paid out upon termination of employment or a change in control can only be determined at the time of the event. The tables do not include the nonqualified deferred compensation that would be paid, which is set forth in the Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table above, except to the extent an individual is entitled to an additional
benefit as a result of the termination. The estimated payments upon termination and change in control are as follows:
General Terms. On May 1, 2006, we entered into executive employment agreements with several key executives, including each of the named executive officers other than Mr. Paz. These employment agreements are substantially identical, except as indicated below. The initial employment period under these agreements runs from May 1, 2006 through March 31, 2007, and, under each of the agreements, is automatically extended for successive one-year renewal periods unless either party gives notice of non-renewal at least ninety days prior to the end of the then current term. Neither party under any of the agreements gave such notice prior to March 31, 2007 termination date, and, as a result, each of these agreement has been renewed through March 31, 2008.
Each employment agreement generally provides for:
The initial base salary and minimum bonus target amounts (expressed as a percentage of base salary for each of the officers under the new agreements were:
Termination by Us for Cause or by Executive other than for Good Reason or Retirement. If the executives employment is terminated before the employment period expires by us for cause, as defined in the agreement, or by him other than for good reason or retirement, as those terms are defined in the agreement, he is not entitled to receive any further payments or benefits that have not already been paid or provided, including any unvested portion of the option grant or restricted stock awards. However, he is entitled to the following accrued rights:
Termination by Us (other than for Cause or Disability) or for Good Reason. If the executives employment is terminated by us other than for cause or disability, or by the executive for good reason, as those terms are defined in the agreement, the executive is entitled to receive:
Termination due to Death, Disability or Retirement. If the executives employment terminates on account of death, disability or retirement, as those terms are defined in the agreement, before the end of his employment period, he (or his estate) generally is entitled to receive:
Post-Employment Restrictive Covenants. Upon termination of employment, each executive is prohibited from:
Excise Tax Gross-Up Payment. If any benefit to be paid would result in the executives liability for the payment of an excise tax under Section 4999 of the Internal Revenue Code or any similar state or local tax, we will make a gross-up payment to the executive to fully offset the excise tax provided the aggregate present value of the amount of the benefit is equal to or exceeds 125% of the maximum total payment which could be made to the executive without triggering the excise tax. If the aggregate present value of the amount of the benefit exceeds such
maximum amount, but is less than 125% of such maximum amount, then we may reduce the amount of the benefit so that no portion of the benefit is subject to the excise tax, and no gross-up payment would be made.
Estimated Benefits. The tables below reflect the amount of incremental compensation which would be paid to each of Messrs. Boudreau, Lowenberg, Ignaczak and Stiften upon the termination of his employment or upon a change in control. These amounts assume that such termination or change in control was effective as of December 31, 2006, and that the price of our common stock upon which certain of the calculations are made was the closing price of $71.60 per share on that date. Accordingly, the computation of these amounts requires the company to make certain estimates which are further described in the description of the employment agreements above or in the accompanying footnotes. Some of these amounts are payable pursuant to the terms of the employment agreements while others arise from the terms of the applicable grant and/or benefit plan. Those amounts payable pursuant to the employment agreements generally require the executive to sign a general release and to comply with certain contractual terms including those related to noncompetition, nonsolicitation and non-disparagement.
Because the incremental amount of payments to be made depend on several factors, the actual amounts to be paid out upon termination of employment or a change in control can only be determined at the time of the event. The tables do not include the nonqualified deferred compensation that would be paid, which is set forth in the Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table above, except to the extent an individual is entitled to an additional benefit as a result of the termination. The estimated payments upon termination and change in control are as follows:
On the Record Date there were 136,069,935 outstanding shares of our common stock. Unless otherwise provided, all references to shares of our common stock in this proxy statement have been adjusted to reflect all of our previous stock splits, including the two separate two-for-one stock splits effective June 24, 2005 and June 22, 2001, each of which was effected in the form of a stock dividend of one share for each outstanding share to holders of record.
SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT
The following table contains certain information regarding the beneficial ownership of our common stock as of March 1, 2007 (unless otherwise noted) by (i) each person known by us to own beneficially more than five percent of the outstanding shares of our common stock, (ii) each of our directors and nominees, (iii) each of our current or former executive officers named in the Summary Compensation Table on page 21, and (iv) all of our current executive officers and directors as a group. The table includes shares that may be acquired on March 1, 2007, or within 60 days of March 1, 2007, upon the exercise of stock options by employees or outside directors. Unless otherwise indicated, each of the persons or entities listed below exercises sole voting and investment power over the shares that each of them beneficially owns.
The following table summarizes information as of December 31, 2006 relating to our equity compensation plans under which equity securities are authorized for issuance:
The Audit Committee of Express Scripts, Inc. is composed of four directors who, in the judgment of our board of directors, meet the independence requirements of the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Since 1992 the Audit Committee has operated under a Charter adopted by our board of directors. The Charter, as amended, is available through the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com. The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist our board of directors in its oversight of the integrity of our companys financial reporting processes and system of internal controls with respect to finance and accounting. Management is responsible for our financial statements and overall reporting process, including the system of internal controls. The independent registered public accountants are responsible for conducting annual audits and quarterly reviews of our financial statements and expressing an opinion as to the conformity of the annual financial statements with generally accepted accounting principles.
The Audit Committee submits the following report pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission rules:
Frank Borelli, Chairman
Maura C. Breen
Nicholas J. LaHowchic
John O. Parker, Jr.
The Report of the Audit Committee will not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this proxy statement or portions thereof into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate this information by reference, and will not otherwise be deemed filed under such Acts.
Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires our directors and executive officers, persons who beneficially own more than ten percent of a registered class of our equity securities, and certain other persons to file reports of ownership and changes in ownership on Forms 3, 4 and 5 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nasdaq, and to furnish the Company with copies of the forms. Based solely on our review of the forms we received or filed with the SEC, or written representations from reporting persons, we believe that all of our directors, executive officers and greater than ten percent beneficial owners complied with all such filing requirements during 2006.
CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Stock Ownership. New York Life currently owns 20,000,000 shares (or approximately 14.72%) of our outstanding common stock, based on Amendment No. 7 to Schedule 13G filed February 14, 2007.
In August 2001, New York Life and its subsidiary NYLIFE, LLC, or NYLife entered into a ten-year forward sale contract with an affiliate of Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, or CSFB, with respect to 9,000,000 of its shares of our common stock, and, in April 2003, New York Life entered into a five-year forward sale contract with CSFB and one of CSFBs affiliates with respect to 11,000,000 of its shares of our Common Stock. New York Life has reported that, absent the occurrence of certain accelerating events, it will retain the right to vote the shares under the forward sale contracts, or the Forward Sale Shares, during the term of each forward sale contract.
Stockholder and Registration Rights Agreement. We are a party to a Stockholder and Registration Rights Agreement with New York Life. The rights agreement was originally entered into in connection with the November 2000 offering of a portion of the shares of our common stock then held by New York Life. The principal terms of this agreement are as follows:
Rights Regarding the Board of Directors. The rights agreement originally provided New York Life with the right to designate for nomination two directors to our board of directors as long as the aggregate number of shares of our common stock held by New York Life and its non-investment subsidiaries exceeded certain minimum levels. As a result of a series of transactions involving the shares held by New York Life and its affiliates completed during 2003, New York Lifes nomination right was reduced to one, and, following certain transactions completed during 2006 New York Lifes nomination right was eliminated. Under the terms of the rights agreement, New York Lifes nomination right cannot be resurrected.
Registration Rights. As long as New York Life and its non-investment subsidiaries, in the aggregate, beneficially hold more than 6,000,000 shares of our common stock, New York Life may request that we effect up to three registrations of all or part of such shares with the SEC. One of these registrations may be requested to be
effected as a shelf registration (allowing registration prior to the actual offering), and two of these registrations may be requested to be effected as firm underwritten offerings under the Securities Act of 1933. We are not obligated to file a registration statement at the request of New York Life: (1) within a period of 90 days after the effective date of any other registration statement filed by us (other than a registration statement concerning employee benefit plans); or (2) while a registration statement relating to a shelf registration filed at the request of New York Life is effective under the Securities Act. In addition, so long as New York Life and its non-investment subsidiaries, in the aggregate, beneficially hold in excess of 6,000,000 shares of the common stock, if we propose to register shares of common stock for our account under the Securities Act (other than a registration concerning employee benefit plans), New York Life will have piggy-back rights with respect to such registration. The underwriters of any such offering have the right to limit the number of shares included by New York Life in any such registration if the managing underwriter indicates that, in its opinion, the number of shares to be included by New York Life would adversely affect the offering. We would bear the expenses of any registration described in this paragraph.
Voting of Common Stock. New York Life and its subsidiaries have agreed to vote any shares of our common stock held by them in favor of the slate of nominees for the our Board of Directors recommended by us. However, this voting requirement does not apply to any of the Forward Sale Shares held by third parties and which New York Life would have to recall in order to vote, provided that (i) New York Life gives us notice indicating that such shares are being held by third parties, and (ii) we do not require New York Life to nonetheless recall such shares. We do not presently intend to call for the recall of such shares to be voted at the meeting.
Term. The Stockholder and Registration Rights Agreement will terminate on the earlier of: (1) November 7, 2008 or (2) at such time as New York Life and its non-investment subsidiaries, in the aggregate, own less than 6,000,000 shares of our common stock.
Other Relationships and Transactions. Pursuant to agreements with New York Life, we provide pharmacy benefit management services to employees and retirees of New York Life and certain New York Life health insurance policyholders. During 2006, we derived approximately $30.1 million, or 0.17% of our total revenues for 2006, from all services provided to New York Life.
New York Life Benefit Services, Inc., a subsidiary of New York Life, administers our 401(k) and deferred compensation plans. We paid New York Life Benefit Services approximately $56,000 for such services during 2006.
Our Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing and approving all material transactions with any related persons. This obligation is set forth in our Corporate Governance Committees Charter. A copy of the Corporate Governance Committee Charter is available in the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com under the Corporate Governance Documents. (Information on our website does not constitute part of this registration statement).
To identify related person transactions, each year we submit and require our directors and officers to complete director and officer questionnaires identifying any transactions with us in which the officer or director or their family members have a material interest. We review related party transactions due to the potential for a conflict of interest. Our Code of Ethics and Corporate Code Business Conduct require all directors, officers and employees who may have a conflict of interest to promptly notify our General Counsel, Board, Compliance Committee or Chief Compliance Officer.
We expect our directors, officers and employees to act and make decisions that are in our best interests and encourage them to avoid situations which present a conflict between our interests and their own personal interests. In addition, we are strictly prohibited from extending personal loans to, or guaranteeing the personal loans of, any director or officer. A copy of our Code of Ethics is available in the Investor Information section of our website at www.express-scripts.com. (Information on our website does not constitute part of this proxy statement).
The firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP served as our independent registered public accountants for the year ended December 31, 2006. The Audit Committee of the board of directors has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to act in that capacity for the year ending December 31, 2007. A representative of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is expected to be present at the annual meeting with the opportunity to make a statement if he or she desires to do so and to be available to respond to appropriate questions from stockholders.
Although we are not required to submit this appointment to a vote of the stockholders, the Audit Committee continues to believe it appropriate as a matter of policy to request that the stockholders ratify the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as principal independent registered public accountants. If the stockholders do not ratify the appointment, the Audit Committee will investigate the reasons for stockholder rejection and consider whether to retain PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP or appoint another auditor. Even if the appointment is ratified, the Audit Committee in its discretion may direct the appointment of a different independent auditor at any time during the year if it determines that such a change would be in the best interests of our company and our stockholders.
The following table presents fees for professional services rendered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for the audit of our annual financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2005 and December 31, 2006, as well as fees billed for other services rendered by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP during those periods:
The Audit Committee Charter requires the committees pre-approval of all services, both audit and permitted non-audit, to be performed for the Company by the independent auditors. In determining whether proposed services are permissible, the Audit Committee considers whether the provision of such services is compatible with maintaining auditor independence. As part of its consideration of proposed services, the Audit Committee may (i) consult with management as part of the decision-making process, but may not delegate this authority to management, and (ii) delegate, from time to time, its authority to pre-approve such services to one or more committee members, provided that any such approvals are presented to the full committee at the next scheduled Audit Committee meeting.
The board of directors unanimously recommends a vote FOR the ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent registered public accountants for the year ending December 31, 2007.
In accordance with our bylaws, a stockholder who, at any annual meeting of our stockholders, intends to nominate a person for election as director or present a proposal must so notify our Corporate Secretary, in writing, describing such nominee(s) or proposal and providing information concerning such stockholder and the reasons for and interest of such stockholder in the proposal. Generally, to be timely, such notice must be received by our Corporate Secretary not less than 90 days nor more than 120 days in advance of the first anniversary of the preceding years annual meeting, provided that in the event that no annual meeting was held the previous year or the date of the annual meeting has been changed by more than 30 days from the date of the previous years meeting, or in the event of a special meeting of stockholders called to elect directors, not later than the close of business on the tenth day following the day on which notice of the date of the meeting was mailed or public disclosure of the date of the meeting was made, whichever occurs first. For our annual meeting to be held in 2008, any such notice must be received by us at our principal executive offices between January 24, 2008 and February 23, 2008 to be considered timely for purposes of the 2008 annual meeting. Any person interested in offering such a nomination or proposal should request a copy of the relevant bylaw provisions from our Corporate Secretary. These time periods also apply in determining whether notice is timely for purposes of rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the exercise of discretionary voting authority, and are separate from and in addition to the Securities and Exchange Commissions requirements that a stockholder must meet to have a proposal included in our proxy statement.
Stockholder proposals intended to be presented at the 2008 annual meeting must be received by us at our principal executive office no later than December 25, 2007, in order to be eligible for inclusion in our proxy statement and proxy relating to that meeting. Upon receipt of any proposal, we will determine whether to include such proposal in accordance with regulations governing the solicitation of proxies.
Management does not intend to bring before the meeting any matters other than those specifically described above and knows of no matters other than the foregoing to come before the meeting. If any other matters or motions properly come before the meeting, it is the intention of the persons named in the accompanying proxy to vote such proxy in accordance with the recommendation of management on such matters or motions, including any matters dealing with the conduct of the meeting.
If you would like to receive next years proxy statement, Annual Report and all other stockholder information electronically, visit the Investor Overview section of our website, which can be accessed from the Investor Information section of our homepage at www.express-scripts.com. By electing to receive these materials electronically, you can save us the cost of producing and mailing these documents.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted rules that permit companies and intermediaries such as brokers to satisfy delivery requirements for proxy statements with respect to two or more shareholders sharing the same address by delivering a single proxy statement addressed to those stockholders. This process, which is commonly referred to as householding, potentially provides extra convenience for stockholders and cost savings for companies. We and some brokers household proxy materials, delivering a single proxy statement to multiple stockholders sharing an address unless contrary instructions have been received from the affected stockholders. Once you have received notice from your broker or us that they or we will be householding materials to your address, householding will continue until you are notified otherwise or until you revoke your consent. If, at any time, you no longer wish to participate in householding and would prefer to receive a separate proxy statement, or if you currently receive multiple proxy statements and would prefer to participate in householding, please notify your broker if your shares are held in a brokerage account or us if you hold registered shares. You can notify us by sending
a written request to Express Scripts, Inc., Attention: Investor Relations, One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121.
We will bear the cost of the solicitation of proxies for the meeting. Brokerage houses, banks, custodians, nominees and fiduciaries are being requested to forward the proxy material to beneficial owners and their reasonable expenses therefor will be reimbursed by us. Solicitation will be made by mail and also may be made personally or by telephone, facsimile or other means by our officers, directors and employees, without special compensation for such activities. We have also hired MacKenzie Partners, Inc. to assist in the solicitation of proxies. MacKenzie will receive a fee for such services of approximately $6,500, plus reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, which will be paid by us.
By Order of the Board of Directors
Thomas M. Boudreau
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
April 23, 2007
The Report of the Compensation and Development Committee on Executive Compensation will be deemed incorporated by reference into our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, but will only be deemed furnished and not filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Report of the Audit Committee and the Report of the Compensation and Development Committee on Executive Compensation will not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this proxy statement or portions thereof into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and will not otherwise be deemed filed under such Acts, except to the extent that we otherwise specifically incorporate this information by reference.
April 23, 2007
The Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Express Scripts, Inc. will be held at the offices of the Company, One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121, at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2007.
It is important that your shares be represented at this meeting. Whether or not you plan to attend the meeting, please review the enclosed proxy materials, vote by telephone or the Internet or execute the attached proxy form below, and return it promptly in the envelope provided.
Please date, sign and mail your proxy card in the envelope provided as soon as possible.
Please call toll-free 1-800-PROXIES (1-800-776-9437) and follow the instructions. Have your control number and the proxy card available when you call.
Please access the web page at www.voteproxy.com and follow the on-screen instructions. Have your control number available when you access the web page.
þ Please Detach and Mail in the Envelope Provided þ
(1) Election of Directors
INSTRUCTION: To withhold authority to vote for any individual nominee, print that nominees name below.
This Proxy will be voted FOR items 1 and 2 if no instruction to the contrary is indicated. If any other business is properly presented at the meeting, the Proxy will be voted in accordance with the recommendation of management.
(YOU ARE REQUESTED TO COMPLETE, SIGN AND RETURN THIS PROXY PROMPTLY)
EXPRESS SCRIPTS, INC.
PROXY FOR ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS - MAY 23, 2007
THIS PROXY IS SOLICITED ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The undersigned hereby appoints George Paz and Thomas M. Boudreau, or either one of them, as attorneys-in-fact, agents and proxies for the undersigned with full power of substitution, to vote all shares of the Common Stock of the undersigned in Express Scripts, Inc. (the Company) at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of the Company to be held on May 23, 2007 at 9:30 A.M., at the offices of the Company, One Express Way, Saint Louis, Missouri 63121, or at any adjournment or postponement thereof, upon the matters described in the Notice of such meeting and accompanying Proxy Statement, receipt of which is acknowledged, and upon such other business as may properly come before the meeting or any adjournments or postponements thereof, hereby revoking any proxies heretofore given. Please sign exactly as the name(s) appear on this proxy card. When shares are held by joint tenants, both should sign. When signing as attorney-in-fact, executor, administrator, personal representative, trustee or guardian, please give full title as such. If a corporation, please sign in full corporate name by President or other authorized officers. If a partnership, please sign in partnership name by authorized persons.