alks-def14a_20210614.htm

 

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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.     )

 

 

 

 

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Definitive Proxy Statement

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Soliciting Material under §240.14a-12

 

ALKERMES PLC

(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

 

 

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

 

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2021 Proxy Statement and

Notice of Annual General Meeting

 

 

 

 

 


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Registered in Ireland—No. 498284

Connaught House

1 Burlington Road

Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6

NOTICE OF 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

To be held JUNE 14, 2021

To the Shareholders of Alkermes plc:

The 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of Alkermes plc (the “Company” or “Alkermes”), a company incorporated under the laws of Ireland, will be held on June 14, 2021 at 2:00 p.m., Irish Standard Time, at the Company’s offices at Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, for the following purposes:

 

1.

By separate resolutions, to elect as Class I directors the following individuals as nominated by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”):

 

a.

David A. Daglio, Jr.

 

b.

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

 

c.

Frank Anders Wilson

 

d.

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

 

2.

To approve, in a non-binding, advisory vote, the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers.

 

3.

To ratify, in a non-binding vote, the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent auditor and accounting firm of the Company and to authorize, in a binding vote, the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board to set the independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration.

 

4.

To approve the Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended.

 

5.

To approve certain amendments to the Company’s Articles of Association that would serve to declassify the Board.

 

6.

To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting and any adjournments or postponements of the meeting.

Proposal 1 for the election of directors relates solely to the election of four Class I directors nominated by the Board and does not include any other matters relating to the election of directors. Proposals 1 through 4 are ordinary resolutions, requiring a majority of the votes cast (in person or by proxy) at the meeting for approval. Proposal 5 is a special resolution, requiring the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes cast (in person or by proxy) at the meeting for approval. These items of business are more fully described in the proxy statement accompanying this notice. Shareholders as of March 19, 2021, the record date for the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, are entitled to vote on these matters.

During the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, following a review of the Company’s affairs, management will present the Company’s Irish statutory financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the reports of the directors and the independent auditor and accounting firm thereon. There is no requirement under Irish law that the Irish statutory financial statements be approved by shareholders, and no such approval will be sought at the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

 

ALKERMES PLC  Notice of 2021 Annual Meeting


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By Order of the Board of Directors.

 

DAVID J. GAFFIN

Secretary

Dublin, Ireland

May 10, 2021

 

 

 

Whether or not you expect to attend the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in person, we encourage you to cast your vote promptly so that your shares will be represented and voted at the meeting. Any shareholder entitled to attend, speak and vote at the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders may appoint one or more proxies, who need not be a shareholder(s) of the Company. If you wish to appoint as proxy any person other than the individuals specified on the Company’s proxy card, you may do so by contacting the Company Secretary at Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, Attention: Company Secretary or by delivering to the Company Secretary a proxy card in the form set forth in Section 184 of the Irish Companies Act 2014; your nominated proxy must attend the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in person in order for your votes to be cast. We recommend that you review the further information on the process for, and deadlines applicable to, voting and appointing a proxy under the section entitled “General Information about the Meeting and Voting” commencing on page 9 of the proxy statement accompanying this notice.

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS FOR THE 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS TO BE HELD ON JUNE 14, 2021. This notice, the accompanying proxy statement and the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 are available at http://www.proxydocs.com/ALKS. These materials are also available on the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com. Because we have elected to utilize the “full set delivery” option for proxy materials related to the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, we are delivering paper copies of our proxy materials to all of our shareholders as of the Record Date.

 

The Company’s Irish statutory financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, including the related reports thereon, are available on the Annual Reports page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

 

Special COVID-19 Notice: We intend to hold our 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in person at the Company’s offices as described above. However, we are monitoring guidance issued by the Irish Health Service Executive (“HSE”), the Irish government, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and we have implemented, and will continue to implement, the measures advised by the HSE to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including in respect of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. The Company advises that any person who is experiencing, or has been in recent contact with any person experiencing, any COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the meeting in person. The meeting will be as brief as possible and, other than the shareholder business items outlined in this notice and presentation of the Company’s Irish statutory financial statements and related reports, will not include presentations. In the event that it is necessary to make alternative arrangements with respect to the date, location or format of the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, we will announce details of the alternative arrangements as promptly as practicable on the Investor Events page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com and will file details of such alternative arrangements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as additional proxy materials. Please monitor the Investors section of our website regularly, as circumstances may change on short notice. As always, we encourage you to vote your shares prior to the 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

 

 

ALKERMES PLC  Notice of 2021 Annual Meeting


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A Letter from our Lead Independent Director and

Chair of our Compensation Committee

 

Dear Fellow Shareholders,

Over the past year, individuals, families, organizations and society at-large have faced unprecedented challenges posed by a devastating global pandemic and by painful demonstrations of systemic racial injustice in our society.

At Alkermes, the stresses of this difficult year served to reinforce and further animate the Company’s core purpose and values: great science, deep compassion and real impact—achieved through a collaborative, respectful and inclusive culture and a clear, patient-focused mission. Over the past year, the Board of Directors worked with management to sharpen the Company’s focus on scientific and business excellence, and to advance its equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts.

Scientific Excellence. Alkermes’ scientific strategy is focused on identifying targets with strong biological rationale and applying the Company’s advanced small molecule drug development and protein engineering capabilities to create new molecular entities with the potential to address important unmet patient needs in neuroscience and oncology. Alkermes couples this approach with disciplined prioritization and management of its development programs—through an integrated approach that regularly gauges scientific, competitive, commercial and intellectual property potential—to maximize the return on its R&D investment. The success of nemvaleukin alfa, the Company’s most advanced immuno-oncology program, stems from this rigorous approach.

Business Excellence. Alkermes’ business strategy is based on growing and diversifying its revenues and aggressively managing expenditures to drive long-term profitability. This includes a focus on the successful commercialization of proprietary products VIVITROL®, ARISTADA® and ARISTADA INITIO® and, pending FDA approval, the launch of LYBALVI™, and the continued support of products from which the Company receives manufacturing and/or royalty revenue, including VUMERITY®, INVEGA SUSTENNA® and RISPERDAL CONSTA®.

Introduced in December 2020, the Value Enhancement Plan operates across these scientific and business strategies to make explicit the Company’s intention to drive growth, improve operational and financial efficiencies, and enhance shareholder value. The plan includes a commitment to specific profitability targets for 2023 and 2024, a review and optimization of the Company’s cost structure, potential monetization of non-core assets, and continued governance enhancements, including the establishment of a Board committee, the Financial Operating Committee, to oversee and guide implementation.

Social and Racial Justice, Diversity and Inclusion. Productively engaging in these areas is integral to the Company’s culture and the success of its business. The Company has been working on the front lines for years in places where systemic inequities are glaringly obvious–in the treatment of serious mental illness and addiction and in public health and criminal justice settings. Alkermes takes pride in being an agent for change, but strives to do more, beginning with its own actions. Over the past year, the Company launched new employee-resource groups to support and enhance the inclusiveness of its culture, held Company-wide discussions on race and other social justice topics, and enhanced diversity education and training offerings for its employees.

Board Refreshment and Oversight. As a Board, we oversee the direction and execution of the Company’s strategy, and employ our diverse experience, background and skills to provide strong independent oversight and guidance in support of its success. Our Board refreshment efforts over the past two years reflect our ongoing commitment to a strong, independent Board with expertise that aligns with, and directly supports, Alkermes’ strategic priorities. With the appointment of four new directors—three of whom serve on the Financial Operating Committee—with significant oncology, financial, transactional, investment management and operational expertise, and with further potential additions to the Board this year, we are well positioned to provide robust guidance and oversight as the Company continues its efforts to drive shareholder value creation. As part of these Board refreshment efforts, one director has retired from the Board and Bob Breyer and Paul Mitchell have announced their retirement from the Board as of the close of this year’s annual general meeting of shareholders. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Bob and Paul for their many and invaluable contributions over the years.

 

ALKERMES PLC   Letter to Shareholders


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Shareholder Engagement. Over the course of the year, Alkermes conducted extensive outreach efforts, engaging with holders of more than 65% in value of its ordinary shares. We found the shareholder feedback useful. The Value Enhancement Plan, changes to the Company’s compensation program, details regarding the Compensation Committee’s assessment of management performance and other changes you will see in this proxy statement reflect this feedback. As the Lead Independent Director and Chair of the Compensation Committee, and on behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Alkermes’ shareholders for the time they committed to engaging and sharing their perspective.

As the Board and management continue to build Alkermes’ business for the future, we remain guided by the opportunity—and what we believe is our responsibility—to impact the lives of people who can benefit from our medicines and our advocacy, while operating in a sustainable and socially responsible manner. We firmly believe that doing so is best for our business, our employees, for patients, for the communities where we live and work, and for the shareholders that have entrusted us with their investment.

Thank you for your continued support of Alkermes,

 

 

David Anstice

Lead Independent Director

Chair, Compensation Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALKERMES PLC   Letter to Shareholders


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Registered in Ireland—No. 498284

Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6

 

PROXY STATEMENT

 

FOR THE 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS - JUNE 14, 2021

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Page

PROXY SUMMARY

2

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE MEETING AND VOTING

9

PROPOSAL 1—ELECTION OF DIRECTORS (ORDINARY RESOLUTIONS)

15

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

16

THE ROLE OF THE BOARD AND ITS COMMITTEES

25

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND BOARD MATTERS

31

DIRECTOR COMPENSATION

39

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY

43

PROPOSAL 2—NON-BINDING, ADVISORY VOTE ON THE COMPENSATION OF THE COMPANY’S NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS (ORDINARY RESOLUTION)

47

PROPOSAL 3—NON-BINDING RATIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT AUDITOR AND ACCOUNTING FIRM AND BINDING AUTHORIZATION OF AUDIT AND RISK COMMITTEE TO SET INDEPENDENT AUDITOR AND ACCOUNTING FIRM’S REMUNERATION (ORDINARY RESOLUTION)

48

PROPOSAL 4—APPROVAL OF ALKERMES PLC 2018 STOCK OPTION AND INCENTIVE PLAN, AS AMENDED (ORDINARY RESOLUTION)

49

PROPOSAL 5—APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION TO DECLASSIFY THE BOARD (SPECIAL RESOLUTION)

60

REPORT OF THE AUDIT AND RISK COMMITTEE

61

AUDIT FEES

63

OWNERSHIP OF THE COMPANY’S ORDINARY SHARES

64

DELINQUENT SECTION 16(a) REPORTS

66

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

67

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION—COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

70

ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION INFORMATION

93

REPORT OF THE COMPENSATION COMMITTEE

96

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION TABLES

97

PAY RATIO

108

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED PERSON TRANSACTIONS

109

EQUITY COMPENSATION PLAN INFORMATION

110

OTHER INFORMATION

111

APPENDIX A—ALKERMES PLC 2018 STOCK OPTION AND INCENTIVE PLAN, AS AMENDED

A-1

APPENDIX B—PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ALKERMES PLC ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION

B-1

APPENDIX C—GAAP TO NON-GAAP RECONCILIATION / NON-GAAP FINANCIAL TARGETS

C-1

 

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 1


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Proxy Summary

 

 

This proxy summary highlights information that is described in more detail elsewhere in this proxy statement. This summary does not contain all the information you should consider, and you should read the entire proxy statement carefully before voting. Your vote is very important.

General Information

 

2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS (the "Annual Meeting”)

Meeting Date:

 

June 14, 2021

Time:

 

2:00 p.m., Irish Standard Time

Place:

 

Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6

Record Date:

 

March 19, 2021

For more information, see “General Information About the Meeting and Voting” beginning on page 9 of this proxy statement.

How to Cast Your Vote

If you are a shareholder of record, you have four ways to vote:

Telephone: By calling the toll-free telephone number indicated on your proxy card. Easy-to-follow voice prompts allow you to submit your proxy and confirm your instructions have been properly recorded.

 

 

Internet: By going to the Internet website indicated on your proxy card. As with telephone voting, you can confirm that your instructions have been properly recorded.

 

 

Mail: By completing, signing, dating and returning a printed proxy card to the address indicated on your proxy card (which will be forwarded to the Company’s registered address) or by delivery to the Company Secretary at Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland D04 C5Y6.

 

 

In Person: By submitting a written ballot in person at the Annual Meeting. To obtain directions to attend the Annual Meeting, please contact our Investor Relations team at investor_relations@alkermes.com.

Votes by telephone, by Internet or by mail must be received by 4:59 a.m., Irish Standard Time, on June 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m., United States Eastern Daylight Time, on June 12, 2021).

If your ordinary shares are held through a bank, broker or other nominee, please follow the voting instructions provided by such bank, broker or other nominee in order for your shares to be voted.

Voting Matters and Recommendations of the Board of Directors (the “Board”)

PROPOSALS FOR CONSIDERATION

 

Board

Recommendation

 

Page Reference

for More

Information

1

 

Election of Directors

 

FOR

 

15

2

 

Non-Binding, Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation

 

FOR

 

47

3

 

Non-Binding Ratification of Appointment of Independent Auditor and Accounting Firm and Binding Authorization of Audit and Risk Committee to Set Independent Auditor and Accounting Firm’s Remuneration

 

FOR

 

48

4

 

Approval of Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as Amended

 

FOR

 

49

5

 

Approval of Amendments to Articles of Association to Declassify the Board

 

FOR

 

60

 

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 2


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Business Overview

Alkermes plc (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, “Alkermes” or the “Company” and referred to herein using terms such as “us” or “we”) is a fully-integrated, global biopharmaceutical company that applies its scientific expertise and proprietary technologies to research, develop and commercialize, both with partners and on its own, pharmaceutical products that are designed to address unmet medical needs of patients in major therapeutic areas.

Alkermes has a diversified portfolio of marketed products focused on central nervous system disorders such as addiction and schizophrenia and a pipeline of product candidates in the fields of neuroscience and oncology. Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Alkermes has a research and development (“R&D”) center in Waltham, Massachusetts; an R&D and manufacturing facility in Athlone, Ireland; and a manufacturing facility in Wilmington, Ohio.

Foundational to Alkermes’ business is a dedicated culture of ethics and compliance, risk management and mitigation, and a focus on the importance of human capital management – pillars that are incorporated into all aspects of the organization from early-stage R&D through clinical development, product commercialization and lifecycle management.

 

COVID-19 Impact and Response

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted our employees, their families, the economies and communities in which we live and work, and the patients that our medicines are designed to serve. Following the emergence of the pandemic in early 2020, we quickly adapted our business practices to support employee health, safety and wellness, and to support uninterrupted supply of, and patient and provider access to, our development products for people enrolled in our clinical studies and our marketed products for people living with opioid dependence, alcohol dependence and schizophrenia. We adopted work from home and virtual engagement policies for employees who could do their jobs remotely, instituted new health and safety protocols for employees performing essential tasks in our manufacturing facilities, and expanded our injection site network to facilitate patient access to our marketed products. We also expanded our corporate giving programs to support nonprofit organizations focused on pandemic-related needs. For additional detail regarding actions that we took in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the section entitled “Our Response to COVID-19” beginning on page 46 of this proxy statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly and negatively impacted healthcare providers, patients and caregivers involved in the treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence in the U.S. Many addiction treatment provider healthcare practices closed, access to detoxification services decreased, and social distancing and other restrictions decreased patients’ desire to seek care and ability to engage with healthcare providers. Initiation and continuation of treatment with VIVITROL® (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension), our intramuscular injectable product for the treatment of opioid and alcohol dependence, require in-person interactions with healthcare providers. As a result, the severe disruptions caused by the pandemic significantly and negatively impacted VIVITROL sales in 2020.

2020 Business Highlights

2020 was a year of important accomplishments for the Company despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic turmoil. Highlights included:

 

We achieved GAAP net loss of approximately $111 million and non-GAAP net income of approximately $69 million, reaching the high end of our non-GAAP net income guidance issued in February 2020, prior to the widespread implementation of restrictions related to COVID-19. See Appendix C for a reconciliation of this GAAP to non-GAAP financial measure.

We increased ARISTADA® unit sales by approximately 27% year-over-year, and exceeded the high end of ARISTADA annual net sales guidance issued in February 2020 by approximately $6 million.

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 3


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We announced a Value Enhancement Plan and long-term profitability targets that reflect our commitment to creating long-term value for our stakeholders.

We rapidly adapted our commercial model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding our network of injection site locations for patients using our products and implementing new digital technologies and ways of engaging with healthcare providers, both remotely and in-person, to support uninterrupted access to VIVITROL and ARISTADA for people living with addiction and schizophrenia.

We had a successful Advisory Committee meeting for LYBALVI™ (ALKS 3831) (olanzapine/samidorphan), our oral antipsychotic product candidate for schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder, with the FDA’s joint advisory committee voting that samidorphan meaningfully mitigated olanzapine-associated weight gain (16 yes, 1 no) and that the safety profile of LYBALVI had been adequately characterized (13 yes, 3 no, 1 abstention).

We significantly expanded our oncology clinical trial site network, activating more than 50 new sites in the ARTISTRY development program for nemvaleukin alfa (ALKS 4230), our product candidate in immuno-oncology, and advanced into phase 2 in our ARTISTRY-1 and ARTISTRY-2 studies.

We nominated a new candidate for development, ALKS 1140, a novel selective histone deacetylase (“HDAC”) inhibitor candidate, with potential application in a number of neuropsychiatric indications.

We further strengthened our Board by appointing two new independent directors who bring investment management perspective and strong financial and operational expertise to the Board.

We expanded our diversity, inclusion and belonging efforts and launched three employee resource groups – Pride@Work, an LGBTQ+ and ally network; Mosaic, a multicultural network; and Women Inspired Network (WIN), a women’s network.

We published our 3rd Corporate Responsibility Report, in which we demonstrated significant waste, energy, carbon and water performance improvements.

We advanced our advocacy efforts on behalf of patients and secured new federal and state funding for use with medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence, opioid dependence and serious mental illness.

Through our COVID-19 Relief Fund, we awarded grants to 10 nonprofit organizations to assist in their work to address COVID-19-related needs for people living with addiction, serious mental illness or cancer.

Corporate Governance Highlights

We strive to maintain strong corporate governance practices that promote the long-term interests of the Company and our shareholders and strengthen the oversight of our management and our Board. Highlights of our corporate governance practices include the following:

 

Corporate Governance Practices

Engaged Lead Independent Director

Majority voting for elections of directors

Standing Board committees comprised solely of independent directors

Share ownership and holding guidelines for executive officers and directors

Director overboarding policy

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

Regular executive sessions of non-employee directors and independent directors

Annual advisory vote on executive compensation

Policy of incorporating diversity in all director searches

Use of independent compensation consultant  

Annual Board, committee and individual director self-assessments

Active shareholder engagement

New director orientation and continuing director education

Prohibition of hedging and pledging by executive officers and directors

 

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 4


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2020 Enhancements to our Corporate Governance

We regularly review and refine our governance policies and practices. In 2020, we continued to engage with our shareholders (see the section entitled “Extensive Shareholder Engagement” on page 6 of this proxy statement) and took the following actions, among others, to enhance our corporate governance:

 

Refreshed our Board: Elected two new, independent directors to our Board, further strengthening our Board’s expertise in targeted areas of importance to our business strategy. Announced the retirement of two of our long-standing directors and continued Board refreshment efforts in 2021. See the section entitled “Board Refreshment and Tenure” beginning on page 35 of this proxy statement.

 

Announced Proposed Board Declassification: Announced our intention to ask shareholders to approve amendments to our Articles of Association to declassify our Board. See Proposal 5 on page 60 of this proxy statement.

 

Formed New Board Committee: Formed the Financial Operating Committee of the Board (the “Financial Operating Committee”) to oversee implementation of our Value Enhancement Plan, which we announced in December 2020.

 

Established COVID-19 Core Crisis Management Team: Established a cross-functional, global team and local and functional sub-teams that work to address the various risks and challenges that the pandemic has presented, and continues to present, to our business, employees and stakeholders.

Board of Directors – Overview

Each year, as part of our annual Board evaluation process, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the Board (the “Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee”) examines the qualifications and experience of our Board as a whole to ensure alignment with our strategic priorities. Our director nominees and continuing directors possess significant experience in the areas set forth below. For a listing of qualifications and experience by individual Board member, please see the Board skills matrix set forth on page 18 of this proxy statement.

 

Our Board is substantially independent, has a strong representation of directors who are women, and has a mix of relatively newer and longer-tenured directors, providing what we consider to be an appropriate balance of experience, institutional knowledge, fresh perspectives and skillsets. The following charts reflect the composition of the Board following the Annual Meeting, assuming election of each of the director nominees.

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 5


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For additional information about our Board composition, including specific qualifications and experience of, and other information about, our director nominees and continuing directors, see the section entitled “Director Diversity, Qualifications and Experience” beginning on page 18 of this proxy statement.

Director Nominees for Election and Continuing Directors

The following table provides summary information about each of our nominees for election as a director at the Annual Meeting and each of our continuing directors:

Name

Director

Since

Board

Position

Audit and

Risk*

Compensation*

Nominating

and Corporate

Governance*

Financial

Operating

 

DIRECTOR NOMINEES FOR ELECTION

David A. Daglio, Jr.

2020

Member

 

 

 

Member

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

2016

Member

Member

 

Member

 

Frank Anders Wilson

2019

Member

Member

 

 

Member

Nancy J. Wysenski

2013

Member

 

Member

 

 

 

CONTINUING DIRECTORS

David W. Anstice AO

2011

Lead Ind.

 

Chair

 

 

Shane M. Cooke

2018

Member

 

 

 

 

Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D.

2011

Member

 

 

Chair

 

Richard B. Gaynor, M.D.

2019

Member

 

Member

 

 

Brian P. McKeon

2020

Member

 

 

 

Member

Richard F. Pops

2011

Chair

 

 

 

Member

* Each of Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Breyer is retiring from the Board and the committees on which he currently serves effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting. Mr. Mitchell serves as Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee and as a member of the Compensation Committee and Mr. Breyer serves as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Extensive Shareholder Engagement

Our management team and our Board value, and frequently solicit, the views of our shareholders. We participate in investor conferences throughout the year and regularly engage with our shareholders through open dialogue and direct communication on a variety of topics, including our business and growth strategy, financial performance, corporate governance and executive compensation practices. In particular, since our say-on-pay vote in 2019, we have engaged in a multi-year effort to respond to shareholder concerns around our executive compensation program. The following highlights the key phases of those efforts.

Enhancements to 2020 Compensation Program. Following our say-on-pay vote in 2019, we conducted extensive shareholder engagement to better understand our shareholders’ perspectives regarding our executive compensation program. After careful consideration of the feedback received, our management and Board took several actions to further strengthen our business and our corporate governance practices, and the Compensation Committee of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”) implemented several changes to our 2020 executive compensation program to enhance its performance-based nature and alignment with the interests of our shareholders (see the sections entitled “Executive Compensation Highlights” beginning on page 8 of this proxy statement and “Shareholder Engagement and Board Responsiveness” beginning on page 71 of this proxy statement).

Spring 2020 Engagement. In the spring of 2020, prior to our 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders, we engaged with a number of our shareholders and discussed, among other topics of interest to them, the significant changes that our Compensation Committee made to our 2020 executive compensation program. Overall, these changes were very well received. While many of our shareholders commended the Board’s responsiveness to shareholder feedback and acknowledged that our 2020 executive compensation program had addressed their previously stated concerns, a few shareholders noted that the say-on-pay vote in 2020 was to be in respect of our 2019 executive compensation program (and not our 2020 executive compensation

ALKERMES PLC  2021 Proxy Statement 6


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program) and, in that context, expressed concern with the performance component of our chief executive officer’s (“CEO”) 2019 equity award—which would vest on the achievement of a 50% increase of our share price for 30 consecutive days—given the lack of inclusion of a relative metric against which to assess such share price movement.

2020 Vote on 2019 Executive Compensation. In May 2020, approximately 70% of the votes cast at our annual general meeting of shareholders were in favor of our say-on-pay proposal, representing a significant improvement from our results in 2019, but not a full return to our desired level of support.

Summer and Fall 2020 Engagement and Board Responsiveness. In the summer and fall of 2020, we reached out to shareholders who collectively held over 75% of our outstanding shares to request meetings to further understand our shareholders’ perspectives on our executive compensation program and corporate governance practices. We held meetings by phone or videoconference with shareholders who collectively held over 65% of our outstanding shares. We also held meetings with proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) and Glass Lewis. David Anstice, our Lead Independent Director and Chair of our Compensation Committee, led the majority of these meetings. Feedback from these meetings was relayed to the Compensation Committee and the full Board, and discussed with management as appropriate.

During these engagement meetings, the primary areas of focus were:

Corporate Governance: Shareholders raised concerns with the classified structure of the Board and the tenure of certain of our longer-serving directors, and inquired about our Board diversity and refreshment efforts. While commending our corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts to date, shareholders also emphasized the importance of continued enhancement of our environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) practices and disclosures. For a description of actions taken by our Board in response to the governance matters raised by our shareholders, see the sections entitled “Recent Enhancements to Corporate Governance Practices” beginning on page 31 of this proxy statement and “Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability” beginning on page 43 of this proxy statement.

Executive Compensation: Shareholders generally acknowledged the Compensation Committee’s responsiveness to prior say-on-pay vote results and the significant recent enhancements to our executive compensation practices and disclosure, noting in particular that certain of the concerns raised by the 2019 equity grant to our CEO had been addressed with the 2020 long-term incentive plan. For a description of actions taken by our Compensation Committee in response to executive compensation-related matters raised by our shareholders, see the sections entitled “Executive Compensation Highlights” beginning on page 8 of this proxy statement and “Shareholder Engagement and Board Responsiveness” beginning on page 71 of this proxy statement.

COVID-19 Response and Oversight: Shareholders were interested in understanding the impacts of the pandemic on the Company’s business and strategy, the Company’s actions in response, including as it relates to support for and protection of its employees, and the Board’s oversight of such actions. For additional information, see the section entitled “Our Response to COVID-19” on page 46 of this proxy statement and the section entitled “The Board’s Role in Risk Oversight—Risks Related to COVID-19” on page 25 of this proxy statement.

Business Execution: Shareholders shared our frustration with the Company’s share price performance and expressed interest in discussing execution against our business strategy. For a description of actions taken by our management and Board to further strengthen our business, see the section entitled “2020 Corporate Objectives: Performance Assessment” beginning on page 83 of this proxy statement.

We plan to continue to engage with shareholders on a regular basis to solicit and consider their views on our business strategy and performance, executive compensation programs and corporate responsibility, sustainability and governance practices.

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Executive Compensation Highlights

Our executive compensation program is focused on attracting, retaining and motivating experienced and well-qualified executive officers to advance our critical business objectives and promote the creation of shareholder value over the long-term. Our executive compensation highlights include the following, all of which are designed to align our executives’ incentives with the interests of our shareholders and our corporate goals:

 

Significant Portion of “At-Risk” Compensation: A significant portion of the target total direct compensation opportunity for each of our named executive officers is comprised of “at-risk” compensation in the form of cash performance pay opportunities and long-term equity awards. For a depiction of the portion of our CEO’s 2020 total direct compensation that is “at-risk”, see the section entitled “Significant Portion of “At-Risk” Compensation” on page 76 of this proxy statement. For additional details of the key elements and at-risk nature of our executive compensation program, see the section entitled “Executive Compensation Philosophy and Objectives” beginning on page 77 of this proxy statement and the section entitled “Long-Term Equity Incentives” beginning on page 90 of this proxy statement.

 

Strong Compensation Governance Attributes: Our executive compensation policies and practices are designed to reinforce our pay-for-performance philosophy, align with compensation-related governance best practices and further our compensation objectives. For details of the key attributes of our executive compensation program, see the section entitled “Strong Compensation Governance Attributes” beginning on page 74 of this proxy statement and the section entitled “Executive Compensation Philosophy and Objectives” beginning on page 77 of this proxy statement.

 

Long-Term Performance Conditions Included in Equity Grants to All Named Executive Officers: In 2020, the Compensation Committee conditioned vesting of greater than 50% of the total target value of our CEO’s equity grant and 25% of the total target value of the equity grants made to each of our other named executive officers on the achievement of commercial and pipeline objectives over a three-year performance period and on relative share price performance over the same period. For additional details regarding the equity granted to our named executive officers, see the section entitled “Long-Term Equity Incentives” beginning on page 90 of this proxy statement.

 

Positive Feedback on Enhancements to 2020 Executive Compensation Program: A number of our shareholders acknowledged and commended the significant changes made to our executive compensation program in 2020, including to our long-term and short-term incentive plans, to enhance its performance-based nature and alignment with shareholder interests. For details of the feedback received and changes made, see the section entitled “Shareholder Engagement and Board Responsiveness” beginning on page 71 of this proxy statement.

 

CEO Pay for Performance Alignment: The Compensation Committee seeks to tie executive pay to Company performance, including share price performance, through its grant of long-term equity and annual performance award opportunities. See the section entitled “CEO Pay for Performance Alignment” on page 76 of this proxy statement for a comparison of our CEO’s pay and our share price for the years 2018 through 2020.

 

 

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General Information about the Meeting and Voting

 

Why am I receiving these proxy materials?

We are making this proxy statement available to you on or about May 10, 2021 on the Internet, and by delivering printed versions to you by mail, because our Board is soliciting your proxy to vote your ordinary shares, $0.01 par value per share, of Alkermes plc (your “shares” or “ordinary shares”) at the Company’s 2021 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on June 14, 2021. This proxy statement contains information about the Company and the items being voted on at the Annual Meeting.

This proxy statement and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 (the “Annual Report”) are also available through the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com or at http://www.proxydocs.com/ALKS.

Who can vote at the Annual Meeting?

Only shareholders who are registered as shareholders of the Company as of the close of trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) on March 19, 2021 (the “Record Date”) are entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting. On the Record Date, there were 160,197,676 ordinary shares issued and outstanding and entitled to be voted.

How many votes do I have?

On each matter to be voted upon, you have one vote for each ordinary share you owned as of the Record Date.

How do proxies work?

Our Board is asking for your proxy to authorize us to vote your shares at the Annual Meeting in the manner you direct. You may abstain from voting on any matter. If you submit your proxy without specifying your voting instructions, we will vote your shares in accordance with the Board’s recommendations as follows:

 

Election of Directors. FOR the election of each of our four Class I director nominees;

 

Advisory Vote on Executive Compensation. FOR the approval, in a non-binding, advisory vote, of the compensation of our named executive officers;

 

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. FOR the ratification, in a non-binding vote, of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) as the independent auditor and accounting firm of the Company, and the authorization, in a binding vote, of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Board (the “Audit and Risk Committee”) to set the independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration;

 

Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended. FOR the approval of the Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended. Your approval will serve to increase the number of ordinary shares authorized for issuance thereunder;

 

Amendments to Articles of Association. FOR the approval of the amendments to the Company’s articles of association (the “Articles of Association”) to declassify the Board. Your approval will provide for declassification of the Board over a three-year period, with each class of directors up for annual election commencing as of our annual general meeting of shareholders in 2022; and

 

As to any other matter that may properly come before the meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof, in accordance with your named proxies’ best judgment.

Shares represented by valid proxies received and not subsequently revoked before the Annual Meeting that do not specify instructions will be voted at the Annual Meeting in accordance with the above Board recommendations. You can revoke your proxy and change your vote in the manner described in the section entitled “Can I change my vote after submitting my proxy? on page 13 of this proxy statement. If your shares are held through a bank, broker or other nominee, please follow the instructions that you were provided by such bank, broker or other nominee.

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How do I vote?

It is important that your shares are represented at the Annual Meeting, whether or not you attend the Annual Meeting in person.

Shareholders of Record.  If, as of the Record Date, your ordinary shares were registered in your name (and not in the name of a bank, broker or other nominee) with the Company’s transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A., then you are a shareholder of record. As a shareholder of record, there are four ways to vote:

 

Telephone: By calling the toll-free telephone number indicated on your proxy card. Easy-to-follow voice prompts allow you to submit your proxy and confirm that your instructions have been properly recorded.

 

 

Internet: By going to the Internet website indicated on your proxy card. As with telephone voting, you can confirm that your instructions have been properly recorded.

 

 

Mail: By completing, signing, dating and returning a printed proxy card to the address indicated on your proxy card (which will be forwarded to the Company’s registered address) or by delivery to the Company Secretary at Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland D04 C5Y6.

 

 

In Person: By submitting a written ballot in person at the Annual Meeting. To obtain directions to the Annual Meeting, please contact our Investor Relations team at investor_relations@alkermes.com. We will distribute ballots at the Annual Meeting to anyone who wishes to vote in person.

 

 

 

 

Special COVID-19 Notice: We intend to hold the Annual Meeting in person. However, we are monitoring guidance issued by the Irish Health Service Executive (“HSE”), the Irish government, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and the World Health Organization (“WHO”) and we have implemented, and will continue to implement, the measures advised by the HSE to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including in respect of the Annual Meeting. The Company advises that any person who is experiencing, or has been in recent contact with any person experiencing, any COVID-19 symptoms should not attend the meeting in person. The meeting will be as brief as possible and, other than the shareholder business items outlined in this notice and presentation of the Company’s Irish statutory financial statements and related reports, will not include presentations. In the event that it is necessary to make alternative arrangements with respect to the date, location or format of the Annual Meeting, we will announce details of the alternative arrangements as promptly as practicable on the Investor Events page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com and will file details of such alternative arrangements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) as additional proxy materials. Please monitor the Investors section of our website regularly, as circumstances may change on short notice.

If you are a shareholder of record of Alkermes and you choose to submit your proxy by telephone by calling the toll-free number on your proxy card, your use of that telephone system and in particular the entry of your pin number/other unique identifier, will be deemed to constitute your appointment, in writing and under hand, and for all purposes of the Irish Companies Act 2014, as amended (the “Companies Act”), of Christopher McLaughlin, Carol McNelis, Richie Paul and Thomas Riordan as your named proxies, each with power to act without the other and with full power of substitution, to vote your shares on your behalf in accordance with your telephone instructions.

Shares Held in a Bank or Brokerage Account.  If your shares are held in a brokerage account in your broker’s name (i.e., in “street name” or “beneficially owned”), please follow the voting instructions provided by your bank, broker or other nominee. In most cases, you may submit voting instructions by telephone or by Internet to your bank, broker or other nominee, or you can sign, date and return a voting instruction form to your bank, broker or other nominee. If you provide specific voting instructions by telephone, by Internet or by mail, your bank, broker or other nominee must vote your shares as you have directed. If you wish to vote in person at the Annual Meeting, you must request a legal proxy from your bank, broker or other nominee.

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What happens if I do not give specific voting instructions when I deliver my proxy?

Shareholders of Record. If you are a shareholder of record and you:

 

indicate when voting by Internet or submitting your proxy by telephone that you wish to vote as recommended by our Board; or

 

sign and return a proxy card without giving specific voting instructions,

then the Company-designated named proxies will vote your shares in the manner recommended by the Board on all matters presented in this proxy statement and the named proxies may determine in their discretion how to vote your shares in respect of any other matters properly presented for a vote at the Annual Meeting.

Shares Held in a Bank or Brokerage Account.  If your shares are held in a bank or brokerage account in your broker’s name and your bank or brokerage firm does not receive instructions from you about how your shares are to be voted, one of two things can happen: (a) with respect to matters considered “routine” under applicable rules of the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE Rules”), brokers, banks and other securities intermediaries subject to the NYSE Rules may use their discretion to vote your shares, and (b) with respect to matters considered to be “non-routine” under the NYSE Rules, such brokers, banks and other securities intermediaries may not use their discretion to vote your shares, resulting in what are commonly referred to as “broker non-votes.” Although our ordinary shares are listed on Nasdaq (and not the NYSE), these NYSE Rules affect us since the vast majority of our shares that are held in “street name” are held by NYSE member-intermediaries who are subject to the NYSE Rules. We believe that the only matter in this proxy statement that is considered “routine” is Proposal 3 (non-binding ratification of the appointment of PwC as our independent auditor and accounting firm and binding authorization for the Audit and Risk Committee to set the independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration) and that all of the other proposals are considered to be “non-routine”. Accordingly, if you do not return voting instructions to your broker, bank or other securities intermediary by its deadline, your broker, bank or other securities intermediary will be entitled to vote your shares in its discretion on Proposal 3, but will not be entitled to vote your shares on any of the other proposals, resulting in “broker non-votes” for such other proposals. If you are a beneficial owner of shares held in street name, in order to ensure your shares are voted in the way you would prefer, you must provide voting instructions to your broker, bank or other securities intermediary by the deadline provided in the materials you receive from your broker, bank or other securities intermediary. We strongly encourage you to submit your proxy and exercise your right to vote as a shareholder.

What is the deadline for voting my shares if I do not vote in person at the Annual Meeting?

If you are a shareholder of record, you may vote by Internet or submit your proxy by telephone until 4:59 a.m., Irish Standard Time, on June 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m., United States Eastern Daylight Time, on June 12, 2021), or, if you elect to vote by mail, your signed and dated printed proxy card must be received by 4:59 a.m., Irish Standard Time, on June 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m., United States Eastern Daylight Time, on June 12, 2021).

If you are a beneficial owner of shares held through a bank, broker or other nominee, please follow the voting instructions provided by your bank, broker or other nominee.

What does it mean if I receive more than one set of printed proxy materials?

If you hold your shares in more than one account, you may receive a separate set of printed proxy materials, including a separate proxy card or voting instruction form, for each account. To ensure that all of your shares are voted, please submit your proxy by telephone or vote by Internet or sign, date and return a printed proxy card or voting instruction form for each account.

Who is paying for this proxy solicitation?

We will pay for the entire cost of soliciting proxies for the Annual Meeting, including expenses relating to the preparation and mailing of this proxy statement. We have retained Innisfree M&A Incorporated to assist us in the solicitation of proxies. We will also reimburse brokers, banks and nominees for their reasonable out-of-pocket costs related to forwarding proxy materials to, and soliciting proxies from, their customers who hold ordinary shares of Alkermes registered in the name of such broker, bank or other nominee. Proxies may also be solicited by our directors and certain of our officers and employees, whether in person, by mail, by telephone or by email or other electronic means. Our directors, officers and employees will not be paid any additional compensation for any such solicitation efforts.

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What is the quorum requirement?

A quorum of shareholders is necessary to hold a valid Annual Meeting. A quorum will be present if at least one or more shareholders holding not less than a majority of the issued and outstanding shares entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting are present at the Annual Meeting or represented by proxy. On the Record Date, there were 160,197,676 ordinary shares issued and outstanding and entitled to vote. Thus, the holders of 80,098,839 ordinary shares must be present in person or represented by proxy at the Annual Meeting for a quorum to exist.

Your shares will be counted towards the quorum only if you submit a valid proxy (or one is submitted on your behalf by your broker, bank or other nominee) or if you vote in person at the Annual Meeting. Abstentions and broker non-votes will be counted toward the quorum requirement.

What vote is required to approve each proposal? How are abstentions and broker non-votes treated?

Election of directors: The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy with respect to each nominee to serve as a Class I director is required for the election of each of David A. Daglio, Jr., Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., Frank Anders Wilson and Nancy J. Wysenski. However, our Articles of Association provide that if, at any annual general meeting of shareholders, the number of directors is reduced below the minimum prescribed by our Articles of Association due to the failure of any director nominee to receive a majority of the votes cast, then in those circumstances, the nominee or nominees who receive the highest number of votes in favor of election will be elected to serve until the next annual general meeting of shareholders (or if re-elected by the shareholders at such next annual general meeting of shareholders, for the applicable term of such election) in order to maintain such prescribed minimum number of directors. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the election of the director nominees because they are not considered to be votes cast.

Non-binding, advisory vote on the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers: This proposal is advisory and non-binding; as an ordinary resolution, the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy is required for the advisory approval of this proposal. We value the opinions expressed by our shareholders in this advisory vote, and the Compensation Committee, which is responsible for overseeing and administering our executive compensation programs, will consider the outcome of this vote when designing our compensation programs and making future compensation decisions for our named executive officers. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the results of those deliberations because they are not considered to be votes cast.

Non-binding ratification of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as our independent auditor and accounting firm and binding authorization to set such independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration: The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy is required for the approval of this proposal. The ratification component of this proposal asks for a non-binding, advisory vote, whereas the authorization component of this proposal is binding. Abstentions will have no effect on the outcome of this proposal because they are not considered to be votes cast. As we believe that this proposal is considered to be “routine” under NYSE Rules, we do not expect any broker non-votes for this proposal.

Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended: The affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy is required for the approval of this proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the outcome of this proposal because they are not considered to be votes cast.

Amendments to Articles of Association: The affirmative vote of at least 75% of the votes cast in person or by proxy is required for the approval of this proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the outcome of this proposal because they are not considered to be votes cast.

How will voting on any other business be conducted?

The Board knows of no other matters that will be presented for consideration at the Annual Meeting. However, if any other matters are properly brought before the Annual Meeting, the persons identified as your named proxies are entitled to vote on each such matter in accordance with their best judgment.

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How are votes counted?

Votes will be counted by the judge of election appointed by the Board for the Annual Meeting, who will separately count votes “FOR” and “AGAINST,” abstentions, and if applicable, broker non-votes.

Can I change my vote after submitting my proxy?

Yes. If, as of the Record Date, your ordinary shares were registered directly in your name (and not in the name of a bank, broker or other nominee) with our transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A., then you may revoke your proxy by taking any of the following actions:

 

providing written notice of revocation to the Company’s Secretary (at Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, Attn.: Secretary, Annual Meeting) by mail or by facsimile (+353 1 772‑8001), which notice must be received before the commencement of the Annual Meeting;

 

signing and delivering a printed proxy card (in the form mailed to you or the form set forth in Section 184 of the Companies Act) relating to the same shares and bearing a later date, that is received no later than 4:59 a.m., Irish Standard Time, on June 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m., United States Eastern Daylight Time, on June 12, 2021);

 

transmitting a subsequent vote over the Internet or submitting a subsequent proxy by telephone, but no later than 4:59 a.m., Irish Standard Time, on June 13, 2021 (11:59 p.m., United States Eastern Daylight Time, on June 12, 2021); or

 

attending the Annual Meeting and voting in person, although attendance at the Annual Meeting will not, by itself, revoke a previously submitted proxy. We are closely monitoring guidance issued by the HSE, the government of Ireland, the CDC and the WHO, including measures advised to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and, as a result, we may impose additional procedures or limitations on meeting attendees, beyond those described herein. Changing your vote prior to the Annual Meeting is most easily accomplished if you submit your proxy via telephone or over the Internet, as your vote may then be changed by simply submitting a new vote via telephone or over the Internet.

Please note that if your ordinary shares are held of record by a bank, broker or other nominee, you must contact the bank, broker or other nominee to revoke your proxy. If your shares are held of record by a bank, broker or other nominee and you wish to vote in person at the Annual Meeting, you must request a legal proxy from your bank, broker or other nominee.

What do I need for admission to the Annual Meeting?

 

All shareholders attending the Annual Meeting in person will be required to show valid government issued picture identification and may be required to comply with COVID-19-related public health and safety measures in effect at such time. If your ordinary shares are held in street name by a bank, broker or other nominee, you will also need to bring evidence of your ordinary share ownership as of the Record Date, such as your most recent brokerage account statement or a copy of your voting instruction form. If you do not have valid picture identification and, if applicable, proof of your share ownership, you may not be admitted to the meeting.

How can I find out the results of the voting at the Annual Meeting?

We intend to announce preliminary voting results at the Annual Meeting. We plan to report final voting results in a Current Report on Form 8‑K (“Form 8-K”) to be filed with the SEC within four business days after the Annual Meeting. If final voting results are not available to us in time to file a Form 8‑K within four business days after the Annual Meeting, we intend to file a Form 8‑K to publish preliminary results and, within four business days after the final results are known to us, to file an additional Form 8‑K to report the final results. You will be able to find a copy of this Form 8‑K on the Internet electronic data system of the SEC, referred to as EDGAR, available at www.sec.gov or through the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

What are the Irish statutory financial statements and where can I access them?

As an Irish company, the Company is required to prepare statutory financial statements under the Companies Act and to deliver those financial statements together with reports of our directors and auditors thereon to shareholders of record in connection with our annual general meetings of shareholders.

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These statutory financial statements cover our results of operations and financial position for the year ended prior to each annual general meeting of shareholders and are approved each year by the Board. There is no requirement under Irish law that such financial statements be approved by the Company’s shareholders, and no such approval will be sought at the Annual Meeting.

The Company’s Irish statutory financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, including the reports of the directors and auditors thereon, will be presented at the Annual Meeting in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act. These financial statements and the related reports are available on the Annual Reports page of the Investors section of the Company’s website at www.alkermes.com. Shareholders may also request a printed copy of these statements and reports free of charge, by writing to our Secretary at Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, Attention: Company Secretary.

Important Notice Regarding the Internet and Electronic Availability of Proxy Materials for the Annual Meeting:

All shareholders have the ability to access this proxy statement and the Company’s Annual Report, as filed with the SEC on February 11, 2021, at http://www.proxydocs.com/ALKS or through the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com. Because we have elected to utilize the “full set delivery” option for proxy materials related to the Annual Meeting, we are delivering paper copies of our proxy materials to all of our shareholders as of the Record Date.

In addition, any shareholder may request to receive, on an ongoing basis, future proxy materials in printed form, by mail or electronically by email. Choosing to receive future proxy materials by email will save the Company the cost of printing and mailing documents and will reduce the impact of the Company’s annual general meetings of shareholders on the environment.

Note Regarding Trademarks

We are the owner of various United States (“U.S.”) federal trademark registrations (“®”) and other trademarks (“TM”) and service marks (“SM”), including ALKERMES®, ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS®, ALKERMES PATHWAYS RESEARCH AWARDS®, ARISTADA®, ARISTADA INITIO®, LYBALVI™ and VIVITROL®. VUMERITY® is a registered trademark of Biogen MA Inc. Other trademarks, trade names and service marks appearing in this proxy statement are the property of their respective owners. Solely for convenience, the trademarks, service marks and trade names in this proxy statement are referred to without the ® and ™ symbols, but such references should not be construed as any indicator that their respective owners will not assert, to the fullest extent under applicable law, their rights thereto.

Note Regarding Product References

Except as otherwise suggested by the context, (a) references in this proxy statement to “products” or “our products” include our proprietary marketed products, products using our proprietary technologies marketed by our licensees, our proprietary development candidates, and development candidates using our proprietary technologies and (b) references in this proxy statement to the “biopharmaceutical industry” are used interchangeably with references to the “biotechnology industry” and/or the “pharmaceutical industry.”

 

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PROPOSAL 1

 

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

(Ordinary resolutions)

Our Board, upon the recommendation of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, has nominated each of the following for election as a Class I director, each to serve until his or her respective successor is elected and shall qualify, or until his or her earlier resignation or removal:

 

Name

 

Age+

 

Director

Since

 

Board Positions / Committee Memberships

 

Outside
Public
Boards

David A. Daglio, Jr.

 

54

 

2020

 

Financial Operating

 

1

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

 

69

 

2016

 

Nominating Corporate Gov; Audit and Risk

 

2

Frank Anders Wilson

 

62

 

2019

 

Audit and Risk; Financial Operating

 

1*

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

63

 

2013

 

Compensation

 

2

+Ages presented are as of April 15, 2021.

*Mr. Wilson is nominated for election to a second outside public board, subject to approval of such company’s shareholders in May 2021.

 

Term and Board Declassification: In accordance with our Articles of Association, our Board is currently divided into three classes of directors, with each class elected to serve staggered three-year terms. Accordingly, any Class I director nominee elected pursuant to this Proposal 1 will serve a three-year term expiring at the Company’s 2024 annual general meeting of shareholders. Following consideration of feedback received from our shareholders, the Board is asking that shareholders vote for Proposal 5, as set forth on page 60 of this proxy statement, to approve certain amendments to our Articles of Association that would serve to declassify our Board over a three-year period. If Proposal 5 is approved by our shareholders, beginning with the Company’s 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders, each class of directors that is up for election will be eligible for election to a one-year term.

Recommendation: Our named proxies intend to vote FOR the election of each of David A. Daglio, Jr., Nancy Snyderman, M.D., Frank Anders Wilson and Nancy J. Wysenski as a Class I director. As described in detail below, each of these director nominees has considerable professional and business expertise. The recommendation of our Board is based on its carefully considered judgment that the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills of our director nominees qualify them to serve on our Board. The Board has been informed that each of the director nominees is willing to serve as a director, but if any director nominee should decline to serve or become unavailable for election at the Annual Meeting, an event which the Board does not anticipate, the named proxies will vote for such other director nominee or nominees as may be designated by the Board, unless the Board reduces the number of directors accordingly.

Majority Voting Standard: The nominees for election as Class I directors that receive a majority of the votes cast by shareholders in person or by proxy (meaning the number of shares voted “FOR” a nominee must exceed the number of shares voted “AGAINST” such nominee) will be elected to serve on the Board. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the election of the director nominees because they are not considered to be votes cast.

If, at the Annual Meeting, the number of directors is reduced below the minimum prescribed by our Articles of Association due to the failure of any director nominee to receive a majority of the votes cast, then the director nominee or nominees who receive the highest number of votes in favor of election will be elected in order to maintain such prescribed minimum number of directors. Each director so elected would remain a director (subject to the provisions of the Companies Act and our Articles of Association) only until the conclusion of the next annual general meeting of shareholders unless he or she is re-elected at such time.

 

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the election of David A. Daglio, Jr., Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., Frank Anders Wilson and Nancy J. Wysenski to serve as Class I directors.

 

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Board of Directors

 

Board Size and Structure

In accordance with our Articles of Association, the Board reviews the appropriateness of the size of the Board from time to time and increases or decreases the number of director seats on the Board as it deems appropriate. In December 2020, the Board increased the size of the Board to 12 directors, and appointed Mr. Daglio and Mr. McKeon to fill the newly created vacancies on the Board.

In accordance with our Articles of Association, our Board is currently divided into three classes of directors, with each class elected to serve staggered three-year terms until their successors are duly elected and qualified, or until their earlier death, resignation, or removal. A director elected by the Board to fill a vacancy in a class will serve for the remainder of the full term of that class and until the director’s successor is elected and qualified, or, if sooner, until his or her death, resignation, retirement, disqualification or removal.

Per our Articles of Association, if the number of directors on our Board is changed, any increase or decrease shall be apportioned among the classes so as to maintain the number of directors in each class as nearly equal as possible. Mr. Breyer and Mr. Mitchell will retire from Class II and Class III of the Board, respectively, at the close of the Annual Meeting. Mr. Daglio and Mr. McKeon were added to Class I and Class II of the Board, respectively. As such, our director nominees and continuing directors are currently divided among the three classes as follows:

 

Class I Directors

Term Expires at this

Annual Meeting

 

Class II Directors

Term Expires at 2022

Annual General Meeting of

Shareholders

Class III Directors

Term Expires at 2023

Annual General Meeting of

Shareholders

David A. Daglio, Jr.

David W. Anstice AO*

Shane M. Cooke

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D.

Richard B. Gaynor, M.D.

Frank Anders Wilson

Brian P. McKeon

Richard F. Pops**

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

 

 

*Lead Independent Director

**Chairman of the Board

As discussed further below, the composition and functioning of our Board and of each standing committee of our Board complies with all applicable rules and regulations of the Nasdaq Stock Market (the “Nasdaq Rules”) and requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), and other SEC regulations.

Board Declassification: Following consideration of feedback received from our shareholders, our Board is asking that shareholders vote for Proposal 5, as set forth on page 60 of this proxy statement, to approve certain amendments to our Articles of Association to declassify the Board over a three-year period. If Proposal 5 is approved by our shareholders, beginning with the Company’s 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders, each class of directors that is up for election will be elected to a one-year term.

Independence of Members of the Board

In accordance with our Corporate Governance Guidelines, not less than a majority of the Board must meet the independence requirements set forth in the Nasdaq Rules. The Board annually makes a determination as to whether each director is “independent” as set forth in the applicable provisions of the Nasdaq Rules and the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. To assist in making its determination, the Board periodically reviews each director’s status as an independent director, including soliciting information from each director regarding whether such director, or any member of his or her immediate family, had a direct or indirect material interest in any transactions involving the Company, was involved in a debt relationship with the Company, received personal benefits outside the scope of such person’s normal compensation or has any other relationship with the Company that, in the judgment of the Board, would interfere with such director’s exercise of independent judgment in carrying out such director’s responsibilities as a director.

Based on the information provided by each of the Company’s directors, the Board has determined that, with the exception of Shane M. Cooke (who was formerly President of the Company) and Richard F. Pops, our

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Chief Executive Officer, each director serving on our Board is independent, and that each member of each standing committee of the Board is independent (as “independence” is defined in the applicable provisions of the Nasdaq Rules and the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder). There are no family relationships among any of our directors or executive officers.

Board Leadership Structure

Chairperson of the Board. The chairperson of the Board presides at meetings of the shareholders and the Board and is primarily responsible for overseeing the development of the Company’s strategic goals and objectives. Mr. Pops has served as Chairman of the Board since 2011.

In deciding to appoint Mr. Pops to the combined role of CEO and Chairman, the Board recognized Mr. Pops’ ability to provide effective, consistent and continuous leadership to both the Board and the Company, his ability to align the strategic objectives of both management and the Board, his extensive knowledge of the Company’s operations and the industry and markets in which the Company operates and competes, and his ability to promote communication and synchronize activities between the Board and the Company’s senior management.

Lead Independent Director. Recognizing the equal importance of effective independent oversight of the Board, the independent members of the Board annually elect an independent non-employee director to serve as the Lead Independent Director of the Board, whose leadership responsibilities include, among others:

 

presiding at meetings of the Board at which the chairperson of the Board is not present, including all executive sessions of the independent and non-employee directors;

 

reviewing and approving matters such as agenda items, and meeting schedules and frequency, to ensure there is sufficient time for discussion of all agenda items and, where appropriate, approving and advising the chairperson of the quality, quantity and timeliness of information provided to Board members;

 

serving as the principal liaison between the chairperson of the Board and the independent and non-employee directors;

 

facilitating the retention of outside advisors and consultants who report directly to the Board on Board-wide issues;

 

calling meetings of the independent directors and non-employee directors of the Board and ensuring that the independent and non-employee directors of the Board have adequate resources to support their decision-making and effectively and responsibly perform their duties, and adequate opportunities to discuss issues in meetings without management present; and

 

engaging with shareholders, as appropriate.

A current copy of our Charter of the Lead Independent Director is available on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

Mr. Anstice was initially elected to the position of Lead Independent Director of the Board in May 2019. Since assuming this position, Mr. Anstice has played an active and engaged leadership role in activities and meetings of the Board. He has also participated alongside Company management in extensive shareholder and proxy advisory firm engagement activities and has ensured that feedback received during such engagement activities was communicated to the Compensation Committee and to the full Board, as appropriate.

Committees. The Board delegates substantial responsibilities to its three standing committees–Audit and Risk; Compensation; and Nominating and Corporate Governance–each of which is comprised solely of independent directors and led by an independent chair, and to other committees that the Board may establish from time to time. These committees are discussed in detail below in the section entitled “The Committees of the Board” beginning on page 26 of this proxy statement.

The Board believes that its current leadership structure provides an efficient and effective balance between management and independent leadership and the Company believes that this Board leadership structure is the most appropriate structure for the Company.

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Director Diversity, Qualifications and Experience

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee strives to ensure that the composition of the Board reflects an appropriate diversity of tenure, viewpoints, financial expertise, industry experience, skills, and personal characteristics such as age, gender, race, ethnicity and geographic or cultural backgrounds, and periodically reviews and updates the Company’s criteria and desired qualifications for nomination to the Board to reflect this goal. Consistent with this approach, in 2019, the Board codified in our Corporate Governance Guidelines our existing practice, also known as the “Rooney Rule”, of requiring that diverse candidates, including candidates who are women and candidates from underrepresented communities, be included in any pool from which nominees for a director opening are selected. For additional discussion of our director criteria and nomination processes, see the section entitled “Policies Governing Director Nominations, Assessments and Tenure” on page 33 of this proxy statement.

The following table highlights the specific skills, qualifications, and other attributes of our director nominees and continuing directors. The lack of a mark for a particular item for a director does not mean the director lacks that skill or qualification; rather, a mark indicates a specific area of focus or expertise for which the Board relies on such director most. Additional information about each director’s background, business experience and other matters, including a description of how each individual’s experience qualifies him or her to serve on the Board, is provided under the heading “Director Nominee and Continuing Director Biographical Information” beginning on page 19 of this proxy statement.

Our Board is substantially independent, has a strong representation of directors who are women, and has a mix of relatively newer and longer-tenured directors, providing what we consider to be an appropriate balance of experience, institutional knowledge, fresh perspective and skillsets.

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Director Nominee and Continuing Director Biographical Information   

Each of our director nominees and continuing directors is qualified to make unique and substantial contributions to our Board. The following descriptions set forth additional information regarding each director.

 

David W. Anstice AO

 

Experience: Mr. Anstice served as Executive Vice President of Merck & Co., Inc. (“Merck”) from 2006 until his retirement in 2008, with responsibility for enterprise strategy and implementation. During separate parts of this period he served as acting President, Global Human Health and as President of Merck’s business in Japan. Prior to that, Mr. Anstice served as President of Merck from 2003 to 2006, with responsibility for Merck’s Asia Pacific businesses. In his 34 years with Merck, he held a variety of positions including President, U.S. Human Health; President, Human Health, the Americas; President, U.S./Canada; and President, Human Health, Europe. He reported to the Chief Executive Officer of Merck from 1994 until his retirement in 2008. Mr. Anstice currently serves as a non-executive director of NeuClone Pharmaceuticals Ltd., an unlisted clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Australia. Mr. Anstice previously served as a non-executive director of CSL Limited, a global biopharmaceutical company, from September 2008 until October 2018. Mr. Anstice is also a member of the board of the University of Sydney USA Foundation, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney Business School.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. Anstice’s lengthy service with Merck, which included oversight of, and responsibility for, all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development and commercialization in the U.S. and in many countries outside the U.S., provides our Board with broad global research-based pharmaceutical industry experience. Mr. Anstice’s prior leadership positions in industry organizations, including as a board and executive committee member of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (“BIO”) for approximately ten years and as a former Chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Council, augment his pharmaceutical management, industry knowledge and organizational expertise with knowledge of public policy issues involving pharmaceutical care. Mr. Anstice also has expertise in the areas of strategic planning, risk management and corporate governance.

Director since: September 2011

Leadership: Lead Independent Director since May 2019

Committee Memberships: Compensation (Chair)

Current Public Company Boards: None

 

 

Shane M. Cooke

 

Experience: Mr. Cooke served as our President and as President of Alkermes Pharma Ireland Limited (“APIL”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, from September 2011 until his retirement in March 2018. He became a member of our Board upon his retirement. In addition, Mr. Cooke has been chairman of the board of directors of APIL since September 2011. Mr. Cooke served as Executive Vice President of Elan Corporation, plc (“Elan”) and Head of Elan Drug Technologies from May 2007 to September 16, 2011 and as the Chief Financial Officer of Elan from July 2001 until May 2011. Mr. Cooke served as a director of Elan from May 2005 to September 16, 2011. Prior to joining Elan, Mr. Cooke was Chief Executive of Pembroke Capital Limited, an aviation leasing company, and prior to that, he held a number of senior finance positions in the banking and aviation industries. He is a chartered accountant.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. Cooke is an Irish citizen, resident in Ireland. His depth of experience in managing Irish corporate entities and his extensive network within the Irish business and finance community, as well as his familiarity with Irish policy and regulation, are highly beneficial to the Company as an Irish-incorporated entity. In addition to Mr. Cooke’s global experience in the pharmaceutical industry, he also has significant experience in business development and transactional activities. Mr. Cooke’s substantial experience as an executive in the biopharmaceutical industry, including having served as a chief financial officer and as a president of publicly-traded companies, brings strategic leadership attributes and expertise in operations, finance, and commercial management to our Board.

Director since: March 2018

Committee Memberships: None

Current Public Company Boards: Prothena Corporation plc (since 2012); Endo International plc (since 2014); UDG Healthcare plc (since February 2019)

 

 

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David A. Daglio, Jr.

 

Experience: Mr. Daglio most recently served as a non-executive director of Mellon Investments Corporation, a global investment manager (“Mellon”), from 2019 to January 2020 and as Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Director of Mellon from 2017 to 2019. He also served as Mellon’s head of Opportunistic Value Strategies. Since joining Mellon in 1998, Mr. Daglio worked with institutional clients and boards around the world, managed numerous investors and grew portfolio assets by more than five-fold, and helped to design, launch, and manage a unique equity investing approach.  Prior to his investing career, Mr. Daglio was a management consultant at Deloitte and an engineer for The Dannon Company. Mr. Daglio previously served as a director of The Boston Company and Mellon and currently serves as a director of Total Brain Ltd., an Australian publicly-traded company. Mr. Daglio earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. Daglio brings to our Board a seasoned institutional investment management perspective and strong management and leadership experience. The Board benefits from his experience in portfolio management, value creation, and transactional matters, and from his service on other boards of directors, including his current service on the Board and remuneration committee of Total Brain Ltd.

Director since: December 2020

Committee Memberships: Financial Operating

Current Public Company Boards: Total Brain Ltd. (since January 2020)

 

 

 

Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D.

 

Experience: Dr. Dixon has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, combining a technical background with experience in drug development, regulatory affairs and marketing, and has directed the launch and growth of more than twenty pharmaceutical products. Dr. Dixon was Chief Marketing Officer and President, Global Marketing for Bristol-Myers Squibb and served on its Executive Committee from 2001 to 2009. She was Senior Vice President, Marketing at Merck from 1996 to 2001 and, prior to that, held executive management positions at West Pharmaceuticals, Osteotech and Centocor and various positions in marketing, regulatory affairs, project management and as a biochemist at SmithKline and French (now GlaxoSmithKline). Dr. Dixon was formerly on the boards of directors of then-public companies Ardea Biosciences, Inc., Dentsply International and Furiex Pharmaceuticals during various periods from 2005 to 2014, and more recently on the boards of directors of public companies Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. from 2010 to January 2016, Sesen Bio, Inc. (formerly Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc.) from 2014 to February 2020 and Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. from January 2017 to January 2021. She is also the principal of Great Meadow Consultancy. She was a Senior Advisor to The Monitor Group, now Deloitte, from 2010 to 2012.

Qualifications and Skills: Dr. Dixon brings to our Board a depth of experience in the global marketing of pharmaceutical products across a broad variety of disease states. Dr. Dixon has a strong technical background, direct experience in product development and regulatory affairs, and has successfully built and grown commercial organizations in the U.S. and Europe, all of which provide valuable insight to our Board regarding the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Dr. Dixon’s additional qualifications include her deep industry knowledge and her reputation as a strategic thinker with a focus on execution, as well as the ability to provide direction regarding improvements to the interface between research and development and marketing. Dr. Dixon’s service on other company boards of directors provides experience relevant to good corporate governance practices.

Director since: September 2011

Committee Memberships: Nominating and Corporate Governance (Chair)

Current Public Company Boards: Incyte Corporation (since 2010); bluebird bio, Inc. (since 2013); Arvinas, Inc. (since June 2020)

 

 

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Richard B. Gaynor, M.D.

 

Experience: Since May 2020, Dr. Gaynor has served as President, Chief of Research and Development at BioNTech US Inc. (f/k/a Neon Therapeutics, Inc. (“Neon”)), a wholly-owned subsidiary of BioNTech SE focused on the development of novel neoantigen-targeted T cell therapies. Dr. Gaynor had previously served as President of Research and Development at Neon since November 2016. Prior to joining Neon, Dr. Gaynor held roles in clinical development and medical affairs at Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”) from August 2002 to October 2016, including serving as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of Lilly Oncology. During his time at Lilly, Dr. Gaynor chaired the Lilly Oncology Research and Development Committee and helped oversee various collaborations, including with General Electric, AstraZeneca, Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Gaynor started his career in academia, initially serving on the faculty at UCLA School of Medicine, followed by eleven years at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, during which he spent time as the Chief of Hematology-Oncology and Director of the Simmons Cancer Center. Dr. Gaynor holds an M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and completed fellowship training in hematology-oncology at UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Gaynor is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and has published extensively, including over 140 scientific articles. He serves on the board of directors of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and sits on several committees for the American Association of Cancer Research and other leading cancer organizations. Dr. Gaynor is a licensed physician with board certifications in oncology and hematology.

Qualifications and Skills: Dr. Gaynor brings to our Board a deep background in the field of oncology, having practiced in academic medicine, conducted extensive scientific research and held leadership roles at companies focusing in the field of oncology. The Board benefits from his technical expertise in oncology research and development, clinical development and business development and his insights from years as an academic and practicing physician.

Director since: September 2019

Committee Memberships: Compensation

Current Public Company Boards: Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (since March 2020)

 

 

Brian P. McKeon

 

Experience: Since 2014, Mr. McKeon has served as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (“IDEXX”), a public multinational corporation providing products and services in the veterinary, livestock and poultry, dairy and water testing markets. He leads IDEXX’s finance, corporate development and strategy, and investor relations functions and, since June 2019, has overseen IDEXX’s livestock, water and human diagnostics businesses. Mr. McKeon served on the board of directors of IDEXX from 2003 to 2013, including serving as Chair of its Audit Committee and as a member of its Compensation Committee. Prior to joining IDEXX, Mr. McKeon served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Iron Mountain Incorporated from 2007 to 2013 and as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Timberland Company from 2000 to 2007. Prior to these roles, he held several finance and strategic planning roles at PepsiCo Inc., serving most recently as Vice President, Finance, at Pepsi-Cola, North America. Mr. McKeon previously served as a director of athenahealth, Inc. from September 2017 to February 2019. Mr. McKeon holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard University.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. McKeon brings to our Board strong financial and management expertise as well as public company executive and director leadership experience. The Board benefits from his experience in finance, strategic planning, corporate development and investor relations, and from his prior service on public company boards of directors, including as a member of audit and compensation committees.

Director since: December 2020

Committee Memberships: Financial Operating

Current Public Company Boards: None

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Richard F. Pops

 

Experience: Prior to assuming his current positions, Mr. Pops served as Chief Executive Officer of Alkermes, Inc. from February 1991 to April 2007 and as Chief Executive Officer and President from September 2009 to September 2011. Mr. Pops serves on the board of directors of BIO and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (“PhRMA”). He previously served on the boards of directors of Acceleron Pharma, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from 2004 to December 2019, Epizyme, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from 2008 to October 2020, and the National Health Council, a nonprofit organization, from 2016 to December 2019. Mr. Pops also previously served on the advisory board of Polaris Venture Partners and as a member of the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows through June 2012.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. Pops’ qualifications for our Board include his leadership experience, business judgment and deep industry knowledge. As a senior executive of Alkermes for over 25 years, he provides in-depth knowledge of the Company derived from leading our day-to-day operations. His ongoing involvement as a board member of BIO and PhRMA, brings to the organization extensive knowledge of the current state of the pharmaceutical industry and the policy issues impacting healthcare today. As a Co-Chair of BIO’s Regulatory Environment Committee, and a member of its Health Section Governing Board, and as a member of PhRMA’s FDA and Biomedical Research Committee, Mr. Pops is an influential industry leader on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulatory policy issues, including recent Prescription Drug User Fee Act reauthorizations. Mr. Pops has also played a leadership role in the industry in identifying pathways to allow patient voices to be incorporated into the drug development and approval process, which is a fundamental principle on which we operate our business.

 

Title: Chairman

 

Director since: September 2011

Committee Memberships: Financial Operating

Current Public Company Boards: Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (since 1998)

 

 

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

 

Experience: Dr. Snyderman is a board-certified otolaryngologist and is currently a consulting professor at Stanford University Center for Innovation in Global Health. She served as Chief Medical Editor at NBC News from 2006 until 2015 and was a clinical professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pennsylvania from August 2003 to December 2015. Dr. Snyderman was Senior Vice President Corporate Communications at Johnson & Johnson, a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company, from January 2003 to September 2006. She practiced as an otolaryngologist at California Pacific Medical Center from July 1994 to June 2003, and acted as Medical Editor for ABC News from 1987 until May 2003. Dr. Snyderman is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons. She previously served on the board of directors of the Fair Food Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the growth of community health and wealth through food. During Dr. Snyderman’s tenure as a medical journalist at NBC News and ABC News, she received Emmy Awards, Edward R. Murrow Awards, a Columbia University DuPont Award, and a Gracie Award for her reporting. Dr. Snyderman attended medical school at the University of Nebraska and completed residencies in pediatrics and otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Qualifications and Skills: Dr. Snyderman’s experiences as a veteran healthcare journalist, a practicing physician, and an executive at a pharmaceutical company, as well as her roles in academia and as advisor to policy organizations, make her uniquely qualified for our Board. The Board benefits from her expert insight into the intersection of healthcare policy, public relations, and journalism from the perspective of both a practitioner and an academic.

 

 

Director since: May 2016

Committee Memberships: Audit and Risk; Nominating and Corporate Governance

Current Public Company Boards: Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc. (since April 2019); Lyra Therapeutics, Inc. (since October 2020)

 

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Frank Anders “Andy” Wilson

 

Experience: Mr. Wilson most recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of PerkinElmer, Inc., a life sciences diagnostics, discovery and analytical solutions company, from 2009 to 2018, with responsibility for oversight of the organization’s growth strategy. Prior to PerkinElmer, Mr. Wilson held key business development and finance roles at Danaher Corporation, a global science and technology conglomerate, from 1997 to 2009, including the position of Corporate Vice President of Investor Relations. Earlier in his career, Mr. Wilson worked at AlliedSignal, Inc., now Honeywell International Inc., where he served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer for the Commercial Avionics Systems division. Prior to that, Mr. Wilson’s work included financial and controllership positions of increasing responsibility at PepsiCo, Inc., as well as roles at E.F. Hutton and Company and KPMG Peat Marwick. He was previously a member of the board of directors of Sparton Corporation, a provider of complex and sophisticated electromechanical devices, from 2015 to early 2019, where he last served as chairman of the board. Mr. Wilson is a certified public accountant.

Qualifications and Skills: Mr. Wilson’s financial expertise and decades of experience in strategic planning, investor relations and business development for global public companies provide valuable insight for our Board as the Company’s strategic priorities expand and evolve. His background as a chief financial officer and certified public accountant provide significant expertise to our Board in matters relating to finance, value creation and commercial growth.

Director since: September 2019

Committee Memberships: Audit and Risk; Financial Operating

Current Public Company Boards*: Cabot Corporation (since September 2018)

*Mr. Wilson is nominated for election to the board of directors of Novanta Inc., subject to shareholder approval at its annual and special shareholder meeting to be held in May 2021

 

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

Experience: Ms. Wysenski served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (“Vertex”) from December 2009 through June 2012. Prior to joining Vertex, Ms. Wysenski held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Endo Pharmaceuticals plc (“Endo”), a specialty pharmaceutical company, where she led sales, marketing, commercial operations, supply chain management, human resources and various business development initiatives. Prior to her role at Endo, Ms. Wysenski participated in the establishment of EMD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she held various leadership positions, including the role of President and Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2006 and Vice President of Commercial from 1999 to 2001. From 1984 to 1998, Ms. Wysenski held several sales-focused roles at major pharmaceutical companies, including Vice President of Field Sales for Astra Merck, Inc. Ms. Wysenski formerly served as a director for Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc., now a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, and more recently served as a director for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from March 2015 to May 2017, Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, Inc., formerly a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from March 2014 to July 2020, and Dova Pharmaceuticals Inc., formerly a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company, from June 2018 to November 2019. She is a founder of the Research Triangle Park chapter of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association and served on the Nominating Committee and National Advisory Board of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Qualifications and Skills: Ms. Wysenski is a proven leader who brings to our Board extensive experience building and leading life sciences companies. Ms. Wysenski’s background includes executive management roles with responsibility over key operational and product commercialization functions, including substantial direct experience in sales, marketing, commercial operations, supply chain management, human resources and various business development initiatives. Her experience, leadership skills and knowledge of the life sciences industry provide valuable insight to our Board with respect to the launch and commercialization of pharmaceutical products.

Director since: May 2013

Committee Memberships: Compensation

Current Public Company Boards: Provention Bio, Inc. (since May 2020); Cytokinetics, Inc. (since November 2020)

 

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Retiring Directors

 

 

Robert A. Breyer

“On behalf of Alkermes and the Board, I would like to express our most sincere appreciation to Bob Breyer and Paul Mitchell for their invaluable contributions over many years. We thank them for their experience and judgment and their remarkable commitment to the mission of the Company.”

 

-- Richard Pops, Chairman and CEO

 

Director since: September 2011

Committee Memberships: Audit and Risk; Nominating and Corporate Governance

 

 

Paul J. Mitchell

Director since: September 2011

Committee Memberships: Audit and Risk (Chair); Compensation

 

 

 

 

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The Role of the Board and its Committees

 

The Company’s business, property and affairs are managed under the direction of the Board. Members of the Board are kept informed of the Company’s business through discussions with the CEO and other officers of the Company, review of materials provided to them, visits to the Company’s facilities and participation in meetings of the Board and its committees and the Company’s annual general meeting of shareholders.

The Board has delegated to the CEO, working with the other executive officers of the Company, the authority and responsibility for managing the business of the Company in a manner consistent with the standards, values and practices of the Company, and in accordance with any specific plans, instructions or directions of the Board. The CEO and management are responsible for seeking the advice and, in appropriate situations, the approval of the Board with respect to certain actions to be undertaken by the Company.

The Board’s Role in Risk Oversight

Assessing and managing risk is the responsibility of our management, and our Board oversees and reviews various aspects of the Company’s risk management processes. The Board executes its oversight responsibility for the Company’s risk management directly and through its committees, as set forth below:

 

Strategy Sessions: Each year, the Board holds multiple meetings with the Chairman of the Board and CEO and management to discuss and review the Company’s mid- to long-term operating plans and overall corporate strategy, including a discussion of key risks to such plans and strategy and ways to mitigate such risks. The involvement of the Board in reviewing, and providing feedback on, the Company’s business strategy is critical to the determination of the types and appropriate levels of risk undertaken by the Company. In addition, as part of the regularly scheduled Board meetings, the Board is provided an update on the Company’s operational progress against its corporate objectives and execution of its strategy, and discusses and provides feedback regarding the strategic direction and issues and opportunities facing the Company in light of trends and developments in the industry and the general business environment.

 

Enterprise Risk Management and Assessment: The Audit and Risk Committee is primarily responsible for oversight of our enterprise risk management and assessment. Our Chief Risk Officer is responsible for our enterprise risk management processes and provides—himself or through a designee—an annual overview of such processes and the results of the Company’s annual enterprise risk management assessment, performed in conjunction with the Company’s senior management team, to the Audit and Risk Committee and the full Board. The Audit and Risk Committee regularly reviews our enterprise risk management processes and discusses and evaluates, on an as-needed basis, any risks identified by such processes or otherwise, including cybersecurity risks and other risks related to information technology, and any mitigation activities put in place in response to such risks. Members of the Audit and Risk Committee have direct access to our Chief Risk Officer on an ongoing basis.

 

Risks Related to COVID-19: During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company established a global Core Crisis Management Team and local sub-teams, each comprised of executive committee members and senior leaders from key functions across the Company, that work to address the various risks and challenges that the pandemic presents to the Company’s business, operations, employees and other stakeholders. The Board is tasked with overseeing the actions and initiatives undertaken by the Company and the Core Crisis Management Team in response to the pandemic and monitors such actions and initiatives through regular Board update calls and other management updates as needed. For additional detail regarding actions that the Company took in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the section entitled “Our Response to COVID-19” beginning on page 46 of this proxy statement.

 

Audit of Internal Controls and Procedures: The Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for overseeing the Company’s financial, accounting and enterprise risk management programs and policies, as set forth in its charter. As part of fulfilling these responsibilities, the Audit and Risk Committee meets regularly with PwC, our independent auditor and accounting firm, and members of

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management and other Company employees, including our Chief Financial Officer and members of our legal and financial compliance departments, to assess the integrity of our financial reporting processes, internal controls, and enterprise risk management mitigations, and actions taken to monitor and control risks related to such matters. The Audit and Risk Committee also regularly meets with PwC in executive session, without management present. The Board and the Audit and Risk Committee receive regular assessments from management as to our policies and internal procedures designed to promote compliance with laws and regulations affecting our business and the results of our internal auditing and monitoring practices in this regard.

 

Risks Related to Compensation: The Compensation Committee is responsible for reviewing and evaluating risks related to our compensation practices and policies, including as they may impact our human capital development and management initiatives. For additional discussion of the Company’s efforts to manage compensation-related risks, see the section entitled “Risk Assessment Concerning Compensation Practices and Policies” on page 95 of this proxy statement.

 

Environmental, Social and Governance Risk Profile: The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing our governance practices and policies, including Board and management assessment and succession planning, overboarding and conflicts of interest; compliance with our share ownership and holdings guidelines; our ESG strategy, progress and reporting; our initiatives relating to human capital management, including leadership development and diversity, inclusion and belonging; and other areas that may impact our risk profile from a governance perspective.

 

Irish Law Compliance Policy Statement: The Board has adopted a Compliance Policy Statement, pursuant to Section 225 of the Companies Act. On an annual basis, our directors review the Company’s arrangements and structures intended to secure material compliance with the Company’s relevant obligations under applicable Irish corporate and tax laws.

In performing their risk oversight functions, each Board committee has full access to management, including our Chief Risk Officer, as well as the ability to engage outside advisors.

The Committees of the Board

The Board currently has three standing committees: Audit and Risk, Compensation, and Nominating and Corporate Governance, each of which is comprised entirely of independent directors.

The Board is responsible for the appointment of standing committee members and relies on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee to recommend to the Board candidates for such appointments, as well as candidates to serve as the chairs of such committees. Each committee of the Board has the authority to engage outside experts, advisors and counsel, or to establish subcommittees, in each case to the extent it considers appropriate to assist the committee in its work.

Each standing committee of the Board has a written charter, approved by the Board, which describes the committee’s general authority and responsibilities. Each standing committee of the Board undertakes an annual review of its charter and works with the Board to make such revisions as it and the Board consider appropriate. A current copy of each standing committee charter is available on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

The Board may also, from time to time, form new committees or subcommittees, such as the recently constituted Financial Operating Committee, or disband current committees as it deems appropriate.

The chair of each Board committee, in consultation with the Chairman of the Board and appropriate members of management, determines the frequency and length of each committee meeting and develops the agenda for each meeting. The agendas and meeting minutes of the Board committees are available to the full Board, and other Board members are welcome to attend Board committee meetings, except that non-independent directors are not permitted to attend the executive sessions of any standing Board committee. Each Board committee regularly reports to the Board concerning such committee’s activities.

 

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Audit and Risk Committee

 

Members*:

 

 

Meetings held in 2020: 4

Paul J. Mitchell (Chair); Robert A. Breyer; Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.; Frank Anders Wilson

Committee Independence+: 100%

* Membership as of the date of this proxy statement. Mr. Wilson was appointed to the Audit and Risk Committee in September 2020. Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Breyer have announced their retirement from the Audit and Risk Committee effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting.

+ Independence as defined in Rule 5605(a)(2) and 5605(c)(2) of the Nasdaq listing standards and the applicable requirements of the Exchange Act.

In compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), the Board has determined based on available facts and circumstances that each of Messrs. Breyer, Mitchell and Wilson is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined by the SEC. 

The Audit and Risk Committee’s responsibilities include:

 

appointing, compensating and retaining, and overseeing the work performed by, our independent auditor and accounting firm;

 

assisting the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities by: (i) reviewing the financial reports we provide to the SEC, our shareholders or to the general public, (ii) reviewing our internal financial and accounting controls and (iii) reviewing all related-party transactions;

 

overseeing the procedures of the Company designed to improve the quality and reliability of the disclosure of our financial condition and results of operations;

 

reviewing and discussing with management and the Board the Company’s anticipated funding needs, material financing plans and investment policies;

 

assessing and providing oversight to management relating to the identification and evaluation of major strategic, operational, regulatory, compliance and external risks inherent to our business, including cybersecurity risks and other risks related to data privacy and information technology, and the steps management has taken to address such risks;

 

preparing an annual Audit and Risk Committee Report for inclusion in our proxy statement in accordance with applicable rules and regulations;

 

discussing the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to the Company and the Company’s compliance with such requirements with management, our independent auditor and accounting firm and the Board; and

 

reviewing procedures of the Company designed to facilitate: (i) the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints relating to accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing matters or other compliance matters, in consultation with other Board committees as needed; and (ii) the receipt of confidential, anonymous submissions by employees of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.

The Audit and Risk Committee engages and determines compensation for advisers as necessary and directs the distribution of funding provided by the Company. The Audit and Risk Committee evaluates the performance of the independent accounting firm, ensures regular rotation of the audit partners from the independent accounting firm and considers the discharge of the independent auditor and accounting firm when circumstances warrant. Additionally, the Audit and Risk Committee is responsible for review and approval, in advance, of any and all audit and non-audit services to be performed by our independent auditor and accounting firm. The authority to pre-approve non-audit services may be delegated to one or more members of the Audit and Risk Committee. All services provided by PwC during 2020 were pre-approved by the Audit and Risk Committee.

 

 

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Compensation Committee

 

Members*:

 

 

Meetings held in 2020: 14

David W. Anstice AO (Chair); Richard B. Gaynor, M.D.; Paul J. Mitchell; Nancy J. Wysenski

Committee Independence+: 100%

* Membership as of the date of this proxy statement. Dr. Gaynor was appointed to the Compensation Committee in September 2020. Mr. Mitchell has announced his retirement from the Compensation Committee effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting.

+ Independence as defined in Rule 5605(a)(2) of the Nasdaq listing standards.

In determining the members of the Compensation Committee, the Board considers whether the members qualify as “non-employee directors” as defined in Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act and as “outside directors” as defined in Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).

The Compensation Committee’s responsibilities include:

 

discharging the Board’s responsibilities relating to the compensation of our executives;

 

reviewing our compensation philosophy and program in light of our company strategies and objectives and in conjunction with review of compensation trends and practices of comparable companies to assess the competitiveness of our compensation program;

 

reviewing, establishing and administering our incentive compensation and equity plans and our Clawback Policy, and reviewing and approving all compensation-related agreements or arrangements with our executive officers;

 

producing an annual Compensation Committee Report for inclusion in our proxy statement or annual report on Form 10-K in accordance with applicable rules and regulations;

 

reviewing and discussing with our management our executive compensation disclosure, including our “Compensation Discussion and Analysis” disclosure, included in reports, proxy statements and registration statements filed with the SEC;

 

directing the appointment and compensation, and overseeing the work, of any compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser retained by the Compensation Committee, with the Company required to provide for appropriate funding, as determined by the Compensation Committee, for payment of reasonable compensation to any such compensation consultant, legal counsel or other adviser;

 

evaluating and recommending to the Board appropriate compensation for our directors and ensuring proper disclosure of any payments to our directors;

 

assessing the risks arising from our compensation program; and

 

reviewing and considering the results of any advisory vote on executive compensation and the Company’s engagement with shareholders and proxy advisory firms on compensation matters.

Limited Compensation Sub-Committee: The Compensation Committee has established procedures for the grant of equity awards, including grants of equity awards to eligible new employees. In May 2020, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee recommended, and the Board approved, the election of David W. Anstice AO as the sole member of the Limited Compensation Sub-Committee, and the Compensation Committee delegated to such sub-committee the authority to make individual grants of equity awards, up to certain specified award values, to certain newly hired employees of the Company. The Limited Compensation Sub-Committee typically grants equity awards to eligible new hires on the first Wednesday following the first Monday of each month (or the first business day thereafter if such first Wednesday is a holiday), referred to as the New Hire Grant Date, for all equity-eligible new hires who began their employment the prior month. The Limited Compensation Sub-Committee’s current approval authority is for new hire employees whose job level is below the level of Senior Vice President and for equity awards of up to $550,000 in aggregate award value per individual. New hire grants that exceed the authority of the Limited Compensation Sub-Committee must be granted by the full Compensation Committee, either on the New Hire Grant Date or as soon as practicable thereafter. All actions taken by the Limited Compensation Sub-Committee in 2020 were by written consent.

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Key Contributor Award Committee: In June 2017, the Compensation Committee created the Key Contributor Award Committee, consisting solely of our CEO, Richard F. Pops, and delegated to such committee the authority to make periodic grants of equity awards to employees outside of the annual and new hire equity grant procedures of the Company (“Key Contributor Awards”). The Compensation Committee also established guidelines regarding the timing, amount and other terms of such Key Contributor Awards. Recipients of Key Contributor Awards are periodically selected by Mr. Pops, in consultation with other members of the Company’s management and the Company’s human resources department. Key Contributor Awards are intended to reward and retain key contributors to critical Company programs. The Compensation Committee annually reviews and confirms the Key Contributor Award Committee’s authority to continue to grant such Key Contributor Awards.

Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation: The directors who served as members of the Compensation Committee during 2020 were David W. Anstice AO (Chair), Richard B. Gaynor, M.D., Paul J. Mitchell and Nancy J. Wysenski, none of whom is currently, or ever has been, an officer or employee of our Company, or had any relationship that is required to be disclosed in this proxy statement as a transaction with a related party. During 2020, none of our executive officers served as a member of the board of directors or the compensation committee (or other board committee performing equivalent functions) of any entity that had one or more of its executive officers serving on our Compensation Committee or our Board.

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee

 

Members*:

 

 

Meetings held in 2020: 7

Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D. (Chair); Robert A. Breyer; Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

Committee Independence+: 100%

* Membership as of the date of this proxy statement. Mr. Breyer has announced his retirement from the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee effective as of the close of the Annual Meeting.

+ Independence as defined in Rule 5605(a)(2) of the Nasdaq listing standards.

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee’s responsibilities include:

 

periodically reviewing and evaluating the size, composition and organization of the Board and its committees to comply with regulatory requirements, to ensure the Board members continue to possess the proper skills, diversity, expertise and personal and professional backgrounds for service as a director of the Company, and to assess the effectiveness of the Board and its committees;

 

establishing criteria for Board and committee membership, including descriptions of any specific qualifications, qualities or skills that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee believes director nominees or committee members should possess;

 

identifying qualified director candidates, including with the assistance of third-party consultants, as appropriate, and recommending that the Board nominate qualified individuals for election by our shareholders;

 

periodically reviewing, and monitoring compliance with, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applicable to all directors, officers and employees, our Share Ownership and Holding Guidelines, our Corporate Governance Guidelines and related matters;

 

facilitating annual Board self-assessments with respect to the performance and effectiveness of individual directors, the Board as a whole and each Board committee, and making recommendations to the Board regarding composition and leadership of each Board committee;

 

periodically reviewing our governance objectives, practices and policies, including with respect to director overboarding, political activities and contributions, diversity and inclusion, human capital management, and environmental, health and safety, and social responsibility matters, and overseeing related risks to the Company;

 

reviewing all shareholder proposals submitted to the Company and recommending appropriate action to the Board; and

 

reviewing and discussing corporate succession plans for key officers of the Company with the Board.

 

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Financial Operating Committee

 

Members*:

 

 

Formed in December 2020

David A. Daglio, Jr.; Brian P. McKeon; Richard F. Pops; Frank Anders Wilson

Committee Independence+: 75%

* Membership as of the date of this proxy statement.

+ Independence as defined in Rule 5605(a)(2) of the Nasdaq listing standards.

The Financial Operating Committee was formed in December 2020 in connection with the Company’s announcement of its Value Enhancement Plan. The Financial Operating Committee’s responsibilities include:

 

reviewing and providing advice with respect to:

 

achievement by the Company of certain specified profitability targets;

 

implementation of the Company’s cost structure optimization activities;

 

evaluation of potential options related to the Company’s non-core assets, including potential monetization and divestiture opportunities; and

 

retaining independent advisors (including financial and legal advisors), as the Financial Operating Committee deems necessary, to assist the Financial Operating Committee in performing its responsibilities.

The Financial Operating Committee has a written charter which describes the committee’s general authority and responsibilities. A current copy of the charter is available on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

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Corporate Governance and Board Matters

 

Corporate Governance Practices

We strive to maintain strong corporate governance practices that promote the long-term interests of the Company and our shareholders and strengthen the oversight of our management and our Board.

 

Corporate Governance Practices

Engaged Lead Independent Director

Majority voting standard for elections of directors

Standing Board committees comprised solely of independent directors

Share ownership and holding guidelines for executive officers and directors

Director overboarding policy

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

Regular executive sessions of non-employee directors and independent directors

Annual advisory vote on executive compensation

Policy of incorporating diversity in all director searches

Use of independent compensation consultant  

Annual Board, committee and individual director self-assessments

Active shareholder engagement

New director orientation and continuing director education

Prohibition of hedging and pledging by executive officers and directors

Recent Enhancements to Corporate Governance Practices

Our management team and our Board regularly review and refine our governance policies and practices. Following careful consideration of the evolving needs of our business, market trends in governance practices, and the feedback we received during our extensive shareholder outreach and engagement efforts, we took the following actions to enhance our corporate governance:  

 

Shareholder Feedback

Actions We Took in Response

Declassify the Board

In July 2020, our Board announced its intent to advance a proposal to our shareholders to declassify the Board.

If approved by our shareholders, Proposal 5, as set forth on page 60 of this proxy statement, will serve to declassify the Board over a three-year period and, beginning with our 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders, each class of directors that is up for election will be elected to a one-year term.

Reassess and refresh Board membership periodically

In July 2020, we announced the continuation of our Board refreshment efforts and the expectation that certain longer-serving directors would retire from the Board.

In December 2020, we appointed two new independent directors who bring investment management perspective and strong financial and operational expertise to the Board.

Since September 2019, we have appointed a total of four new, independent directors to the Board, further strengthening our Board’s expertise in targeted areas of importance to our business strategy, and three of our longer-serving directors have retired or announced their retirement from the Board. For more information about our Board refreshment, see the section entitled “Board Refreshment and Tenure” on page 35 of this proxy statement.

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Enhance Board diversity

Since 2011, women have comprised no less than 25% of our Board.

In September 2019, the Board revised our Corporate Governance Guidelines to further codify our existing practices in respect of Board nominees, such as requiring that diverse candidates, including candidates who are women and candidates from underrepresented communities, be included in any pool from which the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee considers and selects nominees for a director opening.  

As the Board continues its ongoing refreshment efforts into 2021, it will continue to seek new director candidates who can further contribute to the diversity of the Board.

Enhance disclosure relating to ESG metrics and their integration into our business  

In July 2020, we published our third Corporate Responsibility Report, available on the Responsibility section of our website at www.alkermes.com, which details our commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability and the manner in which we have integrated ESG considerations into our company purpose and all aspects of our business. For highlights of our recent ESG activities, please see our report and the discussion in the section entitled “Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability” beginning on page 43 of this proxy statement.

In 2020 and 2021, we included objectives related to corporate responsibility and ESG matters in our annual corporate objectives and short-term incentive plan for our named executive officers.

We intend to continue to engage with shareholders to solicit and consider their views on our corporate governance practices, our corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives and other matters of interest, and we invite you to reach out to our Investor Relations team at investor_relations@alkermes.com with any suggestions, comments or inquiries at any time. Shareholder proposals, nominations and other notifications required under the Companies Act or our Articles of Association should not be sent to this e-mail address, but rather should be delivered as set forth in this proxy statement, our Articles of Association and/or in the Companies Act, as applicable.

Code of Business Conduct and Ethics

The Company has a Code of Business Conduct and Ethics that applies to all of the Company’s directors, employees and officers, including its principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. This Code of Business Conduct and Ethics meets the requirements of a “code of ethics” (as defined in the regulations promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and the Exchange Act) and a “code of conduct” (as defined in the Nasdaq Rules). A current copy of this Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is available on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com. We intend to disclose any amendments to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, or any waivers of its requirements, on our website. A copy of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics may also be obtained, free of charge, from the Company upon request directed to: Alkermes plc, Attention: Investor Relations, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6.

Members of the Board shall act at all times in accordance with the requirements of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, which is applicable to each director in connection with his or her activities relating to the Company. This obligation shall at all times include, without limitation, adherence to the Company’s policies with respect to conflicts of interest, confidentiality, protection of the Company’s assets, ethical conduct in business dealings and respect for, and compliance with, applicable law. Any request for a waiver of any of the requirements of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics with respect to any individual director or any executive officer shall be reported to the Board and subject to its approval.

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Insider Trading Policy and Hedging and Pledging Prohibitions

We maintain an Insider Trading Policy that prohibits our officers, directors, employees (including temporary and contract employees) and independent contractors from, among other things, engaging in speculative transactions in our securities, including by way of the purchase or sale of “put” or “call” options or other derivative securities directly linked to our equity; short sales of our equity; the use of our equity as a pledge or as collateral in a margin account; and trading in straddles, equity swaps, or other hedging transactions directly linked to our equity, even if such persons do not possess material, nonpublic information. A current copy of our Insider Trading Policy is available on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

Succession Planning

The Chairman of the Board annually reviews succession planning and talent assessment and development with the Board, or a subset thereof designated by the Board, to ensure that the performance, development and retention plans for leadership roles within the company, including current and future members of management, are structured to meet the short and long-term strategic objectives of the Company. The talent review and assessment integrates the Company’s focus on diversity and inclusion, and includes as one of its objectives an increase in the representation of women and individuals from underrepresented communities at the Company, particularly at senior levels.

Policies Governing Director Nominations, Assessments and Tenure

Director Assessments and Qualifications and Consideration of Diversity

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for reviewing with the Board, from time to time, the experience, qualities, skills and characteristics desired of Board members given the Company’s values and business needs and the manner in which the current composition of the Board aligns with such values and needs. This assessment includes consideration of the following minimum qualifications that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee believes must be met by all current directors and all individuals nominated for a director position:

 

high ethical character and shared belief in, and embodiment of, the values of the Company as reflected in the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics applicable to all directors, officers and employees;

 

reputations, both personal and professional, consistent with the image and reputation of the Company;

 

a commitment to enhancing and delivering value to our shareholders, customers, employees, suppliers and community and to promoting the Company’s long-term growth;

 

an ability to exercise sound business judgment; and

 

substantial business or professional experience and an ability to offer advice and guidance to the Company’s management based on that experience.

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee also considers numerous other qualities, skills and characteristics when evaluating all current directors and director nominees, such as:

 

an understanding of, and experience in, the biopharmaceutical industry, and the health systems and regulatory landscape in which biopharmaceutical companies operate;

 

an understanding of the fiduciary duties required of a director;

 

an understanding of, and/or experience in, corporate governance, finance, accounting oversight and governance, human resource management, and complex business transactions;

 

leadership experience with public companies or other significant organizations;

 

international experience in business, particularly within the biopharmaceutical industry or related fields; and

 

diversity of age, gender, culture, race and ethnicity, viewpoints and professional backgrounds.

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These factors and others are considered useful by the Board and are reviewed periodically in the context of assessing the perceived needs of the Board at particular points in time. The Board has full authority to modify such criteria from time to time as it deems necessary or advisable.

Board Process for Identifying and Evaluating Director Nominees and Recommending Director Nominees for Election

The Board is responsible for selecting its own members to stand for election. The Board delegates the selection and nomination process to the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, with the expectation that other members of the Board and management will be requested to take part in the process as appropriate. In conducting its selection process, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee considers the diversity of specific experience, skills and characteristics (including, without limitation, areas of expertise, culture, age, race and ethnicity, viewpoints, tenure and gender) necessary for the optimal functioning of the Board over both the short and long term.

When evaluating candidates for nomination as new directors, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee includes, and requires any search firm that it engages to include, a diverse slate of candidates, including candidates who are women and candidates from underrepresented communities, in the pool from which the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee selects persons for nomination. In 2019, this practice, also known as the “Rooney Rule”, was codified by our Board in our Corporate Governance Guidelines.

Once a candidate has been identified, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee evaluates the candidate to confirm that the candidate meets all of the minimum qualifications for a director nominee established by the Board and any additional qualifications, skills or characteristics that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee deems appropriate at such time. Based on the results of this evaluation and confirmation process, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will decide whether to recommend such candidate for election by the Board. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee also recommends candidates for the Board’s appointment to the committees of the Board. The Board retains the ultimate authority to recommend director nominees for election to the Board by the shareholders, to fill any vacancy on the Board and to appoint directors to the committees of the Board.

Procedure for Recommendation by Shareholders of Director Nominees

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee will consider director candidates recommended by shareholders. A shareholder who wishes to recommend individuals for consideration by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee may do so by delivering a written recommendation to our Company Secretary at Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, Attention: Company Secretary, with the director candidate’s name, biographical information and qualifications and a document indicating the director candidate’s willingness to serve if elected.

Procedure for Nomination by Shareholders of Director Nominees

The above procedure applies to recommendations by shareholders of director candidates to be nominated by the Company. Shareholders who instead desire to nominate one or more persons for election as a director of the Company at an annual general meeting of shareholders must comply with the deadlines and other requirements set forth in the Company’s Articles of Association, including the applicable notice, information and consent provisions. Pursuant to our Articles of Association, nominations by our shareholders of persons to be elected to the Board at our 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders must be received by our Company Secretary between November 11, 2021 and January 10, 2022; provided, however, that in the event that the date of our 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders is changed by more than 30 days from the first anniversary date of the Annual Meeting, notice must be delivered no earlier than 180 days prior to nor later than 120 days prior to our 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders or, if later, the 10th day following the day on which public announcement of the date of our 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders is first made. The director nomination provisions set forth in our Articles of Association and summarized above are the exclusive means for a shareholder to make nominations at annual general meetings of the Company.

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Board Refreshment and Tenure

The Board does not believe that establishing term limits on directors’ service or a mandatory retirement age would be in the best interests of the Company or its shareholders. Such limitations on service may result in losing the contributions of directors who, through their tenure, have developed increasing insight into the Company and its operations and provide a valuable contribution to the Company, its shareholders and the Board. The Board believes the Company and its shareholders benefit from the balance of experience and institutional knowledge of long-standing Board members and the fresh perspective and evolving skillsets of newer Board members.

The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee regularly reviews and assesses the skills, expertise, and effectiveness of each of the Company’s Board members, and of the Board and the Board’s committees as a whole, to ensure that the current and future business needs of the Company are being served. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee also facilitates an annual full Board, Board committee, and Board member self-assessment process, as described below. If, as a result of these annual and ongoing assessments, and taking into consideration the Company’s evolving business strategy and areas of focus, the Board identifies specific qualifications, attributes or areas of expertise that may be additive to the Board, the Board may engage a recruitment firm to identify director candidates with experience and expertise in the identified areas. The Board has appointed four new, independent directors since September 2019, each bringing important perspectives and expertise to the Board.

Focus on diversity in director candidate searches: The Board recognizes the immense value of a diverse and inclusive membership that includes not only diversity of qualifications, tenure, viewpoints and professional backgrounds, but also diversity of age, gender, race and ethnicity, and the importance of setting an example at the Board level for the diverse and inclusive culture and talent that the Company seeks to foster and attract. As the Board engages in ongoing refreshment efforts, it seeks to identify new director candidates who can further contribute to the diversity of the Board.

Shareholder agreements related to Board refreshment: The Company has granted certain shareholders a right to designate a director candidate for appointment to the Board, as follows:

On December 1, 2020, Elliott Associates, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (together with its affiliates and associates, “Elliott”), submitted a notice of nomination of three director candidates for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting (the “December 1 Nomination Notice”). On December 10, 2020, the Company and Elliott reached an agreement (the “Cooperation Agreement”) pursuant to which the Company and Elliott agreed, among other things, to identify a mutually agreeable director to be appointed to the Board and to the Financial Operating Committee. Under the Cooperation Agreement, Elliott also agreed to a voting commitment related to the proposals to be voted on at the Annual Meeting and customary ownership, standstill and mutual non-disparagement provisions. The Cooperation Agreement will terminate on the earlier of (i) December 31, 2021 and (ii) the date that is 30 calendar days prior to the notice deadline under the Articles of Association for the nomination of director candidates for election to the Board at the Company’s 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders, or earlier under certain specified circumstances. Effective upon execution of the Cooperation Agreement, Elliott withdrew the December 1 Nomination Notice.

On December 4, 2020, Sarissa Capital Offshore Master Fund LP, a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership (together with its affiliates and associates, “Sarissa Capital”), submitted a notice of nomination of a director candidate for election to the Board at the Annual Meeting (the “December 4 Nomination Notice”). On April 29, 2021, the Company and Sarissa Capital reached an agreement pursuant to which the Company granted Sarissa Capital a right to designate one director for appointment to the Board from a predetermined list of candidates identified by Sarissa Capital. This right is exercisable between October 30, 2021 and February 28, 2022. In connection with this agreement, Sarissa Capital withdrew the December 4 Nomination Notice.

 

 

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Director Evaluation and Board, Committee and Individual Director Self-Assessments

Our Board is tasked with, among other things, overseeing company risk, business strategy and corporate responsibility and sustainability; fostering a company culture that attracts, retains and supports employees; strengthening engagement and alignment with shareholder interests; and supporting long-term value creation for all of the company’s stakeholders.

In order to help ensure that the current and future business and stakeholder needs of the Company are being appropriately served by the Board and its committees, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee:

 

conducts an annual Board evaluation, during which it reviews and evaluates (i) the skills, diversity, expertise and effectiveness of each Board and committee member, considering the qualifications and experience that each individual member is expected to bring to the Board and the committee(s) on which he or she serves and (ii) the suitability and effectiveness of the director nomination qualifications and diversity-related policies adopted by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee; and

 

facilitates annual Board and committee self-assessments, including individual director self-assessments, director assessments of the performance of the Board, and director assessments of the performance of each committee on which he or she serves.

Our typical annual Board evaluation and assessment process includes the following steps:

NCG = Nominating and Corporate Governance

Expectations of Board Members

Service on Other Boards

Board members are expected to ensure that their other existing and planned future commitments do not materially interfere with their service as an effective Board member. Any existing outside commitments of Board members will be considered by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Board when reviewing new director candidates for election and current director candidates for re-election. In addition, Board members must seek approval from the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee before accepting an invitation to serve on any new board of directors, and service on boards and board committees of other companies must be consistent with the Company’s conflict of interest policies set forth in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.

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Overboarding Policy

In September 2019, the Board revised its policy on outside directorships to further limit the number of public company boards other than the Board (“outside public company boards”) on which our directors may serve. In accordance with the revised policy, unless otherwise agreed by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, our directors may serve on outside public company boards as follows:

 

For non-employee directors, a maximum of three outside public company boards at any given time; and

 

For employee directors, a maximum of two outside public company boards at any given time.

In calculating the number of outside public company boards on which a director serves, simultaneous service on a board or committee of a public company parent and its substantially owned non-public subsidiary counts as service on a single public company board or committee. This policy is effective for each director upon such director’s nomination for election or re-election to the Board following the adoption of the revised policy.

Meetings of the Board

Meetings of the Board are scheduled in advance at least four times a year. Furthermore, additional Board meetings may be called upon appropriate notice at any time to address specific needs of the Company. Each director may propose the inclusion of items on the agenda, request the presence of, or a report by, any member of the Company’s management, or at any Board meeting raise subjects that are not on the agenda for that meeting. The Lead Independent Director reviews and approves the agenda in advance of each Board meeting. The meetings of the Board are typically hosted at the Company’s headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, but may be hosted at other locations or conducted by audio or video conference at the discretion of the Board. All 2020 Board meetings conducted after March 2020 were conducted via video conference rather than in-person in light of issued guidance from country, state and local health authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that imposed restrictions on travel and group gatherings.

Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings and at Annual General Meetings of Shareholders

Absent extenuating circumstances, directors are expected to prepare for, attend, and participate in all Board meetings and meetings of committees on which they serve, and all directors and director nominees are expected to attend the Company’s annual general meetings of shareholders. Attendance rates are taken into account by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee and the Board in connection with their assessments of current Board members for re-nomination as directors.

Each of the Company’s current directors attended more than 75% of the aggregate of all meetings of the Board and Board committee(s) on which he or she served that were held during the period in which he or she was a director or committee member, respectively. Each of the Company’s then-current directors attended the Company’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders.

Frequency and Format of Board Meetings

Our Board held four regularly-scheduled meetings and one additional meeting during 2020. In addition, in recognition of evolving demands on the Company in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Board’s oversight of such response and other matters of importance to the Company, we also conducted monthly (and more frequently as needed) Board update calls in 2020 to keep the Board informed and in regular communication with management.

Executive Sessions of Independent Directors and Non-Employee Directors

The Board’s policy is to hold executive sessions of the non-employee directors of the Board (consisting of all directors other than Mr. Pops) following each regularly scheduled in-person Board meeting. The Lead Independent Director is responsible for chairing such sessions. Executive sessions of the non-employee directors were held following each regularly-scheduled Board meeting during 2020. From time to time, as the Board deems appropriate, the Board also holds meetings of the independent directors of the Board, consisting of all directors other than Mr. Pops and Mr. Cooke.

Action by Written Consent

In accordance with our Articles of Association, the Board may, from time to time, take action by unanimous written consent in lieu of a meeting. The Board took one action by written consent in 2020.

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Director Orientation and Continuing Education

Directors are expected to stay abreast of the Company’s strategic plans, its key policies and practices, and industry trends. The Company’s Chief Legal Officer and Chief Financial Officer are responsible for assuring the orientation of new directors, and for periodically providing materials or briefing sessions for all directors on subjects that would assist them in exercising their duties. The Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee regularly reviews potential educational topics for the Board and provides its recommendation to the Board as to whether additional educational measures are appropriate. The Company provides opportunities for directors to visit Company facilities and engage with leadership teams in different functional areas of the Company in order to provide greater understanding of the Company’s business and operations.

Shareholder Communications with the Board

Generally, shareholders who have suggestions, comments or inquiries should contact our investor relations team at investor_relations@alkermes.com. However, our Board believes that shareholders should have an opportunity to communicate with the Board directly as well. Shareholders interested in communicating with the Board or an individual director or directors (including our Chairman and our Lead Independent Director) may do so by sending written communication by mail (including courier or expedited delivery service) to Alkermes plc, Connaught House, 1 Burlington Road, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 C5Y6, or by facsimile to + 353 1 772-8001, in each case to the attention of either the Chairman of the Board or the individual director(s), as applicable. Each communication should set forth the name and address of the shareholder as it appears on the records of our transfer agent, Computershare Trust Company, N.A. (and, if the shares are held by a bank, broker or other nominee, the name and address of the beneficial owner of the shares), and the number of our shares that are owned by the shareholder of record or beneficially owned by the beneficial owner, as applicable. The Company will forward any such shareholder communications to the Chairman of the Board, as a representative of the Board, and/or to the individual director(s) to whom the communication is addressed, by certified mail to an address specified by the applicable director and/or the Chairman of the Board for such purposes or by secure electronic transmission.

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Director Compensation

 

Directors who are full-time employees of the Company do not receive additional compensation for Board membership over and above their regular employee compensation.

Non-Employee Director Compensation Program

Our non-employee director compensation program is intended to be competitive and fair, and is designed to attract and retain optimal talent and expertise on our Board and provide compensation commensurate with the time and effort that our directors are required to devote to the Company given the size and complexity of our operations and the Board’s significant oversight and advisory responsibilities.

The Compensation Committee is responsible for evaluating and recommending to the Board for its approval an annual non-employee director compensation program. In this context, the Compensation Committee annually reviews and evaluates, in consultation with its independent compensation consultant, recent trends in director compensation, corporate governance best practices related to director compensation, and comparable market data for director compensation, including data from the same peer group that we use for executive compensation purposes. The Compensation Committee makes its recommendations to the Board based on such review and evaluation. The Board retains the ultimate authority to determine the form and amount of director compensation. It is the general philosophy of the Board that non-employee director compensation should be a mix of cash and equity-based compensation. No perquisites are provided to our non-employee directors.

Annual Cash Retainers

Each non-employee director receives an annual cash retainer for his or her service on the Board, as well as an additional annual cash retainer if he or she serves on a standing committee of the Board or as the chair of a standing committee of the Board. Our non-employee directors also receive an additional fee for attendance at each meeting of the full Board in excess of a pre-determined number of meetings each year as set forth below. For purposes of our director compensation program, each “year” refers to the approximately 12-month period between our annual general meetings of shareholders.

No changes to retainer fee amounts in 2020. In May 2020, following review of our annual cash retainers approved in May 2019, and determination that such cash compensation was aligned, and competitive, with our peer group companies, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board that no changes be made to the annual retainer amounts for the following year. The Board subsequently approved this recommendation, resulting in the following annual retainers for our non-employee directors’ service on the Board and the standing committees of the Board for the following year, each paid pro-rata on a quarterly basis:

 

Service

 

Retainer Fee

 

Board Member

 

 

$  74,000*

 

Audit and Risk Committee Chair

 

 

$  25,000

 

Audit and Risk Committee Member

 

 

$  15,000

 

Compensation Committee Chair

 

 

$  25,000

 

Compensation Committee Member

 

 

$  15,000

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Chair

 

 

$  18,000

 

Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Member

 

 

$  10,000

 

* This amount includes compensation for attendance at the first five regularly-scheduled Board meetings held each year. Each non-employee director receives an additional fee of $3,500 for his or her in-person attendance at any regularly-scheduled Board meeting in excess of the fifth regularly-scheduled Board meeting occurring in such year.

In 2020, in recognition of evolving demands on the Company in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other matters of importance to the Company, we also conducted monthly (and more frequently as needed) Board update calls to keep the Board informed and in regular communication with management. None of the directors received any additional compensation for participation in such calls.

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Equity Compensation

Each non-employee director is also granted equity for his or her Board service, in the form of an annual award (the “Annual Grant”) that is typically granted to all continuing non-employee directors on the date of the Company’s annual general meeting of shareholders each year, following the election of directors at such meeting. Each newly appointed non-employee director who joins the Board after the annual general meeting of shareholders is granted a prorated portion of the Annual Grant, typically granted to such director on the date of the first regularly-scheduled Board meeting attended by such director, with the value of the award prorated to reflect the number of regularly-scheduled Board meetings remaining until the next annual general meeting of shareholders (including the then-current meeting), divided by the total number of regularly-scheduled Board meetings during such year (each such grant, a “Pro-Rata Annual Grant”). In addition, each newly appointed non-employee director is granted an initial award for joining the Board (each, a “New Director Grant”), typically granted to such director on the date of the first regularly scheduled Board meeting attended by such director, with an award value equal to 1.5 times the approved award value of the Annual Grant.

Vesting terms. Per our non-employee director equity grant procedures, Annual Grants and Pro-Rata Annual Grants vest in full on the one-year anniversary of the applicable grant date, and New Director Grants vest in three equal annual installments, commencing on the one-year anniversary of the grant date.

No changes to award values in 2020.  Each year, at or prior to the Company’s annual general meeting of shareholders, the Compensation Committee recommends to the Board for its approval equity award values and terms for the Annual Grant and any New Director Grant for such year. In May 2020, following review of our 2019 target equity compensation value of $375,000 for the Annual Grant and $562,500 for the New Director Grant and determination that such equity compensation values were aligned to and competitive with our peer group companies, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board that no changes be made to the non-employee director equity award values for 2020. The Board subsequently approved this recommendation.

Changes to grant timing due to COVID-19.  In light of the uncertainty in May 2020 regarding the extent of the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic would have on macroeconomic market conditions and on the Company’s business, the Compensation Committee recommended to the Board, and the Board approved, division of the Annual Grant for 2020 into two separate grants, the first of which was granted on the date of the Company’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders (the typical date for the Annual Grant) and equaled 50% of the total approved value of the Annual Grant, and the second of which was to be delayed until the fourth quarter of 2020 and was to equal up to the remaining 50% of the total approved value of the Annual Grant, subject to downward adjustment at the Compensation Committee’s discretion if the Compensation Committee determined that the Company’s circumstances at such time warranted any reduction to the approved value. In December 2020, based on the recommendation of the Compensation Committee’s independent compensation consultant and the Compensation Committee’s assessment of the Company’s circumstances, the Compensation Committee recommended, and the Board approved, the grant of the second portion of the Annual Grant, with an award value equal to the full remaining 50% of the total approved value of the Annual Grant.

Equity mix and share number calculation methodology.  Both the May 2020 and the December 2020 portions of the Annual Grant consisted of 50% restricted stock unit awards and 50% stock options, with the number of shares underlying each restricted stock unit award calculated utilizing a 30-day trading average ending 21 days before the date of applicable grant (the “Average Share Price”), and the number of shares underlying each stock option calculated utilizing the Average Share Price and the Black-Scholes valuation model.

Our non-employee directors are not granted any equity other than the Annual Grant (or Pro-Rata Annual Grant, as applicable) each year and a one-time New Director Grant upon joining the Board. For a description of our share ownership and holding guidelines for our directors, see the section entitled “Share Ownership and Holding Guidelines” on page 93 on this proxy statement.

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Reimbursement of Expenses and Insurance

We reimburse each non-employee director for necessary business expenses incurred in the performance of his or her Board service and extend coverage to each non-employee director under our travel accident and directors’ and officers’ indemnity insurance policies.

Conflicts of Interest

Independent directors do not receive consulting, advisory or other compensatory fees from the Company if the receipt of such fees would result in disqualifying the director as an “independent” director in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Nasdaq Rules and the Exchange Act and the rules promulgated thereunder. To the extent practicable or required by applicable rule or regulation, independent directors who are affiliated with the Company’s service providers, partners or collaborators will undertake to ensure that their compensation from such providers, partners or collaborators does not include amounts connected to payments by the Company.

2020 Director Compensation Table

Each of David W. Anstice AO, Robert A. Breyer, Shane M. Cooke, Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D., Richard B. Gaynor, M.D., Paul J. Mitchell, Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D., Frank Anders Wilson and Nancy J. Wysenski served as non-employee directors during all of 2020. David A. Daglio, Jr. and Brian P. McKeon were appointed to the Board on December 9, 2020 and served as non-employee directors from such date through the end of 2020.

Richard F. Pops, our CEO, became Chairman of the Board on September 16, 2011 and was an employee during all of 2020. As an employee, Mr. Pops does not receive cash or equity compensation for his service on the Board.

The following table presents and summarizes the compensation of our non-employee directors for service during 2020.

 

 

 

Fees

Earned

or Paid

in Cash

 

 

Stock

Awards

 

 

Option

Awards

 

 

Total

 

Name

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)

 

 

($)*

 

(a)

 

(b)(1)

 

 

(c)(2)

 

 

(d)(3)(4)

 

 

(h)

 

David W. Anstice AO

 

 

99,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

513,060

 

Robert A. Breyer

 

 

99,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

513,060

 

Shane M. Cooke

 

 

74,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

488,060

 

David A. Daglio, Jr.

 

 

4,223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,223

 

Wendy L. Dixon, Ph.D.

 

 

92,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

506,060

 

Richard B. Gaynor, M.D.

 

 

80,500

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

494,560

 

Brian P. McKeon

 

 

4,223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,223

 

Paul J. Mitchell

 

 

114,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

528,060

 

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

 

 

99,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

513,060

 

Frank Anders Wilson

 

 

80,500

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

494,560

 

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

 

89,000

 

 

 

207,830

 

 

 

206,229

 

 

 

503,060

 

 

* Numbers may not sum due to rounding.

Notes to Director Compensation Table

(1)

The amounts in column (b) represent fees earned by our non-employee directors during 2020 for services as a director, including annual cash retainer fees for service on the Board and additional cash retainer fees for service on a standing committee of the Board or for service as a chair of a standing committee of the Board. The annual cash retainer fees for service on the Board for Messrs. Daglio and McKeon were prorated based on the date of their appointment to the Board.

(2)

The amounts in column (c) reflect the aggregate grant date fair value of restricted stock unit awards granted in 2020, excluding estimates of forfeitures, if any, as computed in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718—Stock

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Compensation, or ASC 718. Each then-current non-employee director was granted a restricted stock unit award in the amount of 6,104 shares on May 20, 2020, which had a grant date fair value of $16.85 per share, and a restricted stock unit award in the amount of 5,578 shares on December 2, 2020, which had a grant date fair value of $18.82 per share. All of these restricted stock unit awards were granted under the Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended (the “2018 Plan”) and vest in full one year from the date of grant, or earlier upon termination of a director’s service relationship with the Company. Each of our non-employee directors, with the exception of Messrs. Daglio and McKeon, held outstanding restricted stock unit awards as of December 31, 2020 for an aggregate of 11,682 ordinary shares; Messrs. Daglio and McKeon did not hold any outstanding restricted stock unit awards as of December 31, 2020.

(3)

The amounts in column (d) reflect the aggregate grant date fair value of stock options granted during 2020, as computed in accordance with ASC 718. Each then-current non-employee director was granted a non-qualified stock option to purchase 12,823 ordinary shares on May 20, 2020, which had an estimated grant date fair value of $8.04 per share, and a non-qualified stock option to purchase 11,509 ordinary shares on December 2, 2020, which had an estimated grant date fair value of $8.96 per share. All of these stock options were granted under the 2018 Plan, vest in full one year from the date of grant or earlier upon termination of a director’s service relationship with the Company, and expire upon the earlier of ten years from the date of grant or three years following termination of a director’s service relationship with the Company. There can be no assurance that the stock options will be exercised or that the value realized upon their exercise will equal their grant date fair value.

(4)

Assumptions used in the calculation of the fair value of the option awards granted on May 20, 2020 are as follows: option exercise price, $16.85; expected term, 6.1 years; volatility, 51%; interest rate, 0.45%; dividend yield, zero. Assumptions used in the calculation of the fair value of the option awards granted on December 2, 2020 are as follows: option exercise price, $18.82; expected term, 6.2 years; volatility, 50%; interest rate, 0.59%; dividend yield, zero. Our non-employee directors each held outstanding stock options as of December 31, 2020 for the following aggregate number of ordinary shares: Mr. Anstice, 216,032 shares; Mr. Breyer, 211,432 shares; Mr. Cooke, 481,607 shares; Mr. Daglio, 0 shares; Dr. Dixon, 251,032 shares; Dr. Gaynor, 97,332 shares; Mr. McKeon, 0 shares; Mr. Mitchell, 216,032 shares; Dr. Snyderman, 122,032 shares; Mr. Wilson, 97,332 shares; and Ms. Wysenski, 207,282 shares.

 

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Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

 

We are committed to the integration of ESG considerations in the operation of our business. Our recently published Corporate Responsibility Report highlights:

 

our employee wellness and career development activities;

 

our health, safety and environmental accomplishments;

 

our investment in, and engagement with, the communities in which we work; and

 

certain actions that we have taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report is available on the Responsibility section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

We actively engage with our stakeholders, including our shareholders, employees, customers, vendors, patients and their caregivers, policy makers and members of the communities in which we live and work, to understand the ESG matters of interest to them. Feedback received from our stakeholders on these topics is communicated to our management team and to the Board, as appropriate.

Human Capital Management

Corporate Culture and Employee Development

We strive to foster and maintain a culture that embodies collaboration, respect for all, an emphasis on diversity, inclusion and belonging, and an unwavering commitment to, and passion for, our work.

The expertise, intelligence, and creativity of our employees drive our innovation, and their passion and commitment to excellence are the cornerstone of our success. We are committed to supporting our employees’ well-being in a transparent, inclusive, and collaborative environment, and providing them with the training, support and resources they need to succeed. In 2020, we conducted over 200 training sessions across our locations and remotely, including with our U.S.-based field sales force, on topics such as performance management, problem solving, leadership development, communication and mentorship.

Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging

We recognize that diversity, inclusion and belonging must be at the heart of all that we do and are key drivers of our success as an organization. In 2019, we created a global Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Steering Committee, comprised of representatives from all of our locations, including our field-based employees, and a variety of functional areas, to create connections, foster conversations and celebrate our diverse workforce by developing and advancing practices, tools and resources that can be used to strengthen the sense of belonging among our employee base.

The events of 2020 intensified our focus on the importance of social and racial justice, diversity and inclusion. We held company-wide town hall conversations on race and other social justice topics, sponsored recognition events and enhanced our diversity education and training offerings.

We also launched three employee resource groups: Mosaic, a multicultural network; Pride@ Work, an LGBTQ+ and ally network; and Women Inspired Network (WIN), a women’s network. Each employee-led resource group shares a common purpose of supporting and enhancing the inclusiveness of our company culture and providing opportunities for professional development, networking and building deeper connections within Alkermes based on cross-functional employee involvement.

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Employee Engagement

We encourage active employee engagement to ensure that employees feel part of our mission and that they have a voice in the Alkermes community. Since 2017, we have conducted annual employee engagement surveys to understand employee sentiment regarding, and satisfaction with, their work and experience at the Company, and we have used, and will continue to use, the data collected to help inform our human capital management strategy.

Health, Safety and Wellness

Our culture is one of collaboration, compliance and trust. We ask our employees to help us promote and provide workplace environments that are safe and protective of the health and well-being of our people and in compliance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. We maintain extensive Environmental Health, Safety and Security (“EHSS”) policies, adhere to all health and safety standards set by regulators in the locations in which we operate and routinely assess workplace risks, conduct employee trainings and monitor our sites to reduce the risk of workplace accidents.

In 2020, employee health, safety and wellness were of particular focus and importance for the Company. As a testament to our emphasis on the importance of wellness during this time, our sites in Ireland earned a KeepWell Markfrom the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, an evidence-based accreditation awarded to companies who meet or exceed industry standards for well-being, health and safety, and our newly-built site in Waltham, Massachusetts was awarded a Fitwel® certification in recognition of its facility design, which incorporates elements to support employee health and well-being.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

At Alkermes, our goal is to conduct our business activities in a manner that minimizes the environmental impacts of our operations and promotes effective stewardship of environmental resources. We are committed to complying with applicable laws, rules, and regulations and operating with the highest standards of conduct. All Alkermes facilities are subject to routine regulatory inspections in respect of EHSS to confirm compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We also go beyond compliance and strive to create a culture of environmental sustainability throughout the organization. We work collaboratively across stakeholder groups and business units to identify ways to reduce our environmental impact, mitigate risks and increase efficiencies. Through these efforts, which are discussed in detail in our Corporate Responsibility Report published in July 2020, we increased our waste recycling and reduced our energy usage per floor area.  

Product Quality and Patient Safety

Across our business, we strive to maintain an unwavering focus on product quality and safety. All Alkermes facilities are subject to routine regulatory inspections in respect of product quality and safety to confirm compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We have robust policies and procedures in place designed to promote safe and sustainable research, development, manufacture and commercialization of products, including a comprehensive quality management system that is designed to ensure that products we manufacture, store, test or distribute consistently meet applicable product specifications, safety and efficacy standards, “good practice” (i.e., GCP, GMP, GLP) quality guidelines and regulations and other regulatory requirements. We are also committed to ensuring the authenticity of our medicines and guarding against counterfeit products to safeguard patients and minimize risk in the marketplace for our products.

Expanded Access Program

We endeavor to make safe and effective medicines available to all appropriate patients. Prior to regulatory approval, participation in one of our clinical trials is the best way for patients to gain access to our investigational medicines. However, understanding that some patients facing serious or life-threatening conditions may not be able to participate in a clinical trial, we have established a program under which patients may be eligible to receive access to our investigational treatments outside the clinical trial context. Any requests for such early access must be made by a physician and are subject to a number of eligibility considerations. Additional details about this program can be found under the Research and Development section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

 

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Responsibility in Manufacturing and Supply Chain

We are committed to meeting our manufacturing objectives reliably and responsibly through the establishment and maintenance of a safe, sustainable, and ethical supply chain. Beyond our own facilities, we contract with a growing network of third-party manufacturers to formulate certain products and produce components of products or product packaging for clinical and commercial use. All service providers involved in the manufacture and packaging of our products are subject to inspection by the FDA or comparable agencies in other jurisdictions and we require that our contract manufacturers adhere to current Good Manufacturing Practices (“GMP”) in the manufacture of these products and components. All contract manufacturers and suppliers must undergo a pre-approval inspection by our quality personnel to assess their compliance with applicable standards and regulations prior to initiating work for Alkermes. Strategic supply chain partners are also subject to Alkermes EHSS standards and expectations.

Patient Engagement

We are inspired by the courage of individuals facing the unique challenges of living with serious mental illness, substance use disorder and cancer, and the perspectives of those affected by these conditions are paramount to our work. We work with these individuals and organizations that support them to better understand the complex system of care for these diseases, to integrate voices from the community into our business, and to achieve our common goal of improving outcomes for such patients and their caregivers. As part of these efforts, we also regularly engage with policymakers and leaders in the patient advocacy community to help inform our own policy and advocacy activities.

Social Responsibility and Community Impact

Beyond our employees, we are committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work. We support research and advocacy efforts to raise awareness of patient needs and to increase access to medicines and other forms of treatment in support of patient health and well-being. Since 2017, we have proudly supported not-for-profit organizations and independent researchers working in the areas of substance use disorders and serious mental health through our ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS® initiative, our ALKERMES PATHWAYS RESEARCH AWARDS® program and our investigator-sponsored studies program.

In 2020, the Company established a COVID-19 Relief Fund, a special edition of the ALKERMES INSPIRATION GRANTS program, and awarded grants to 10 nonprofit organizations to assist in their work to rapidly address pandemic-related needs for people living with addiction, serious mental illness or cancer.

Hundreds of our employees volunteer each year as part of our employee-founded volunteer programs. In 2020, we adapted our ALKERMES IN ACTION volunteer program to make it entirely virtual, and our employees dedicated more than 400 volunteer hours to local organizations focused on education, caring for veterans, and providing for children and families in need.

 

 

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Our Response to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our main priorities have been, and continue to be, to protect the safety and health of our employees and to help ensure that healthcare providers and patients have uninterrupted access to our marketed products for people living with addiction and serious mental illness. We have adapted our business practices in innovative ways so that we can continue to operate safely and meet our public health responsibilities, which have become even more pronounced during this challenging time.

Supporting Employees: Following the emergence of the pandemic, we quickly took a series of precautionary measures to protect and support our employees, including: adopted work from home and virtual engagement policies for those who can do their jobs remotely; reconfigured our workspaces and instituted new health, sanitization and safety protocols for those performing essential tasks on-site in our laboratories and manufacturing facilities; established virtual touchpoints through global employee town halls, employee surveys, and other communication channels to keep employees informed and engaged; and expanded access to our in-home childcare benefit. As the pandemic has continued to evolve, we have engaged in ongoing assessments and adaptions to our policies and practices, including: developing protocols for safe in-person interactions for our commercial sales force; establishing travel guidelines with associated testing and quarantine protocols; and encouraging ergonomic assessments and tools for those employees who continue to work remotely.

Supporting Patients: In these challenging and uncertain times, it is as important as ever that we support people living with opioid dependence, alcohol dependence and schizophrenia to help assure that they have access to the information, resources and medicines that may help them. In order to support patient access to our proprietary medicines in the face of closures and other changes in healthcare provider practices, we mobilized to expand our injection site network to include additional appropriate retail pharmacies and clinics where patients can receive injections of ARISTADA, ARISTADA INITIO® and VIVITROL.

Supporting Ongoing Research and Development: We interacted closely with the clinical trial sites for our ongoing studies to develop new approaches to support continuity of care for participating patients and identified additional ways to streamline study visits and enhance data collection to further reduce the burden on patients and the clinical trial sites during this time. We also leveraged these learnings to develop innovative ways to launch new clinical trials while COVID-19-related restrictions persist.

Supporting our Communities: Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced significant and critical challenges to the local communities in which we live and work, we expanded our established corporate giving programs to add financial support for local organizations, including food and care programs for children and the elderly, and donations of personal protective equipment and medical supplies to organizations that work with healthcare facilities in both the U.S. and Ireland. We also sponsored a virtual volunteer day for employees to engage in activities to support our local communities during the winter holiday season.

 

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PROPOSAL 2

 

NON-BINDING ADVISORY VOTE ON THE COMPENSATION OF THE COMPANY’S NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

(Ordinary resolution)

Our Compensation Discussion and Analysis, which begins on page 70 of this proxy statement, describes our executive compensation program and the compensation decisions that the Compensation Committee made with respect to the compensation of our named executive officers for 2020. This vote is not intended to address any specific item of compensation, but rather the overall compensation of our named executive officers and the philosophy, policies and practices described in this proxy statement. As required pursuant to Section 14A of the Exchange Act, our Board is asking that our shareholders cast a non-binding, advisory vote FOR the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the Company’s shareholders approve, on a non-binding, advisory basis, the compensation paid to the Company’s named executive officers, as disclosed in this proxy statement pursuant to Item 402 of Regulation S-K, including the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, and related compensation tables and narrative discussion.”

Non-Binding, Advisory Vote. Our Board is asking that shareholders support this Proposal 2. This proposal is advisory and non-binding; as an ordinary resolution, approval of this proposal requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the votes cast by shareholders in person or by proxy. Although the vote you are being asked to cast is advisory, and therefore non-binding, we value the views of our shareholders and the Compensation Committee will consider the outcome of the vote when designing our compensation programs and making future compensation decisions for our named executive officers. Abstentions and broker non-votes will not have any effect on the results of those deliberations because they are not considered to be votes cast.

Say-on-Pay – 2019 Executive Compensation. In 2020, we submitted our 2019 executive compensation program to an advisory vote of our shareholders, and it received the support of approximately 70% of the votes cast at our 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders. We believe this improvement in level of support as compared to the lower level of support at our 2019 annual general meeting of shareholders is reflective of our shareholders’ acknowledgement of the meaningful changes that the Board and the Compensation Committee made to our executive compensation programs in 2019 and 2020. However, this level of shareholder support remained significantly lower than our historical levels of shareholder support for our say-on-pay proposals, including support of approximately 98% of the votes cast at our 2018 annual general meeting of shareholders, and average support of approximately 94% of the votes cast at our annual general meetings of shareholders from 2012 through 2017.

2020 Engagement and Responsiveness. Following the vote in 2020, we reached out to shareholders who collectively held over 75% of our outstanding shares to request engagement meetings, and held meetings with shareholders who collectively held over 65% of our outstanding shares. David Anstice, the Chair of our Compensation Committee and our Lead Independent Director, led the majority of these meetings, and feedback from these discussions was relayed to the Compensation Committee and the full Board, and discussed with management as appropriate. For information about our shareholder engagement and the Compensation Committee’s responsiveness to shareholder feedback related to executive compensation, see the section entitled “Shareholder Engagement and Board Responsiveness” beginning on page 71 of this proxy statement.

Enhancements to 2020 Executive Compensation Program. We made meaningful enhancements to our executive compensation program in 2020 to further align the interests of our CEO and other named executive officers with those of our shareholders. For additional information, see the section entitled “Executive Compensation—Compensation Discussion and Analysis” beginning on page 70 of this proxy statement.

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the advisory approval of our executive compensation.

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PROPOSAL 3

 

NON-BINDING RATIFICATION OF APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT AUDITOR

AND ACCOUNTING FIRM AND BINDING AUTHORIZATION OF AUDIT AND RISK COMMITTEE

TO SET INDEPENDENT AUDITOR AND ACCOUNTING FIRM’S REMUNERATION

(Ordinary resolution)

PwC served as our independent auditor and accounting firm for 2020. The Audit and Risk Committee reviewed and discussed the performance of PwC as the Company’s independent auditor and accounting firm for 2020 and, following such review and discussion, has retained PwC to serve as the Company’s independent auditor and accounting firm for 2021. Although we are not required to submit the appointment of PwC for shareholder approval, as a matter of good corporate governance, the Board has determined, upon the recommendation of the Audit and Risk Committee, to submit the selection of PwC for ratification by the Company’s shareholders and to ask that the Company’s shareholders authorize the Audit and Risk Committee to set the independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration. Even if the selection of PwC is ratified, the Audit and Risk Committee, in its discretion, may still select a different independent auditor and independent accounting firm at any time during the year if it determines that such a change would be in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders.

Majority Voting Standard. The resolution in respect of the authorization component of this Proposal 3 is an ordinary resolution that requires the affirmative vote of the majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy (meaning the number of shares voted “FOR” this Proposal 3 must exceed the number of shares voted “AGAINST” this Proposal 3). Abstentions will have no effect on the outcome of this Proposal 3 because they are not considered to be votes cast. As we consider this proposal to be “routine” under NYSE Rules, we do not expect any broker non-votes on this Proposal 3.

A representative of PwC is expected to attend the Annual Meeting and will be given the opportunity to make a statement, if he or she so desires, and to respond to appropriate questions.

The text of the resolution in respect of this Proposal 3 is as follows:

RESOLVED, to ratify, on a non-binding, advisory basis, the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the independent auditor and accounting firm of Alkermes plc and to authorize, in a binding vote, the Audit and Risk Committee to set such independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration.”

 

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the non-binding ratification of the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the Company’s independent auditor and accounting firm and the binding authorization of the Audit and Risk Committee to set the independent auditor and accounting firm’s remuneration.

 

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PROPOSAL 4

 

APPROVAL OF

ALKERMES PLC 2018 STOCK OPTION AND INCENTIVE PLAN, AS AMENDED

(Ordinary resolution)

Overview

Our Board is requesting shareholder approval of the Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended (the “2018 Plan”), as proposed to be further amended in accordance with this Proposal 4, to make the following material changes:

 

to increase the number of ordinary shares authorized for issuance thereunder by 8,000,000 new ordinary shares (subject to adjustment for stock splits, stock dividends and similar events); and

 

to increase the number of ordinary shares that may be awarded in the form of incentive stock options thereunder from 29,600,000 to 37,600,000 (subject to adjustment for stock splits, stock dividends and similar events).

The 2018 Plan, as proposed to be amended in accordance with this Proposal 4, is attached as Appendix A to this proxy statement and is incorporated herein by reference. For purposes of this Proposal 4, we refer to the 2018 Plan, as proposed to be amended in accordance with this Proposal 4, as the “Amended 2018 Plan.”

If this Proposal 4 is approved by our shareholders, the Amended 2018 Plan will become effective as of the date of the Annual Meeting. In the event that our shareholders do not approve this Proposal 4, the Amended 2018 Plan will not become effective and the 2018 Plan will continue to be effective in accordance with its terms.

Why do we believe our shareholders should approve the Amended 2018 Plan (including the increased number of shares authorized for issuance thereunder)?

1. We believe the size of our share reserve increase request is reasonable.

The size of our share reserve increase request for the Amended 2018 Plan is equal to 8,000,000 new ordinary shares (subject to adjustment for stock splits, stock dividends and similar events). We expect our request will provide us with sufficient ordinary shares to support approximately one year of equity awards at our current market value. Equity awards are key to attracting and retaining employees integral to the successful development of our clinical pipeline, the commercialization of our products and the accomplishment of transformative business transactions. Our compensation philosophy with respect to equity awards is to target around the 50th percentile by value of our comparable peer group, as determined using the Black-Scholes option pricing model and market prices for restricted stock unit awards, with the opportunity to increase or decrease the value of equity awards from the 50th percentile based upon performance. If our request is not approved, we do not expect to have sufficient ordinary shares to support our next round of annual equity awards at our current market value.

2. Equity awards are integral to our compensation program and to our success.

Equity awards, similar to those typically offered by our competitors, have been, and we believe will continue to be, an integral component of our overall compensation program, enabling us to attract qualified and skilled employees and directors, retain our existing employees, including our experienced management team, and provide incentives for our employees to exert maximum efforts for our success, ultimately contributing to an increase in shareholder value.

We have built, and continue to devote significant resources to further develop and enhance, a comprehensive cross-functional infrastructure designed to support product development from discovery through commercialization and lifecycle management. We are currently developing a pipeline of potential new proprietary products in the fields of neuroscience and oncology. We manufacture and commercialize

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VIVITROL for the treatment of alcohol dependence and opioid dependence, ARISTADA for the treatment of schizophrenia, and ARISTADA INITIO for initiation onto ARISTADA for the treatment of schizophrenia, and we are preparing for the potential launch of LYBALVI for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder, which, pending FDA approval, we intend to manufacture and commercialize. We also manufacture commercial products, incorporating our proprietary technologies under license, that are owned and commercialized by other biopharmaceutical companies and for which we receive manufacturing and/or royalty revenues.

We seek to attract, hire and retain qualified and highly skilled personnel with experience in areas such as R&D, including early discovery, translational medicine, formulation and clinical development capabilities; intellectual property prosecution, enforcement and defense; medical affairs; manufacturing operations; U.S. federal and state government affairs; sales and marketing; and market access, including managed markets, patient access services, and institutional sales. Competition for such personnel in our industry and the geographic regions in which we operate is intense, with numerous companies also developing, launching or marketing products, including products against which our products directly compete.

3. We manage our equity award use carefully.

We carefully and thoughtfully manage our equity award use, balancing attraction, retention and incentivization of our employees against dilution and burn rate considerations. As of the Record Date, our full dilution, which is calculated as (shares available for grant + shares subject to outstanding equity awards) / (shares outstanding + shares available for grant + shares subject to outstanding equity awards), is approximately 16.3%.

The following two tables provide certain additional information regarding our equity incentive program.

 

 

 

As of the

Record Date

 

Total number of ordinary shares subject to outstanding stock options

 

 

19,290,637

 

Weighted-average exercise price of outstanding stock options

 

$

33.42

 

Weighted-average remaining term of outstanding stock options

 

6.5 years

 

Total number of ordinary shares subject to outstanding full value awards(1)

 

 

8,199,707

 

Total number of ordinary shares available for grant under the 2018 Plan(2)

 

 

3,683,918

 

Total number of ordinary shares outstanding

 

 

160,197,676

 

Per-share closing price of ordinary shares as reported on Nasdaq

 

$

20.05

 

 

(1)

A “full value award” is an award other than a stock option or stock appreciation right.

(2)

As of the Record Date, there were no ordinary shares available for grant under any of our equity incentive plans other than the 2018 Plan.

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Adjusted Burn Rate (1)

 

 

6.79

%

 

 

6.03

%

 

 

3.63

%

Unadjusted Burn Rate (2)

 

 

4.59

%

 

 

4.23

%

 

 

2.55

%

 

(1)

Adjusted Burn Rate is calculated as: (shares subject to stock options granted + shares subject to time-vesting full value awards granted + shares subject to performance-vesting full value awards vested)/weighted average ordinary shares outstanding. For purposes of this calculation, shares subject to time-vesting full value awards granted and performance-vesting full value awards vested are increased by a 2.0x volatility multiplier for each of 2018-2020. However, the share reserve under the 2018 Plan is reduced by 1.8 ordinary shares for each ordinary share issued pursuant to a full value award.  

(2)

Unadjusted Burn Rate is calculated as: (shares subject to stock options granted + shares subject to time-vesting full value awards granted + shares subject to performance-vesting full value awards vested)/weighted average ordinary shares outstanding.

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The following table sets forth our historic use of equity in 2020, 2019 and 2018:  

 

 

 

Year

 

 

 

2020

 

 

2019

 

 

2018

 

Stock options granted

 

 

3,799,952

 

 

 

3,812,103

 

 

 

2,269,830

 

Time-vesting full value awards granted

 

 

3,494,759

 

 

 

2,826,092

 

 

 

1,367,710

 

Performance-vesting full value awards vested

 

 

 

 

1,614 (1)

 

 

311,913 (2)

 

Weighted average ordinary shares outstanding

 

 

158,802,915

 

 

 

157,051,071

 

 

 

155,111,945

 

 

(1)

Consists of performance-vesting restricted stock unit awards for which vesting was accelerated in 2019 pursuant to the terms of the applicable grants for certain of the Company’s former employees during the year.

(2)

Consists of 351 performance-vesting restricted stock unit awards for which vesting was accelerated in 2018 pursuant to the terms of the applicable grants for certain of the Company’s former employees during the year and 311,562 performance-vesting restricted stock unit awards that vested based on the Company’s achievement of one of the three performance criteria to which the performance-vesting restricted stock unit awards granted company-wide in February 2017 were subject.

Important Aspects of the Amended 2018 Plan Designed to Protect our Shareholders’ Interests

The Amended 2018 Plan contains certain provisions, including those set forth below, designed to protect our shareholders’ interests and reflect corporate governance best practices. The descriptions contained in this Proposal 4 of these provisions and of certain other features of the Amended 2018 Plan are intended to be summaries only and are qualified in their entirety by the full text of the Amended 2018 Plan attached hereto as Appendix A.

 

Shareholder approval is required for additional shares.  The Amended 2018 Plan does not contain an annual “evergreen” provision. Thus, shareholder approval is required each time we desire to increase the share reserve, allowing our shareholders the ability to have a say on our equity compensation programs.

 

Share counting provisions.  The share reserve under the Amended 2018 Plan is reduced by one ordinary share for each ordinary share issued pursuant to a stock option or stock appreciation right and by 1.8 ordinary shares for each ordinary share issued pursuant to a full value award. This helps to ensure that management and the Compensation Committee are using the share reserve effectively and with regard to the value of each type of equity award. The Amended 2018 Plan also prohibits liberal share recycling, which means that shares tendered or held back upon exercise of a stock option or stock appreciation right or settlement of an award to cover the exercise price or tax withholding for such option, right or award are not added back to the number of shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan.

 

Flexibility in designing equity compensation scheme.  The Amended 2018 Plan allows us to provide a broad array of equity incentives, including traditional option grants, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock awards, restricted stock unit awards, cash-based awards and performance share awards. By providing this flexibility, we are positioned to quickly and effectively react to trends in compensation practices and continue to offer competitive compensation arrangements to attract and retain the talent necessary for the success of our business.

 

No right to vote or receive dividends. Until shares are delivered in accordance with the Amended 2018 Plan, no right to vote or receive dividends or any other rights of a shareholder will exist with respect to shares to be issued in connection with equity awards.

 

No option or SAR repricing.  The Amended 2018 Plan explicitly prohibits repricing options and stock appreciation rights in any manner without shareholder approval, including cancelling awards in exchange for cash or for another award under the Amended 2018 Plan.

 

Minimum 1-year vesting requirement.  Under the Amended 2018 Plan, options and stock appreciation rights are not exercisable, and restricted stock awards and restricted stock unit awards do not vest, until at least one year from the grant date, and restricted stock awards and time-vesting restricted stock unit awards cannot fully vest until at least three years from the grant date.

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Equity Clawback.  Equity awards granted to our named executive officers under the Amended 2018 Plan are subject to our Clawback Policy, as in effect from time to time. A current copy of the Clawback Policy can be found on the Corporate Governance page of the Investors section of our website at www.alkermes.com.

Majority Voting Standard

The resolution in respect of this Proposal 4 is an ordinary resolution that requires the affirmative vote of the majority of the votes cast in person or by proxy (meaning the number of shares voted “FOR” this Proposal 4 must exceed the number of shares voted “AGAINST” this Proposal 4). Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the outcome of this Proposal 4 because they are not considered to be votes cast.

The text of the resolution in respect of this Proposal 4 is as follows:

“RESOLVED, that the Alkermes plc 2018 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended, be APPROVED.”

 

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR Approval of the Amended 2018 Plan.

 

 

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Principal Features of the Amended 2018 Plan

The material features of the Amended 2018 Plan are as set forth below:

 

The Amended 2018 Plan will be administered by either the Compensation Committee or by a similar committee performing the functions of the Compensation Committee and which is comprised of not less than two independent, non-employee directors (in either case, the “Administrator”). The Administrator, in its discretion, may grant a variety of incentive awards based on our ordinary shares. The Administrator may delegate its authority and duties with respect to the granting of awards to a subcommittee of one or more members of the Board.

 

The award of stock options (both incentive and non-qualified stock options), stock appreciation rights, restricted stock unit awards, restricted stock awards, cash-based awards and performance share awards is permitted.

 

For purposes of determining the number of our ordinary shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan, (a) the grant of any full value award (i.e., an award other than a stock option or stock appreciation right) is deemed as an award of 1.8 ordinary shares for each such ordinary share actually subject to the award and shall be treated similarly if added back to the number of shares available for issuance when forfeited or canceled under the Amended 2018 Plan, (b) the grant of a stock option or stock appreciation right is deemed as an award of one ordinary share for each such ordinary share actually subject to the award and shall be treated similarly if added back to the number of shares available for issuance when forfeited or canceled under the Amended 2018 Plan, (c) any Prior Plans Returning Share (as defined in the Amended 2018 Plan and described below) subject to a full value award shall be added to the number of shares available for issuance as 1.8 ordinary shares, and (d) any Prior Plans Returning Share subject to a stock option or stock appreciation right shall be added to the number of shares available for issuance as one ordinary share. The term “Prior Plans Returning Share” generally means any ordinary share underlying any outstanding award granted under the Alkermes plc 2011 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended (the “2011 Plan”) or the Alkermes plc Amended and Restated 2008 Stock Option and Incentive Plan, as amended, in each case that, from and after May 20, 2020 (the date of the Company’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders), was or is forfeited, canceled, repurchased or otherwise terminated (other than by exercise).

 

Our Board may at any time amend or discontinue the Amended 2018 Plan, and the Administrator may at any time amend or cancel any outstanding award for the purpose of satisfying changes in the law or for any other lawful purpose. However, no such action may adversely affect any rights under any outstanding award without the award holder’s consent. Additionally, no option or stock appreciation right may be repriced in any manner without shareholder approval. Amendments to the Amended 2018 Plan will be subject to approval by our shareholders to the extent required under the rules of any securities exchange or market system on which our ordinary shares are listed or any other applicable rules. Amendments shall also be subject to approval by our shareholders if and to the extent such approval is determined by the Administrator to be required by the Code in order to preserve the qualified status of incentive stock options.

The maximum number of ordinary shares that may be issued under the Amended 2018 Plan is equal to the sum of the following (subject to adjustment for stock splits, stock dividends and similar events): (i) 27,600,000 ordinary shares; (ii) 1,199,965 ordinary shares, which is the number of 2011 Plan Available Shares (as defined in the 2018 Amended Plan and described below); and (iii) the Prior Plans Returning Shares, as such shares become available from time to time. For purposes of this limitation, shares underlying any awards granted under the Amended 2018 Plan that are forfeited, canceled, repurchased or otherwise terminated (other than by exercise) will be added back to the number of shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan. Shares tendered or held back upon exercise of an option or stock appreciation right or settlement of an award to cover the exercise price or tax withholding for such option, right or award are not added back to the number of shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan. Shares purchased in the open market with proceeds from the exercise of options or stock appreciation rights will not be added to the number of shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan. In addition, in the event that a stock appreciation right is settled in shares, the gross number of shares subject to the stock appreciation right will be deducted from the number of shares available for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan. The shares issued under the Amended 2018 Plan may be issued from treasury or otherwise.

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The term “2011 Plan Available Shares” generally means the number of ordinary shares that remained available for grant under the 2011 Plan as of May 20, 2020 (the date of the Company’s 2020 annual general meeting of shareholders), which ordinary shares ceased to be available for grant under the 2011 Plan (and became available for issuance pursuant to Awards under the 2018 Plan) as of such date.

Summary of the Amended 2018 Plan

Plan Administration.  The Administrator has full power to select, from among the individuals eligible for awards, the individuals to whom awards will be granted, to make any combination of awards to participants, and to determine the specific terms and conditions of each award, subject to the provisions of the Amended 2018 Plan. The Administrator may also determine and modify the terms and conditions, including restrictions, not inconsistent with the terms of the Amended 2018 Plan, of any award and accelerate the exercisability or vesting of all or any portion of any award, except that within the minimum vesting periods described below, vesting may be accelerated only in the case of a grantee’s death, disability or retirement or upon a Sale Event (as defined in the Amended 2018 Plan). The Administrator may also delegate to a subcommittee comprised of one or more members of the Board all or part of the Administrator’s authority and duties with respect to the granting of awards to employees who are not subject to the reporting and other provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Any such delegation by the Administrator shall include a limitation as to the amount of awards that may be granted during the period of the delegation and shall contain guidelines as to the determination of the exercise price, if applicable, and the vesting criteria.

Eligibility and Limitations on Grants.  Persons eligible to participate in the Amended 2018 Plan will be those officers, employees, non-employee directors and consultants of the Company and its subsidiaries as selected from time to time by the Administrator. The intention in making awards to eligible persons under the Amended 2018 Plan will be to align the compensation of these individuals over a multi-year period directly with the interests of our shareholders and serve as a tool in the recruiting and retention of these individuals. As of the Record Date, we (including our subsidiaries) had approximately 2,230 employees (including officers), 11 non-employee directors, and approximately 600 consultants. The maximum number of ordinary shares that can be awarded in the form of incentive stock options under the Amended 2018 Plan will not exceed 37,600,000 shares (subject to adjustment for stock splits, stock dividends and similar events).

Stock Options and Stock Appreciation Rights. The Amended 2018 Plan permits the granting of (1) stock options intended to qualify as incentive stock options under Section 422 of the Code, (2) stock options that do not so qualify and (3) stock appreciation rights. Options granted under the Amended 2018 Plan will be non-qualified options if they fail to qualify as incentive stock options or exceed the annual limit on incentive stock options. Non-qualified options and stock appreciation rights may be granted to any persons eligible to receive incentive stock options and to non-employee directors and consultants. The exercise price of each option and stock appreciation right will be determined by the Administrator but will not be less than 100% of the fair market value of our ordinary shares on the date of grant; provided, however, that for any incentive stock option granted to an employee who, at the time of grant, owns or is deemed to own shares possessing more than 10% of our total combined voting power or that of any subsidiary (a “10% Owner”), such exercise price will not be less than 110% of the fair market value of our ordinary shares on the date of grant.

The term of each option and stock appreciation right will be fixed by the Administrator and will not exceed ten years from the date of grant; provided, however, that for any incentive stock option granted to a 10% Owner, such term will not exceed five years from the date of grant. Options and stock appreciation rights may be subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Administrator may determine. These conditions and restrictions may include the achievement of certain performance goals and/or continued employment with the Company through a specified vesting period. The Administrator will determine at what time or times each option and stock appreciation right may be exercised. Options and stock appreciation rights may be made exercisable in installments, provided they shall not be exercisable for a period of at least one year from the date of grant. Options and stock appreciation rights may be exercised in whole or in part with written or electronic notice to the Company’s delegate. Upon exercise of non-qualified stock options, unless otherwise determined by the Administrator, the purchase price must be paid through a net reduction in the number of ordinary shares issuable upon such exercise, based on the fair market value of our ordinary shares on the date of exercise. Upon exercise of incentive stock options and those non-qualified options for which the Administrator elects not to utilize the above payment method, the option exercise price may be paid in full

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either in cash, by certified check, bank check or other instrument acceptable to the Administrator or by delivery (or attestation to the ownership) of ordinary shares that are beneficially owned by the optionee based on the fair market value of our ordinary shares on the date of exercise or, subject to applicable law, by delivery to the Company of an exercise notice together with irrevocable instructions to a broker to promptly deliver cash or a check payable to the Company for the purchase price. The appreciation distribution payable on the exercise of a stock appreciation right will be not greater than an amount equal to the excess of (i) the fair market value (on the date of exercise) of a number of shares equal to the number of share equivalents being exercised under the stock appreciation right, over (ii) the exercise price of such share equivalents. The appreciation distribution may be paid in ordinary shares, in cash, in any combination of the two or in any other form of consideration determined by the Administrator and set forth in the award agreement.

To qualify as incentive stock options, options must meet additional U.S. federal tax requirements, including a $100,000 limit on the value of our ordinary shares subject to incentive stock options that first become exercisable by a participant in any one calendar year.

Restricted Stock Unit Awards.  The Administrator may award stock units as restricted stock unit awards to participants. Restricted stock unit awards are ultimately payable in the form of ordinary shares and may be subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Administrator may determine, subject to a mandatory minimum period of one year from the date of grant before any such award vests. These conditions and restrictions may include the achievement of certain performance goals and/or continued employment with the Company through a specified vesting period. Awards with time-based restrictions are subject to a mandatory minimum period of three years from the date of grant before such award vests in its entirety, provided that after twelve months, the vesting of such award can occur incrementally over the three-year period. To the extent a restricted stock unit award is subject to Section 409A of the Code (“Section 409A”), it may contain such additional terms and conditions as the Administrator shall determine in order for such award to comply with the requirements of Section 409A.

The Administrator, in its sole discretion, may permit a grantee to elect to receive a portion of future cash compensation otherwise due to such grantee in the form of a restricted stock unit award. Any such election shall be made in writing and shall be delivered to the Company no later than the date specified by the Administrator and in accordance with Section 409A and such other rules and procedures established by the Administrator. Any such future cash compensation that the grantee elects to defer shall be converted to a fixed number of phantom stock units (which may be fully vested) based on the fair market value of our ordinary shares on the date the compensation would otherwise have been paid to the grantee if such payment had not been deferred.

Restricted Stock.  The Administrator may award ordinary shares as restricted stock to participants, subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Administrator may determine, subject to a mandatory minimum period of one year from the date of grant before any such award vests. These conditions and restrictions may include the achievement of certain performance goals and/or continued employment with us through a specified restricted period. Awards with time-based restrictions are subject to a mandatory minimum period of three years from the date of grant before such award vests in its entirety, provided that after twelve months, the vesting of such award can occur incrementally over the three-year period.

Cash-Based Awards.  Each cash-based award shall specify a cash-denominated payment amount, formula or payment ranges as determined by the Administrator. Payment, if any, with respect to a cash-based award may be made in cash or in ordinary shares, as the Administrator determines. Except as may otherwise be provided by the Administrator, a grantee’s right in all cash-based awards that have not vested shall automatically terminate upon the grantee’s termination of employment (or cessation of service relationship) with the Company and its subsidiaries for any reason (including if a subsidiary ceases to be a subsidiary of the Company).

Performance Share Awards.  The Administrator may grant performance share awards independent of, or in connection with, the granting of other awards under the Amended 2018 Plan. The Administrator, in its sole discretion, determines whether and to whom performance share awards will be granted, the performance goals subject to the award, the period during which performance is to be measured, which will not be less than one year, and such other conditions as the Administrator shall determine. Upon the attainment of the performance goal, the grantee is entitled to receive ordinary shares.

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Performance-Based Awards.  The Administrator may grant performance-based awards under the Amended 2018 Plan (consisting of restricted stock awards, restricted stock unit awards, cash-based awards or performance share awards) that are payable upon the attainment of performance goals established by the Administrator. The Administrator will define the manner of calculating the performance criteria it selects to use for any performance goals, which may be expressed in terms of overall performance of the Company or the performance of a subsidiary, division, business unit, or an individual. The performance criteria that may be used to establish such performance goals are the following: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, net income (loss) (either before or after interest, taxes, depreciation and/or amortization), changes in the market price of our ordinary shares, economic value-added, initiation or completion of clinical trials, results of clinical trials, drug development or commercialization milestones, collaboration milestones, operational measures including production capacity and capability, hiring and retention of key managers, expense management, capital raising transactions, sales or revenue, acquisitions or strategic transactions, operating income (loss), cash flow (including, but not limited to, operating cash flow and free cash flow), return on capital, assets, equity, or investment, stockholder returns, gross or net profit levels, operating margins, earnings (loss) per ordinary share, sales or market shares, and any other measures of performance selected by the Administrator, any of which may be measured either in absolute terms or as compared to any incremental increase or as compared to results of a peer group.

The Administrator may adjust or modify the calculation of any performance goals to make adjustments deemed appropriate by the Administrator, including but not limited to, in order to prevent the dilution or enlargement of the rights of an individual (i) in the event of, or in anticipation of, any unusual or extraordinary corporate item, transaction, event or development, (ii) in recognition of, or in anticipation of, any other unusual or nonrecurring events affecting the Company or its subsidiaries, or the financial statements of the Company or its subsidiaries, or (iii) in response to, or in anticipation of, changes in applicable laws, regulations, accounting principles, or business conditions.

Tax Withholding.  Participants in the Amended 2018 Plan are responsible for the payment of any U.S. federal, state or local taxes, and non-U.S. or other taxes that the Company is required by law to withhold upon any option or stock appreciation right exercise or vesting of other awards. The Company has the right to deduct any such taxes from any payment otherwise due to a grantee, including the right to reduce the number of ordinary shares otherwise required to be issued to the grantee in an amount that, on the date of issuance, would have a fair market value equal to all such taxes required to be withheld by the Company.

Change in Control Provisions.  Under the terms of the Amended 2018 Plan, the Administrator has the authority to determine the conditions under which any award under the Amended 2018 Plan will become exercisable in the event of a Sale Event at the time of grant of such award. Except to the extent the Administrator determines otherwise at the time of grant, the Amended 2018 Plan provides that all stock options and stock appreciation rights that are not exercisable immediately prior to the effective time of the Sale Event shall become fully exercisable as of the effective time of the Sale Event; all other awards with time-based vesting, conditions or restrictions shall become fully vested and nonforfeitable as of the effective time of the Sale Event; and all awards with conditions and restrictions relating to the attainment of performance goals may, in the Administrator’s discretion, become vested and nonforfeitable in connection with a Sale Event. In addition, in the event of a Sale Event in which the Company’s shareholders will receive cash consideration, the Company may make or provide for a cash payment to participants holding vested stock options or stock appreciation rights equal to the difference between the per share cash consideration and the exercise price of any vested stock option or stock appreciation right.

Shareholder Rights.  Until shares are delivered in accordance with the Amended 2018 Plan, no right to vote or receive dividends or any other rights of a shareholder will exist with respect to shares to be issued in connection with equity awards, notwithstanding the exercise of a stock option or stock appreciation right or any other action by the grantee with respect to an equity award.

Amendments and Termination.  Our Board may at any time amend or discontinue the Amended 2018 Plan, and the Administrator may at any time amend or cancel any outstanding award for the purpose of satisfying changes in the law or for any other lawful purpose. However, no such action may adversely affect any rights under any outstanding award without the award holder’s consent. Amendments will be subject to approval by our shareholders to the extent such approval is required under the rules of any securities exchange or market system on which our ordinary shares are listed or any other applicable rules.

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Amendments shall also be subject to approval by our shareholders if and to the extent such approval is determined by the Administrator to be required by the Code in order to preserve the qualified status of incentive stock options. In addition, except in connection with a reorganization or other similar change in the capital shares of the Company or a merger or other transaction, without prior shareholder approval, the Administrator will not reduce the exercise price of an outstanding stock option or stock appreciation right, or effect a re-pricing of an outstanding stock option or stock appreciation right through cancellation or re-grants or through cancellation in exchange for cash or another award. Unless the Amended 2018 Plan is sooner terminated, awards of incentive stock options may be granted under the Amended 2018 Plan until March 29, 2028 (which is the tenth anniversary of the date the 2018 Plan was first approved by the Board).

Changes in Shares.  If, as a result of any reorganization, recapitalization, reclassification, share dividend, share split, reverse share split or other similar change in the Company’s capital shares, the Company’s outstanding ordinary shares are increased or decreased or are exchanged for a different number or kind of shares or other securities of the Company, or additional shares or new or different shares or other securities of the Company or other non-cash assets are distributed with respect to such ordinary shares or other securities, or, if, as a result of any merger or consolidation, or sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company, the Company’s outstanding ordinary shares are converted into or exchanged for securities of the Company or any successor entity (or a parent or subsidiary thereof), the Administrator will make an appropriate or proportionate adjustment in (i) the maximum number of shares reserved for issuance under the Amended 2018 Plan, including the maximum number of shares that may be issued in the form of incentive stock options, (ii) the number and kind of shares or other securities subject to any then outstanding awards under the Amended 2018 Plan, (iii) the repurchase price, if any, per share subject to each outstanding restricted stock award, and (iv) the price for each share subject to any then outstanding option and stock appreciation right, without changing the aggregate exercise price with which such option or stock appreciation right remains exercisable. The Administrator will also make equitable or proportionate adjustments in the number of shares subject to outstanding awards and the exercise price and the terms of outstanding awards to take into consideration cash dividends paid other than in the ordinary course or any other extraordinary corporate event.

New Plan Benefits under the Amended 2018 Plan

Awards granted under the Amended 2018 Plan to our executive officers, directors and other employees are discretionary and are not subject to set benefits or amounts under the terms of the Amended 2018 Plan, and our Board and Compensation Committee have not granted any awards under the Amended 2018 Plan subject to shareholder approval of this Proposal 4. Accordingly, the benefits or amounts that will be received by, or allocated to, the Company’s CEO, the Company’s three other named executive officers currently employed by the Company, all current executive officers as a group, all current directors who are not executive officers as a group, and all employees (including all current officers who are not executive officers) as a group under the Amended 2018 Plan, are not determinable. Mr. Frates, who is also a named executive officer, terminated his employment with the Company in January 2021 and, therefore, is not eligible to receive any future awards under the Amended 2018 Plan.

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Plan Benefits under the 2018 Plan

The following table sets forth, for each of the individuals and various groups indicated, the total number of ordinary shares subject to awards that have been granted under the 2018 Plan as of the Record Date.

 

 

Number of Shares

 

 

Richard F. Pops

 

 

1,776,815

 

 

Chief Executive Officer and Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

James M. Frates

 

 

265,185

 

 

Former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Craig C. Hopkinson, M.D.

 

 

676,606

 

 

Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer

 

 

 

 

 

David J. Gaffin

 

 

485,391

 

 

Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

Michael J. Landine

 

 

381,112

 

 

Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Risk Officer

 

 

 

 

 

All current executive officers as a group

 

 

4,331,767

 

 

All current directors who are not executive officers as a group

 

 

416,680

 

 

Each nominee for election as a director

 

 

 

 

 

David A. Daglio, Jr.

 

 

46,277

 

 

Nancy L. Snyderman, M.D.

 

 

36,014

 

 

Frank Anders Wilson

 

 

36,014

 

 

Nancy J. Wysenski

 

 

36,014

 

 

Each associate of any executive officer, current director or director nominee

 

 

 

 

Each other person who received or is to receive 5% of awards

 

 

 

 

 

Richard F. Pops

 

 

1,776,815

 

 

All current employees (including all current officers who are not executive officers) as a group

 

 

10,442,290

 

 

U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences

The following is a summary of the principal U.S. federal income tax consequences of certain transactions under the Amended 2018 Plan. It does not describe all U.S. federal tax consequences under the Amended 2018 Plan, U.S. state or local tax consequences or tax consequences outside of the U.S. Our ability to realize the benefit of any tax deductions described below depends on our generation of taxable income as well as the requirement of reasonableness, the provisions of Section 162(m) of the Code (“Section 162(m)”) and the satisfaction of our tax reporting obligations.

Incentive Stock Options.  No taxable income is generally realized by the optionee upon the grant or exercise of an incentive stock option. If ordinary shares issued to an optionee pursuant to the exercise of an incentive stock option are sold or transferred after two years from the date of grant and after one year from the date of exercise, then (1) upon sale of such shares, any amount realized in excess of the option price (the amount paid for the shares) will be taxed to the optionee as a long-term capital gain, and any loss sustained will be a long-term capital loss, and (2) we will not be entitled to any deduction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The exercise of an incentive stock option will give rise to an item of tax preference that may result in alternative minimum tax liability for the optionee.

An incentive stock option will not be eligible for the tax treatment described above if it is exercised more than three months following termination of employment (or one year in the case of termination of employment by reason of disability). In the case of termination of employment by reason of death, the three-month rule does not apply. If ordinary shares acquired upon the exercise of an incentive stock option are disposed of prior to the expiration of the two-year and one-year holding periods described above, generally (1) the optionee will realize ordinary income in the year of disposition in an amount equal to the excess (if any) of the fair market value of the ordinary shares at exercise (or, if less, the amount realized on a sale of such shares) over the option price thereof, and (2) we will be entitled to deduct such amount. Special rules will apply where all or a portion of the exercise price of the incentive stock option is paid by tendering shares.

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Non-Qualified Options.  No taxable income is generally realized by the optionee upon the grant of a non-qualified option. Generally (1) at exercise, ordinary income is realized by the optionee in an amount equal to the difference between the option price and the fair market value of the shares on the date of exercise, and we receive a tax deduction for the same amount, and (2) at disposition, appreciation or depreciation after the date of exercise is treated as either short-term or long-term capital gain or loss depending on how long the shares have been held. Special rules will apply where all or a portion of the exercise price of the non-qualified option is paid by tendering shares. Upon exercise, the optionee will also be subject to Social Security taxes on the excess of the fair market value over the exercise price of the option.

Stock Appreciation Rights.  Generally, if a stock appreciation right is granted with an exercise price equal to the fair market value of the underlying shares on the grant date, the participant will recognize ordinary income equal to the fair market value of the shares or cash received upon such exercise, and we will generally be entitled to a tax deduction equal to the taxable ordinary income realized by the participant.

Other Awards.  We will generally be entitled to a tax deduction in connection with an award under the Amended 2018 Plan in an amount equal to the ordinary income realized by the participant at the time the participant recognizes such income. Participants typically are subject to income tax and recognize that tax at the time that an award is exercised, vests or becomes non-forfeitable, unless the award provides for a further deferral.

Parachute Payments

The vesting of any portion of a stock option or other award that is accelerated due to the occurrence of a change in control may cause a portion of the payments with respect to such accelerated award to be treated as “parachute payments” as defined in the Code. Any such parachute payments may be non-deductible to us, in whole or in part, and may subject the recipient to a non-deductible 20% U.S. federal excise tax on all or a portion of such payments (in addition to other taxes ordinarily payable).

Limitation on the Company’s Deductions

Under Section 162(m), compensation paid to any publicly held corporation’s “covered employees” that exceeds $1 million per taxable year for any covered employee is generally non-deductible. Awards granted under the Amended 2018 Plan will be subject to the deduction limit under Section 162(m) and will not be eligible to qualify for the performance-based compensation exception under Section 162(m) pursuant to the transition relief provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. For more information regarding the deduction limit under Section 162(m), see the discussion in the section entitled “Additional Compensation Information—Tax and Accounting Considerations” on page 94 of this proxy statement.

A copy of the Amended 2018 Plan is attached as Appendix A to this proxy statement.

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PROPOSAL 5

 

APPROVAL OF

AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPANY’S ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION

TO DECLASSIFY THE BOARD

(Special resolution)

The Board has approved, and is asking that our shareholders approve, certain amendments to our Articles of Association to declassify our Board over a three-year period. The complete text of the proposed amendments is attached to this proxy statement as Appendix B.

In accordance with our Articles of Association, our Board is currently divided into three classes of directors, with each class elected to serve staggered three-year terms. Our Board regularly reviews our governance structure, including the appropriateness of our classified board structure.

We have historically maintained a classified board structure because we believed that such a structure provided important continuity of knowledge and leadership and stability in executing our long-term value creation strategy, which is especially important in our industry given the extended timeline for drug discovery, clinical development, approval and commercialization. However, the Board recognizes the preferences of many of our shareholders for annual elections of directors and, following careful consideration of shareholder feedback received in 2020, the Board is recommending that shareholders vote to amend our Articles of Association to declassify our Board and provide for the annual election of directors.

If this Proposal 5 is approved by our shareholders, beginning with the Company’s 2022 annual general meeting of shareholders, each class of directors that is up for election will be eligible for election to a one-year term. Because the proposed amendments to our Articles of Association are not yet approved by our shareholders, approval of this Proposal 5 will not affect the term of any Class I director nominee who is elected pursuant to Proposal 1, as set forth on page 15 of this proxy statement, each of whom, upon election, will serve a three-year term expiring at the Company’s 2024 annual general meeting of shareholders. Approval of this Proposal 5 would not affect the unexpired terms of previously elected directors, such that the Class II and Class III directors who have been elected to three-year terms in prior years would complete those three-year terms, expiring at our annual general meetings of shareholders in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Accordingly, the Board would be fully declassified upon the expiration of the terms of the Class I directors at our annual general meeting of shareholders in 2024. If this Proposal 5 is not approved by our shareholders, the Board will remain classified in accordance with our current Articles of Association.

The foregoing description of the proposed amendments to our Articles of Association is only a summary and is qualified in its entirety by reference to the complete text of the proposed amendments, which is attached to this proxy statement as Appendix B. We urge you to read Appendix B in its entirety before casting your vote.

Voting Standard. Under Irish law, the resolution in respect of this Proposal 5 is a special resolution that requires the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 75% of the votes cast by shareholders in person or by proxy. Abstentions and broker non-votes will have no effect on the outcome of this Proposal 5 because they are not considered to be votes cast.

The text of the resolution in respect of this Proposal 5 is as follows:

RESOLVED, as a special resolution, that the Articles of Association be and hereby are amended in the manner set forth in Appendix B of this proxy statement.”

 

The Board unanimously recommends that you vote FOR the amendments to

the Company’s Articles of Association to declassify the Board.

 

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Report of the Audit and Risk Committee

 

No portion of this Report of the Audit and Risk Committee shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act through any general statement incorporating by reference in its entirety the proxy statement in which this report appears, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates this report or a portion of it by reference. In addition, this report shall not be deemed filed under either the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.

As more fully described in its charter, the Audit and Risk Committee oversees the Company’s financial reporting process on behalf of the Board. Management has day-to-day responsibility for the Company’s financial reporting process, including assuring that the Company develops and maintains adequate financial controls and procedures and monitoring and assessing compliance with those controls and procedures, including internal control over financial reporting. The Company’s independent auditor and accounting firm is responsible for auditing the annual financial statements prepared by management, expressing an opinion as to whether those financial statements fairly present the financial position, results of operations and cash flows of the Company in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and discussing with the Audit and Risk Committee any issues they believe should be raised. The independent auditor and accounting firm is also responsible to the Audit and Risk Committee and the Board for testing the integrity of the financial accounting and reporting control systems, issuing a report on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting and such other matters as the Audit and Risk Committee and Board determine. In addition, the independent auditor and accounting firm performs audit-related and permissible non-audit services for the Company.

In the performance of its oversight function, the Audit and Risk Committee reviewed and discussed with management and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Company’s independent auditor and accounting firm, the audited consolidated financial statements of the Company for 2020 which are contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. The Audit and Risk Committee discussed with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP the overall scope and plans for its audit. The Audit and Risk Committee met with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, with and without management present, to discuss the results of its examination, judgments as to the quality, not just the acceptability, of the Company’s accounting principles, the reasonableness of significant estimates and judgments, critical accounting policies and accounting estimates resulting from the application of these policies, the substance and clarity of disclosures in the financial statements, and the Company’s disclosure control process and internal control over financial reporting.