Governance

Ensuring Strong Corporate Governance

At Sandy Spring Bank, we are committed to strong corporate governance. We believe that our governance practices reflect our values and are essential to providing long-term value to our shareholders, clients, employees and communities.

Board Oversight and Diversity

Our board of directors works in partnership with our management team to serve all stakeholders, including our clients, employees, communities and vendors, as well as our shareholders. The board provides oversight by monitoring our strategy and performance, selecting our independent auditors, overseeing our internal audit function, and setting senior management compensation.

The board seeks directors with a variety of views and experience. As of December 31, 2020, the board consisted of 13 independent directors plus our President and CEO, Daniel Schrider. Our independent directors work and live in communities across our market area and have a broad range of experience and skills. Three of our independent directors are women and three identify as ethnic minorities. You can find more information about our directors’ experience and qualifications on our Investor Relations website and in our Proxy Statement.

Longer-serving directors provide continuity and institutional knowledge of our company and its culture. At the same time, regular board refreshment can help ensure the proper mix of directors to meet both current and long-term needs and provide the necessary oversight of our evolving corporate strategy and risks. To promote board refreshment, we have a mandatory retirement age of 72. We have also used recent acquisitions as an opportunity to expand our board. As a result, seven of our 14 directors have joined the board in the past five years.

Our board of directors provides oversight of our organization through five committees: Audit, Risk, Compensation, Nominating, and Executive and Governance. Committee charters may be found here. All of our board committees are chaired by independent directors. Two of our committees are chaired by women or ethnic minorities.

Governance Policy

Our board of directors has adopted a Corporate Governance Policy to reflect the board’s commitment to sound and effective governance. Our Corporate Governance Policy, which addresses director selection and performance as well as board structure and operation, is intended to assist the board in the exercise of its governance responsibilities and serve as a framework for the governance of our company.

Risk Management

We utilize a comprehensive enterprise risk management framework to identify, assess, measure, monitor, report and control risks across our organization, including social and environmental risks. The board’s Risk Committee is responsible for oversight of our risk management process. Our Executive Risk Committee, which consists of our executive leadership team and reports directly to our board’s Risk Committee, develops our risk appetite, monitors key risk indicators, and assesses and monitors current and emerging risks. Our enterprise risk management framework is overseen by our Chief Risk Officer, who reports to our CEO. You can find a description of the principal risks overseen by Board committees in our Proxy Statement

In addition, management has established internal committees that provide strategic direction and oversight for various elements of our business that contribute to our risk management activities, including:

  • Asset/Liability Management Committee
  • Disclosure Controls Committee
  • Investment Committee
  • Compliance Committee
  • Funding and Liquidity Committee
  • Capital Management Committee
  • Fraud Risk Committee
  • Vendor Management Committee
  • Technology Risk Committee
  • Business Continuity Committee

Executive Compensation

We are committed to rewarding executive management for performance achieved through planning and execution. The board’s Compensation Committee has developed a philosophy that executive compensation should be aligned with our strategic objectives, balanced among fixed and variable elements and short- and long-term results, and sufficient to attract, motivate and retain the talent and leadership needed for our continued success. Our Compensation Committee reviews and approves our executive compensation programs annually.

Yes Leading Practices No Avoided Practices
Independent compensation consultant retained by and reports to the Compensation Committee. No tax gross-ups
Significant portion of compensation is performance-based. No hedging or pledging of stock
Minimum performance must be attained before any awards can be paid. No excessive perquisites
Short-term incentives have minimum triggers and maximum caps. No “single trigger” severance upon a change-in-control
Incentive compensation is subject to claw back. No encouraging excessive risk-taking
Executive officers are subject to stock ownership requirements.    
Annual risk assessment of executive compensation programs.    

You can find more information about our compensation governance practices in our Proxy Statement.

Governance Highlights

We are committed to governance practices that support our long-term strategy, demonstrate high levels of integrity, and earn the confidence of investors and other stakeholders.

Mandatory director retirement age 72 years
Director term 3 years
Regular board meetings in 2020 9
Special board meetings in 2020 3
Average attendance at board and committee meetings 99%
Plurality plus resignation in uncontested director elections Yes
Independent directors meet regularly in executive session Yes
Independent Audit Committee meets with auditor in executive session Yes
Board Risk Committee Yes
Annual board evaluations Yes
Continuing education program Yes
Stock ownership guidelines for directors and executives Yes
Anti-hedging policy Yes
Clawback policy Yes
Code of Ethics and Business Conduct available on website Yes
Corporate governance policies available on website Yes