The Board and nominating and governance committee believe that each director should be well-versed in strategic oversight, corporate governance, stockholder advocacy, and leadership in order to be an effective member of the Allstate Board. In addition to this fundamental expertise, the Board and committee seek directors with corporate operating experience, financial services expertise, and compensation and succession experience. The Board and committee also consider experience in the areas listed under the section "Evaluation Process for Current Directors" on page 18.
The Board and committee expect each non-employee director to be free of interests or affiliations that could give rise to a biased approach to directorship responsibilities or a conflict of interest and be free of any significant relationship with Allstate that would interfere with the director's exercise of independent judgment. The Board and committee also expect each director to devote the time and effort necessary to serve as an effective director and act in a manner consistent with a director's fiduciary duties of loyalty and care. Allstate executive officers may not serve on boards of other corporations whose executive officers serve on Allstate's Board.
Board nominees are identified through a retained search firm, suggestions from current directors and stockholders, and through other methods including self-nominations. Our newest director, Mr. Traquina, was identified by our other directors.
The nominating and governance committee will consider director candidates recommended by a stockholder in the same manner as all other candidates recommended by other sources. A stockholder may recommend a candidate at any time of the year by writing to the Office of the Secretary, The Allstate Corporation, 2775 Sanders Road, Suite F7, Northbrook, Illinois 60062-6127.
All candidates are evaluated and considered for their diversity, including gender, ethnic and diversity of background, expertise, and perspective, as well as the criteria described in our Corporate Governance Guidelines at www.allstateinvestors.com.
Beginning with the 2017 annual meeting, a stockholder or group of up to 20 stockholders owning 3% or more of Allstate's outstanding common stock continuously for at least three years can nominate director candidates constituting up to 20% of the Board in the company's annual meeting proxy materials.
Before recommending the annual slate of director nominees, the nominating and governance committee has a rigorous process to evaluate current directors. In addition to considering the current directors’ tenure, the committee’s process includes:
Individual directors receive feedback each year from the Chair, the lead director, or chair of the nominating and governance committee.
The outcomes of such evaluations are shared with the nominating and governance committee in connection with the annual nomination process and inform the Board and nominating and governance committee’s ongoing process to identify highly qualified candidates for Board service.
The Board has determined that all non-employee directors who served during 2016 and all nominees, other than Mr. Wilson, are independent according to applicable law, the NYSE listing standards, and the Board’s Director Independence Standards (which are included on www.allstateinvestors.com). In accordance with the Director Independence Standards, the Board has determined that the nature of the relationships with the corporation that are set forth in Appendix B do not create a conflict of interest that would impair a director’s independence. The Board also determined that the members of the audit, compensation and succession, nominating and governance, and risk and return committees are independent within the meaning of applicable laws, the NYSE listing standards and the Director Independence Standards.
When evaluating the independence of director nominees, the Board weighs numerous factors, including tenure. In particular, the Board weighed the potential impact of tenure on the independence of our two longest serving directors, Ms. Sprieser and Ms. Taylor. Both directors have significant experience serving at Allstate under different operating environments and management teams, and both served on the Board under two CEOs and prior to Mr. Wilson’s appointment. The Board concluded that both Ms. Sprieser and Ms. Taylor continue to be effective directors who fulfill their responsibilities with integrity and independence of thought. They appropriately challenge management and the status quo, and are reasoned, balanced, and thoughtful in Board deliberations and in communications with management. Therefore, the Board determined that their independence from management has not been diminished by their years of service.