Statement of Significant Differences Between Golden Ocean Group Limited’s Corporate Governance Practices and the NASDAQ Global Select Market’ (NASDAQ) Corporate Governance Standards.
Independence of Directors. NASDAQ requires that a U.S. listed company maintain a majority of independent directors. We are exempt from certain NASDAQ requirements regarding independence of directors. Consistent with Bermuda law, our board of directors is not required to be composed of a majority of independent directors. While our board of directors is currently comprised of five directors a majority of whom are not independent, we may have a majority of independent directors in the future.
Executive Sessions. NASDAQ requires that independent directors meet regularly in executive sessions at which only independent directors are present. We intend to hold executive sessions at which only independent directors are present at least twice a year.
Nomination of Directors. NASDAQ requires that independent directors select or recommend nominees for directors. As permitted under Bermuda law and our bye-laws, we do not currently require that independent directors select or recommend nominees for directors. Our board of directors, consisting of both independent and non-independent directors, is responsible for identifying and recommending potential candidates to become board members and recommending directors for appointment to board committees.
Audit Committee. NASDAQ requires, among other things, that a listed U.S. company have an audit committee consisting solely of independent directors who also satisfy the requirements of SEC Rule 10A-3 and who can read and understand fundamental financial statements. NASDAQ also requires that the audit committee have at least three members. As permitted under Bermuda law and our bye-laws, our audit committee consists of one member who currently meet the independence requirements of SEC Rule 10A-3.
Compensation Committee. NASDAQ requires that a listed U.S. company have a compensation committee composed solely of independent directors and having at least two members. NASDAQ requires that the compensation committee must determine, or recommend to the full board for determination, the compensation of the chief executive officer and all other executive officers. As permitted under Bermuda law and our bye-laws, we do not currently have a compensation committee and compensation of executive officers is not required to be determined by a committee composed of independent members.
Related Party Transactions. NASDAQ requires that a listed U.S. company conduct appropriate review and oversight of all related party transactions for potential conflict of interest situations on an ongoing basis by the company’s audit committee or another independent body of the board of directors. As permitted under Bermuda law and our bye-laws, our directors are not prohibited from being a party to, or otherwise interested in, any transaction or arrangement with us or in which we are otherwise interested, provided that the director makes proper disclosure of same as required by our bye-laws and Bermuda law.
Proxy Materials. NASDAQ requires that a listed U.S. company solicit proxies and provide proxy statements for all shareholder meetings. Such company must also provide copies of its proxy solicitation to NASDAQ. As permitted under Bermuda law and our bye-laws, we do not currently solicit proxies or provide proxy materials to NASDAQ. Our bye-laws also require that we notify our shareholders of meetings no less than five (5) days before the meeting.
Share Issuance. In lieu of obtaining shareholder approval prior to the issuance of securities or the adoption of equity compensation plans or material amendments to such equity compensation plans, consistent with Bermuda law and our byelaws, our board of directors approves share issuances and the adoption of and material amendments to equity compensation plans.
Quorum. NASDAQ rules provide that the minimum quorum requirement for a meeting of shareholders is 33 1/3% of the outstanding common shares. The Company follows applicable Bermuda laws with respect to quorum requirements. The Company’s quorum requirement is set forth in its bye-laws, which provide that a quorum for the transaction of business at any meeting of shareholders is two or more shareholders either present in person or represented by proxy. If we only have one shareholder, then one shareholder present in person or proxy shall constitute the necessary quorum.
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