Statement of Significant Differences Between Diana Shipping Inc.'s Corporate Governance Practices and the New York Stock Exchange, Inc.(the "NYSE") Corporate Governance Standards.
Pursuant to an exception for foreign private issuers, Diana Shipping Inc., a Marshall Islands company (the "Company") is not required to comply with the corporate governance practices followed by U.S. companies under the NYSE listing standards. However, pursuant to Section 303.A.11 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual, we are required to state any significant differences between our corporate governance practices and the practices required by the NYSE. We believe that our established practices in the area of corporate governance are in line with the spirit of the NYSE standards and provide adequate protection to our shareholders. In fact, we have voluntarily adopted NYSE required practices, such as (a) having a majority of independent directors, (b) establishing audit, compensation and nominating committees and (c) adopting a Code of Ethics. The significant differences between our corporate governance practices and the NYSE standards are set forth below.
The NYSE requires that non-management directors meet regularly in executive sessions without management. The NYSE also requires that all independent directors meet in an executive session at least once a year. As permitted under Marshall Islands law and our bylaws, our non-management directors do not regularly hold executive sessions without management and we do not expect them to do so in the future.
The NYSE requires, among other things, that a company have an audit committee with a minimum of three members. Our Audit Committee consists of two independent members of our Board of Directors. Our Audit Committee conforms to every other requirement applicable to audit committees set forth in the listing standards of the NYSE.
Shareholder Approval of Equity Compensation Plans
The NYSE requires listed companies to obtain prior shareholder approval to adopt or materially revise any equity compensation plan. As permitted under Marshall Islands law and our amended and restated bylaws, we do not need prior shareholder approval to adopt or revise equity compensation plans, including our equity incentive plan.
Corporate Governance Guidelines
The NYSE requires companies to adopt and disclose corporate governance guidelines. The guidelines must address, among other things: director qualification standards, director responsibilities, director access to management and independent advisers, director compensation, director orientation and continuing education, management succession and an annual performance evaluation. We are not required to adopt such guidelines under Marshall Islands law and we have not adopted such guidelines. We do encourage our shareholders that wish to learn more about our governance practices to review our annual report on Form 20-F and our Code of Ethics, both of which have been publicly filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and are available on our web-site, www.dianashippinginc.com.