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More data about eye-popping increases in CEO pay for 2010.
According to Carol Bowie, head of compensation policy development at ISS Governance, the most significant factor in that increase was cash pay. ISS did an early analysis of 600 Russell 3000 companies' CEO pay disclosures where the same CEO was in place in 2009 and 2010. And it found that 81 percent of CEOs received cash incentive pay--short-and long-term payouts--in 2010. That's compared to 70 percent in 2009.
It looks like 2010 was a boom year for CEO compensation.
According to a new analysis of proxies conducted by Towers Watson, median total cash compensation increased 17 percent for CEOs last year. This compares with a 3 percent median increase the prior year. To compute cash compensation, the consulting firm includes base salary, as well as annual and discretionary bonus payments.
If you take a look at the compensation tables in the proxies of the Wall Street giants, it is hard to believe it is only two years or so since the global financial meltdown.
You would almost think the top executives are running successful hedge funds, given their gargantuan gains. And to think they complained that the brief government involvement in their affairs.
It looks like traditional employee benefits are in the cross-hairs of cost conscious finance execs.
According to a new survey of chief financial officers and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, 30 percent are planning to reduce health care benefits, 23 percent are planning on reducing bonuses and 18 percent are prepared to reduce stock options/equity based compensation.
Salaries of financial executives and their staff continued to outpace national averages in 2009, and raises were also larger than other white-collar professionals. But the pay of lower level finance professionals outpaced those of CFOs and other senior-level types.
Average annual salaries for financial professionals increased by 2.5 percent in 2009 and were 13 percent above the national average, according to the Association for Financial Professionals' 2010 compensation survey.
But like other workers, CFOs, treasurers and their staff also enjoyed smaller salary growth than what they had been used to. The average salary increase for financial professionals in 2009 was a full percentage point below the average increase reported in 2008. Salaries went up 3.4 percent in 2008 and 4.5 percent in 2007.
Submitted by Caleb Newquist, republished from Going Concern , Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.
A couple of weeks ago we told you about fired Tyco accountant Jeff Weist who wasn't really into, among other things, mermaid greeters and costumed wenches. Whether or not he's not a fan of starfish bikinis wasn't the issue, it was the principle of the matter.
You see, some Tyco executives got into a bit of trouble back in the day for some accounting fraud but the kicker was the footage of a four-day "Roman orgy" rager in Sardinia. The jury didn't have much problem throwing the book at former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and former CFO Mark Swartz after concluding that awesome party = crooked execs. Weist figured the company didn't really need more trouble so he raised a fuss over the expenses for another epic bash that was being planned for execs in the Bahamas.
As everyone knows, incentive compensation is a two-edged sword: Such pay can incentivize the wrong as well as right type of risk taking. That is, the prospect of a bonus may motivate employees to game the numbers instead of improving a company's actual returns. The latter is obviously a plus for a business, the former a negative to the extent it fools management into overpaying for poor performance.
Now a new study shows the risks of such compensation schemes is greater than the rewards.
The anti-executive pay movement is building momentum.
About 55 percent of shareholders of KeyCorp last week gave the thumbs down on the bank's pay package contained in its proxy during an advisory vote.
More companies are using judgment as well as set performance targets to incentivize top managers during uncertain times, a recent survey finds.
In a survey last June of 230 major US corporations, consultancy Mercer found that 26 percent either said they would increase judgment related to short-term incentives last year or that they planned to do so this year. Nineteen percent either said the same thing in connection with long-term performance plans.
When does no bonus still mean a bonus? When pension payments compensate for the absence of cash rewards.
A new report from The Corporate Library, an independent corporate governance research firm, found that 17 CEOs of financial services firm who were not paid bonuses in 2008 received substantial increases in their pension or other retirement benefits. In fact, more than one tenth of CEOs of S&P 500 companies found themselves in this situation in 2008, compared with only one company in 2007.
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