Board and Committee Pay Holding Steady
The panic over appearances that has marked the world of executive pay in the past couple of years hasn’t yet extended to boards of directors and their committees, according to a new Equilar study. While conflicts of interest haven’t left the table as a key concern (avoiding them is now a mandate, thanks to Dodd-Frank), most committee members and chairs saw increased or stagnant pay in the period between 2007 and 2009. Chairs of compensation committees were the biggest winners, with a 6.3% pay boost at large-caps, a 7.1% jump at mid-caps, and a 7.3% increase at small-caps. Audit committee chairs and members were most likely to see their pay fall, but still get paid significantly more than their compensation and governance counterparts (and go to a lot more meetings as well).
It’s obvious that many firms are leaning on their compensation committee chairs to serve as figureheads to shareholders and the media that everything is proceeding correctly– and that they’re giving these folks a pay bump to compensate for the increased responsibility. Board members and chairs of S&P 1500 firms still make a median $142,500, according to the study, which can seem like small change in a world of multi-million-dollar executive salaries and bonuses. Only time will tell if the Dodd-Frank-related shifts in the industry will extend to them, or if they’ll continue to remain fairly unshaken by the new landscape.