Sunday, April 30, 2006

Is director compensation ratcheting up too ?

This article from the Chicago Tribune says it is.

Director compensation has risen sharply in the past few years as demands on boards have ratcheted up since the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance law passed in 2002.

A recent study by the Institutional Shareholder Services proxy advisory firm found that the average compensation for directors at the largest U.S. firms disclosed in 2005 proxies rose 14 percent, to just under $144,000. That's on top of a 23 percent increase a year earlier for what is, after all, part-time work.

This proxy season a Chicago Tribune review of a random sample of 50 Standard & Poor's 500 companies shows 60 percent increased pay compared with a year earlier, with the average cash retainer alone rising 14 percent, to $56,500. Another 10 percent announced plans to raise compensation for 2006.
To be sure, experts said, demands on directors have increased sharply in recent years. A study by the National Association of Corporate Directors found that the average estimated time spent on board service in 2005 reached 191 hours, up from 156 in 2003.
At average pay of $144,000, that works out to about $753 an hour.

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