Reining In Executive Comps


A growing number of U.S. companies are making executive pay programs and portions of executive benefit plans and severance policies more shareholder friendly.

Examining 2008 proxy statements, Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm, found 87% of the 75 large public companies analyzed had stock ownership guidelines and requirements for executives (up from 75% in 2007), and 38% had a claw-back policy, which enables companies to recoup incentive compensation in the event the financial measures underlying the incentive plans are restated (up from 23% in 2007).

Other findings included:

  • Nearly one in four companies made or are considering changes to severance policies.
  • More than 40% amended or are considering amending their change-in-control policies.
  • A vast majority of companies set their targeted total pay and individual executive pay elements at or near the 50th percentile, bringing them more in line with their peers.


Source: Watson Wyatt, www.watsonwyatt.com.

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