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Board Pay Surges 14 at Large Companies - Harris Search Associates
Executive Insights   Board Pay Surges 14% at Large Companies

Board compensation continues to soar at large companies. According to a Steven Hall & Partners study, median total pay for independent directors at the largest 500 US companies increased 14% last year from $162,363 to $185,000.

The study attributes most of the increase to higher cash retainers for board service, which rose 11%, and committee chairmanship, which jumped 25 % to 80%.

Additionally, the study indicates that total remuneration for companies in the bottom half of the 500 grew 19%. In order to meet the competitive demand for directors in an era of greater responsibility, public scrutiny, and greater personal liability, smaller companies have been forced to try to catch up to their larger brethren in order to recruit suitable candidates.

Total compensation for the study was defined as cash retainers, stock awards, and meeting fees for service on both the board and its committees. The study assumed that a director served as a chair of one committee and a memebr of one other, or solely as a memeber of two committees.
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