DolmatConnell & Partners 2008 Studies of CEO and CFO Compensation in the 100 Largest High Technology and Life Science Companies Show Dramatically Improving Link Between Pay and Performance
DolmatConnell & Partners, Inc., a leading independent executivecompensation consulting firm, released today their 2008 Tech100 andLifeScience100 Studies. These studies, now in their fourth and second yearrespectively, provide some exceptional insight into the evolving world ofexecutive compensation in the 100 largest publicly traded High Technology andLife Science companies in the U.S.
Changes in CEO pay level varied significantly between the two studies andwere linked to overall industry performance levels. In the Tech100, CEO basesalaries increased 3.8% and actual total cash compensation increased 2.9%,while total direct compensation (base + actual bonus + annual long-termincentive grant values) fell 0.6%. This was in line with a median annualtotal shareholder return for the industry which was 1.6%. The picture in theLifeScience100 was vastly different, with a median total shareholder return of14.4% last year. CEO base salaries increased 5.6%, actual total cashcompensation increased 10.3%, and total direct compensation rose 11.8%.
Pay-for-performance is dramatically improving, as Boards and CompensationCommittees are responding to shareholder concerns with respect to executivepay. DolmatConnell & Partners looked at the Top 20 and Bottom 20 performingcompanies in each industry and found several encouraging results.
In the Tech100, median target bonuses for the Top 20 performing companieswere 120% of base salary and actual bonus payouts were 139% of target ($1.4M),whereas in the Bottom 20 companies, median target bonuses were 150% of basesalary, and actual bonus payouts were only 19% of target ($225K). Bonuspayouts in the LifeScience100 followed similar trends. Says Jack Dolmat-Connell, CEO of DolmatConnell & Partners, "It is great to see that Boards arefinally getting tough relative to the pay of underperforming CEOs. This iswhat has infuriated investors for years -- high pay for mediocre or poorresults."
Most studies of executive compensation look at the aggregate value of basesalary, actual bonus and the annual long-term incentive grant values in agiven year, also known as "pay opportunity" for a given year. In addition tothis, the DolmatConnell & Partners' studies looked at the value ofcompensation "realized" in a given year -- what executives actually took home.The results of this new look are stunning -- CEOs at Top 20 companies in theTech100 realized $9.0M in 2007, whereas CEOs at Bottom 20 companies realizedonly $3.4M, a very significant difference in compensation based onperformance. Unrealized compensation (the value of equity still outstanding)differences were even more dramatic -- CEOs of Top 20 companies held equityworth $45.0M, while the equity outstanding of the CEOs of the Bottom 20 wasworth only $8.1M. Says Dolmat-Connell, "This is incredibly positive newsbased on a completely new and better way of looking at executive pay. It isalso fascinating to note that the vast majority of the value of the equityheld by CEOs in the Top 20 was in the form of stock options, an investor-friendly long-term incentive vehicle, whereas the majority of the value of theequity held by the Bottom 20 CEOs was in the form of
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