​​​Surveys of Total Compensation - and Trends

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2020.08 Aon's 2020 Pay Trends: First Look at CEO Compensation. See this report for data covering (1) Base salary, (2) Target bonus, (3) Long-term incentives, and (4) Target net total compensation (base salary plus target variable pay).

2020  Executive Compensation Trends and Developments Survey (Meridien) - This 31-page PDF from Meridien provides comprehensive survey data covering a broad spectrum of executive compensation practices, with separate sections about (1) say on pay, (2) CEO pay ratio, (3) COVID adjustments, (4) ESG and other performance measures, (5) clawback/forfeiture policies, (6) merit increase trends, (7) annual incentives, and (8) LTIPs, aka Long-Term Incentives especially the switch from TSR to relative TSR due to the pandemic-downturn.

2019 Winter Looking Ahead to Executive Pay Practices in 2020 (Pearl Meyer). This 18-page report provides insightful data about topics ranging from the expanding role of compensation committees, to a wide range of factors affecting annual and long-term incentives.

2019.08.20  REIT Executive Compensation - link here for several highlights from FTI's study.

2019.04.16  ISS Report: Executive Compensation Trends 2019.  In its recent report, ISS presents significant survey data based on 2019 proxy statements by more than two-thirds of S&P 500 companies and approximately half of Russell 3000 companies. For instance, ISS reports that --

  • "on aggregate, the data indicates no changes in CEO pay ratios compared to last year";
  • stock-based compensation comprises the majority of CEO pay at S&P 500 and S&P 400 companies for the first time. The trend is the same for smaller companies with stock-based compensation reaching 49 percent and 42 percent of total CEO pay for S&P 600 companies and Russell non-S&P 1500 companies, respectively"; and 
  • "[a]s a percentage of total equity compensation, performance-based equity almost doubled between 2009 and 2018. Cash performance-based compensation has remained relatively unchanged. Overall, cash and equity performance-based compensation now make up approximately 58 percent of total pay, compared to 34 percent in 2009."  

2018.12 CEO and CFO 2018 Global Top 250 Compensation Survey. This 30+ page report provides substantive data covering total compensation and particular forms such as equity awards (and share award usage) - on a global and regional basis.

2018.11.13  Human Resource Executives- see this Equilar report for excellent total compensation data that includes industry-specific charts, as well as data focused on the different components of HR executive compensation.

2018.10.27  CEO and Executive Compensation Practices. Extensive excerpts to the Conference Board's survey appear in this Harvard Governance Blog.

2018.06.01  Clawbacks, Anti-Hedging, and Post-Vesting Holding Periods.  As reported in the ClearBridge 100 Report ("comprised of 100 S&P 500 ® companies to provide a database representative of compensation practices and trends across the broad U.S. market"), 96% or more of the surveyed companies have policies that impose clawback rights, that prohibit hedging transactions involving employer stock, and that require executives to meet stock ownership guidelines before they dispose of their stock awards. 

2017 Fall   Deloitte re Total Comp.  This 54-page report is loaded with useful survey data drawn from over 200 responses, with many results presented on an industry segment basis.

2016.May.04  "Trends and Developments in Executive Compensation" Meridian Partners Report, with detailed data about bonus determinants, LTI award levels, and the preparation process (such as steps taken in anticipation of ISS review).

2012.Dec.08  Global Convergence of Executive Compensation Shown.  A comprehensive study titled "Are U.S. CEOs Paid More? New International Evidence" involved a survey of several thousand E.U., U.K. and U.S. companies.  Highlights of the study include findings that --
"[(1] the US pay premium is modest after controlling for firm, ownership, board, and CEO characteristics; [2] . . .  higher [U.S. CEO pay is] associated with a larger fraction of equity-based pay; and [3] CEO pay levels and the use of equity-based compensation are positively related to variables routinely used as proxies for better monitoring and better governance, namely institutional ownership and board independence."  

Specific Surveys:

  Bonus  /  Change in Control  /  Employment Agreements  /  Stock Awards  /  Severances  /  Private Companies