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June 22, 2011
Board Compensation up 7% in Mid-Market, Survey Finds

Director pay in the middle market is up seven percent, according to the BDO 600: 2010-2011 Survey of Board Compensation Practices of 600 Mid-Market Public Companies.

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This increase could be attributed to more responsibilities, time commitment, and regulatory issues – such as the Dodd-Frank Act, as well as the recovering economy.

The survey found that board members average annual compensation of $110,491 in 2010 up from $102,809 in 2009. The compensation was broken down further into types of compensation:

  • Board retainers and fees ($46,861)
  • Committee retainers and fees ($7,388)
  • Full-value stock awards ($37,769)
  • Stock options ($18,473)

The survey suggests that industry is most important factor in benchmarking director pay in the middle market. Compensation by industry ranges from $50,000 for banking directors up to $149,000 for technology directors. Boards in the technology and energy industries consistently outperform their peers when it comes to pay, ranking as the top two industries since 2008. These industries are likely to remain some of the most highly compensated in the future because of continued high investor interest and high demand for seasoned talent.

On the other hand, banking and financial services retain their position at the bottom of the list, partly due to continued scrutiny and the “leveling off” effect of companies scaling back equity compensation grants in light of their historical grant practices and current market position, suggests BDO.

These findings are from the most recent edition of the BDO 600: 2011 Survey of Board Compensation Practices of 600 Mid-Market Public Companies.

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