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July 11, 2008
Chief Financial Officers Earning More
In an analysis of compensation trends for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Equilar recently reported that pay continues to climb for these corporate financial leaders. The study covered 313 CFOs who had been in their roles at S&P 500 firms for at least 2 years. The pay for the group increased, on average, by 5.2% from 2006 to 2007.

Interestingly, bonus payments for CFOs were down by about 3.4%. Equity compensation, though, increased by a hefty 8.2%, resulting in the overall gain. Equilar ( reported that compensation for Chief Executive Officers for the same period rose just 1.3%. These findings may be an indication that the CFO is playing an increasingly important role in the executive suite, according to Equilar.

On average, according to the recent analysis, this group of CFOs earned $2,894,275 last year. Total compensation included base salary, discretionary bonuses, non-equity incentive plan payouts, the grant date value of stock and option awards, and other compensation. Stock awards included service-based and performance-based awards. Option awards included service- and performance-based awards, and stock appreciation rights (SARs).

Typically, 'other compensation' includes benefits and perquisites. Base salary for the group, on average, was $525,000 annually, and the median aggregate bonus amounted to $576,880. The bonus figure is down 3.4% from 2006's median figure. The percentage of CFOs receiving any form of bonus dropped, as well: in 2006, 99% of them received a bonus, compared with 93.6% in 2007.

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