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Nice Work if You Can Get It

Posted by: Jena McGregor on March 19, 2008

Amidst all the anger and hand-wringing about executive pay, the topic of director compensation often gets overlooked. While it shouldn’t, it does appear to be one more modest spot amidst the often bloated pay numbers that are seen for executive comp. The Corporate Library released a report on Tuesday that, with the exception of a few extremes, “most companies are not spending an unreasonable amount on their boards,” according to senior research associate Annalisa Barrett.

So what’s reasonable? Nearly one-third of the companies in the study, which looked at more than 3,000 U.S. companies, paid less than $500,000 in compensation to the full board. The average spent just over $1 million on board compensation. Only a small handful—nine companies that included American International Group, Honeywell International and Northrop Grunman—paid over $2 million in cash director fees.



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