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Compensation Surveys Provide Insights Into Public Company Pay Practices

(The following post originally appeared on ONSecurities, a top Minnesota legal blog founded by Martin Rosenbaum to address securities, governance and compensation issues facing public companies.)

May 20, 2010

And the survey says . . . executives are still doing okay in this economy. Many media outlets have just released surveys of the 2009 compensation of public company executives. They generally reported higher cash compensation (especially bonuses) than for 2008, when many companies did not hit their earnings targets. Relative equity compensation value was harder to assess.

In “Median pay for Minnesota’s top CEOs dipped only slightly,” Christopher Snowbeck of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on these trends for Minnesota companies. He did a good job describing the bonus increase, which resulted from companies setting more realistic financial goals for 2009. He also spoke to me about the difficulty in assessing equity compensation levels from the Summary Compensation Table in proxy statements, and the need to look at the intrinsic value of the awards at the end of the fiscal year and over time. Check it out.

And you have to check out Chris’ Twitter feed. In his words, “Chris Snowbeck is so inspired by business news he writes haiku in response.” Seriously, haiku.

Bowne Conference Will Be Educational and Entertaining

I am excited to be presenting at the 2010 Bowne SEC Accounting, Compliance & Legal Issues Conference, to be held on May 27 in Minneapolis. My presentation is the Disclosure Update, where my panel will be providing tips on:

  • Update on SEC Disclosure Requirements, including Climate Change Disclosure and Guidance on Non-GAAP Measures
  • Securities Litigation and Enforcement Update - Bank of America Settlement, Lehman Brothers report and other developments
  • Impact of heightened SEC enforcement
  • Disclosure advice – what public companies should do to protect against liability

I’ll share some of the materials and tips in this Blog after the Conference – as well as the video clips we'll be showing to the attendees.

Also, if you can show up in person, I strongly encourage you to do so. This is always the biggest gathering of public company personnel in the Twin Cities, and it’s a great networking event. Nice lunch, too!


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