Director Pay Increasing, Survey Says

October 19, 2004 ( - The median total compensation for outside directors at US boards is on the rise, according to The Conference Board's annual study on the subject.

The study, based on a survey of compensation for directors, included 510 companies and showed that compensation was on the rise in all three industries covered. These include manufacturing, services, and finance.

In manufacturing, the median total compensation is now $72,750, up from $69,620 in 2003. In finance, the median compensation is $67,000, up significantly from $55,000 last year. The service sector saw an increase to $70,000, up $10,000 from last year.

Total compensation includes all fees and retainers, plus committee pay, periodic grants of stock, restricted stock grants, and the value of stock options.

The Conference Board attributes escalating costs to increased roles for oversight boards. The Board noted significant demands on chairmen of audit committees following the recent accounting scandals surrounding Enron and WorldCom.

The compensation for US Chief Executive Officers is also on the rise for all industries, according to the latest data available from 2003. Total CEO compensation for that year was highest in the construction industry (with a median total compensation of $2,968,000) and lowest in transportation ($988,000).

The CEO compensation data was from a survey of 2,986 companies in 14 industries.