Director Pay up 8% to 12% in 2005/2006

August 9, 2006 ( - A study from independent executive compensation consultants Steven Hall & Partners found median total compensation for directors of the largest US companies in 2005/2006 increased between 8.1% and 12.4%, depending on committee memberships and roles.

Median total compensation for these directors ranged from $195,000 to $210,833, compared to $173,600 to $195,000 in prior years, according to a press release on the study. Director compensation includes cash retainers, stock awards and meeting fees for service on the Board and its committees.

The study showed median total pay for Audit Committee Chairmen rose 8.1% to $210,833, while median pay for Compensation Committee Chairmen reached $205,250, a 12.4% increase from the prior period.

Full-value stock awards to directors seem to be replacing stock option grants as a component of director pay, with the median value of full-value stock awards up 25%, the release said.

Increases in additional pay for committee service varied by committee and position. Median committee chair retainers jumped by 25% for Audit and Compensation to $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, and by 33% for Governance to $10,000.

“We expect director remuneration to continue rising as responsibilities increase in complexity and scope under the watchful eyes of shareholders, the news media and regulators,” Steven Hall, managing director of Steven Hall & Partners, said in the release.

The Director Compensation Study analyzed the most up-to-date proxy data available for 181 of the 200 largest US public companies. The study is ongoing. For a copy of the study upon completion, contact Nora McCord at 212-488-5400 or .