SEC Tool Allows Investors to Compare Company Exec Comp Data

December 31, 2007 ( - Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox has launched the first-ever online tool that enables investors to see what 500 of the largest American companies are paying their top executives.

According to an SEC news release, the Executive Compensation Reader – available on the SEC’s Web site at – builds on the Commission’s new executive compensation disclosure requirements that went into effect earlier this year. The new online tool helps investors more efficiently view Summary Compensation Tables and certain other data in the proxy statements of large companies.

Investors can view the total annual pay as well as dollar amounts for salary, bonus, stock, options, and company perks, the release said. The tool allows comparison of a company’s executive compensation figures with other companies by sorting according to industry or size.

An investor can also view executive compensation information by different methods of valuation, if available, such as for options.

Selected comparisons can be depicted in both table and graph form, and data can also be downloaded into Microsoft Excel so that users can devise their own programs and tables.

The Executive Compensation Reader includes information in XBRL for 500 large companies that have filed proxy statements with the Commission. It includes direct links to companies’ proxy statements, including footnotes and explanations of compensation decisions.

“Gone are the complicated data expeditions that forced investors to hunt through financial statements, footnotes, proxy statements, and other disclosure documents to figure out how much a company pays its top executives,” Cox said in the release. “Through its new rules and the power of interactive data, the SEC has transformed the landscape of compensation disclosure. The result is quicker and better analysis, and better-informed shareholders.”