CHICAGO — Directors at mid-market retail companies saw an average increase in compensation of 14% in the last year, according to study released last week by consulting firm BDO USA here.
That represented the highest increase of any of the industry sectors studied, the survey revealed.
Average compensation for mid-market ($25 million to $1 billion) retail companies was $97,380 in the most recent fiscal year, including board retainers and fees ($40,267), committee retainers and fees ($6,130), full-value stock awards ($33,384) and stock options ($17,597). That translates to a mix of 42% board retainers and fees, 6% committee retainers and fees, 34% full-value stock awards and 18% stock options.
The study found that total director compensation among the 600 mid-market companies studied across all industries was relatively flat, with a 2% median increase and an average of $110,500.
The high increase in director pay at retail companies is an indication that the retail industry is recovering, said Randy Ramirez, Northeast regional leader of the compensation and benefits practice at BDO, in an interview with SN.
“That tells us that companies are looking for very seasoned executives and very seasoned board members to come onto their boards, and they are willing to pay for it,” he said. “That was a big jump — when you consider that board pay was only up about 2% across all industries, the 14% increase in retail sticks out like a sore thumb.”
Technology companies had the highest average director compensation, at $174,950, a 6% increase over year-ago levels. At the other end of the compensation spectrum were directors at mid-sized financial services firms, with average compensation of $68,125. Other industries surveyed were energy ($139,690 average director compensation), health care ($118,235), manufacturing ($105,200), real estate ($103,860), retail ($97,380), banking ($76,550) and other financial services (excluding banking) ($68,125).