Executives to no more enjoy hefty bonuses

By siliconindia   |   Thursday, 30 October 2008, 11:49 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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New York: Even as government is demanding deterrent policies from companies on the ground of questions over executive conduct or the accuracy of financial result, several U.S. firms are adopting measures to ban executives from keeping hefty bonuses. A new study by pay research firm Equilar finds that nearly two third of big U.S. companies have already taken such measures.

According to the study big corporations have voluntary adopted clawback policies that allow them to recoup portions of executive pay in the event of financial restatement, unethical conduct or other reasons.

The study also shows that 64.2 percent of the largest 95 publicly held companies in the Fortune 100 had disclosed clawback policies as of this year, up from 42.1 percent in 2007 and 17.6 percent in 2006.

Alexander Cwirko-Godycki, a research manager at Equilar and one of the study's authors said, "We are switching from a situation from where it was a toss-up as to whether a company would have a clawback policy to now, there is a clear consensus that clawbacks are a good corporate governance policy."

Lockheed Martin, Motorola and Hess are among the companies that have disclosed clawback policies this year, according to Redwood Shores, California-based Equilar.

The provisions vary from company to company. The study found that overall, clawback policies are becoming broader, applying to more types of conduct and covering more kinds of compensation that executives receive.

"The policies generally do not require CEOs and others to forfeit all their compensation. Instead, they target things like cash bonuses as well as stock options, restricted shares and shares granted for meeting various performance goals," Equilar said.

The study found that a handful of companies, including Pepsi also have extended clawback provisions to apply to outside directors on the board, not just company executives.

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