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Director Pay Trends

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Director Pay Trends, an Equilar publication, analyzes the compensation of board directors disclosed in the SEC filings of Equilar 500 companies from fiscal years 2014 to 2018. The Equilar 500 is comprised of the 500 largest U.S.-headquartered companies by reported revenue that trade on one of the three major U.S. stock exchanges (Nasdaq, NYSE or NYSE American). The report dives into the trends in how boards structure director pay packages. Meridian Compensation Partners has provided independent commentary on the state of director pay heading into 2020.

About the Report

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Key Findings:

  • Median director retainer reached $260,000 in 2018, representing a 15.6% increase since 2014.
  • The healthcare sector experienced the largest increase in retainer in the five-year study, reaching $300,000 in 2018. On the contrary, the utilities sector had the lowest median retainer in the study at $200,000.
  • The retainers for both non-executive vice chair and lead director have increased steadily since 2014, reaching $436,000 and $306,000, respectively.
  • Meeting fees continue a downward trend in prevalence, with just 7.4% of companies offering them. 12.4% of companies in the service sector offer meeting fees, making services the lone sector to offer meeting fees at a prevalence above 10%.