REDWOOD CITY, CA (April 11, 2018)—Another year, another CEO pay raise. According to the new Equilar 100 study , which identifies CEO pay at the largest 100 U.S. companies to file proxy statements before March 31, total compensation reached $15.7 million in fiscal year 2017. At the median, these CEOs received a 5% raise.
Pay increases were slightly lower overall in 2017 than the previous year; however, total compensation for Equilar 100 CEOs in 2017 was still notably higher, surpassing the median $15.0 million awarded to the CEOs on the 2016 list. While many of the companies in the Equilar 100 are consistent from year to year, due to changes in revenue and floating filing dates the list is not the same every year.
Equilar 100 CEO Pay Ratios Were More Than Triple the Russell 3000
The median CEO pay ratio for Equilar 100 companies was 235:1, which was more than three times the median reported by Russell 3000 companies as of the same date. The median pay ratio across the public company universe was 77:1, according to the Equilar CEO Pay Ratio Tracker.
Both figures are more modest than many had expected, considering that some analyses of the CEO pay ratio have been as high as 350:1 in the past. Regardless, the actual pay ratio data is consistent with projections noting that larger companies are expected to have higher ratios for a variety of reasons.
Because the pay ratio disclosure was required for companies with fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, 69 companies in the Equilar 100 reported this figure in their most recent proxy statements, and 31 were exempt until their next proxy filing.
Furthermore, the highest ratio was not correlated to the highest pay. Manpower Group, a provider of workplace solutions, reported the highest ratio among Equilar 100 companies at 2,483:1. Its CEO, Jonas Prising, was awarded $12.0 million in 2017, translating to the 76th highest-paid among Equilar 100 CEOs. Yet because the company’s 600,000 employees are mostly on temporary work assignments, the median pay among them was $4,828.
Warren Buffett, with his annual compensation of $100,000, turned in the lowest CEO pay ratio at approximately 2:1.
About the Equilar 100
The Equilar 100 includes the largest U.S.-listed companies by revenue to file annual proxy statements before April 1 to provide an early look at CEO pay trends for 2017. With thousands of companies filing in the month of April, Equilar’s annual study on the 200 Highest-Paid CEOs overall will be forthcoming in several weeks.
Equilar collects data from SEC filings on more than 200,000 public company executives and board members. In addition to compiling compensation data, the firm has tracked executive positions and corporate board service since 2000 for these individuals, and has mapped professional connections across that time frame. Visit www.equilar.com to learn more.
Equilar's data-driven platforms, BoardEdge and Insight, provide tools for board recruiting, business development, executive compensation and shareholder engagement. Companies of all sizes, including 70% of the Fortune 500 and institutional investors representing over trillion in assets, rely on Equilar for their most important boardroom decisions. Equilar also hosts industry-leading board education symposiums, conducts comprehensive custom research services and publishes award-winning thought leadership. Founded in 2000, Equilar is cited regularly by Associated Press, Bloomberg, CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media outlets.
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