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Pay for outside corporate directors barely increased in 2017

Joe Mont | September 6, 2018

Total pay for outside directors at the nation’s largest corporations increased by a mere 3 percent in 2017, driven by increases in cash and stock compensation, according to a new analysis by Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

The study also revealed that more companies are implementing annual limits on director compensation in the wake of shareholder lawsuits alleging that pay for board members is excessive.    

The annual analysis of director compensation at Fortune 500 companies found median total direct compensation for directors climbed 3 percent last year to $267,500, up from $259,750 in 2016. Total direct compensation includes cash pay, and annual or recurring stock awards. The median value of annual cash compensation increased 4 percent in 2017 to $107,500, bolstered by a 5 percent increase in the annual cash retainer to $100,000. Variable cash pay for board and committee meetings remained virtually unchanged...

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