August 29, 2005

US director pay surged 18 pct in 2004, study says

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Overall compensation for directors at
large U.S. companies jumped 18 percent in 2004 after rising by
single digits the previous two years, according to a study by a
consulting company on Monday.

Directors' overall compensation rose just 2.3 percent in
2003 and 8.4 percent in 2002, the study by Mercer Human
Resource Consulting showed.

The study, based on an analysis of 2005 proxy statements,
found the 2004 median total direct compensation, or pay for
board service, committee service and equity grants for board
members at 350 large, publicly traded firms rose to $155,000
last year from $132,000 in 2003.

About 98 percent of the Mercer 350 companies pay their
independent directors an annual retainer. Median board
retainers rose 25 percent to $50,000 in 2004 from $40,000 in
2003, after remaining flat from 2002 to 2003, the study said.