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What’s Driving CEO Pay in 2020?

Dear Friend,

Website Marc

Less than two months into 2020 and it’s already looking like it will be an eventful year for executive compensation. The unfolding of the U.S. presidential election and the kick-off of corporate earnings season will ensure that even more scrutiny will surround CEO earnings.

In this month’s Comp & Gov, we take a look at the trends driving CEO pay in 2020. As boards face investors and a more engaged public in defending pay packages in the context of a changing political and regulatory environment, it will be more important to follow and learn from these trends. 


Marc Hodak

Hot Off The Press From Farient

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Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has determined that CEOs who willingly step down should not get severance. Beyond ISS, compensation committees face heightened investor pressure to claw back or rescind awards to departing CEOs who have inflicted reputational damage, as I say in this Agenda article.


After Shareholder Feedback, Performance Period Lengthens

As proxy season approaches, some companies may already be looking at changes to their compensation structures to get ahead of what they think will be negative shareholder reactions. In this interview with Agenda, I discuss what leads companies announce changes on pay in advance of proxy statements.

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Amidst high CEO turnover, boards are struggling to attract and retain top talent for their chief executive positions. In this interview with Corporate Board Member, Farient partner Dayna Harris and I discuss how competitive compensation plays a key role in recruitment, and why paying generously is sometimes the best option, albeit an often controversial one.


ESG Reporting and Non-GAAP Measures Included in Incentive Compensation Plans

How will executive compensation be impacted by the ongoing debate over ESG and corporate responsibility beyond creating shareholder value? On a recent panel for NACD Directorship, I discussed with other esteemed experts how non-GAAP measures related to ESG can be factored into compensation plans without needlessly enhancing complexity.

Where To Find Us


NACD Director Training

NACD’s Director Professionalism program provides directors with insights into the boardroom fundamentals necessary to successfully navigate today's dynamic business environment. Directors will benefit from the panel discussions, case studies, and keynote presentations at this course, next being held in Miami, from March 2-4.


NACD Compensation Committee Advisory Council

Farient and the NACD are pleased to bring you compensation committee chairs from Fortune 500 companies together with key shareholder representatives, regulators and other stakeholders to discuss ways to strengthen corporate, next being held in Washington, D.C. on April 7.


NACD Carolinas Roundtable - Where Will You Be When Human Capital Management Takes Center Stage in 2020?

Please join your peer CHROs and board members in Charlotte on May 7 for this unique opportunity to participate in discussions focused on relevant topics to management and the boardroom, including culture, talent and diversity with a special focus on preparing the organization of the future and why pay will continue to be a challenge.

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World at Work, 2020 Total Rewards Conference

This event, held from June 7-10 in Minneapolis, is for professionals engaged in the critically important practice of Total Rewards. It provides pioneering, forward-thinking concepts and perspectives related to the Total Rewards field.

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World At Work, 2020 Executive Compensation Forum

World at Work’s Executive Compensation Forum, to be held in Dallas from July 12-14, is a comprehensive two-day deep dive into the intricacies of executive compensation through an exchange of ideas, experiences and insight with expert presenters and attendees.

Meet Marc Hodak

Marc Hodak is a Partner at Farient Advisors with more than 20 years of experience as a compensation and corporate governance consultant. He has developed executive and board compensation programs for global companies, both private and public including extensive work around goal setting, performance and perverse incentives. Learn more about Marc.

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Farient Advisors LLC is an independent executive compensation, performance, and corporate governance consultancy. Farient provides a comprehensive array of services to boards of directors and management including: compensation program design, goal setting and performance measurement, pay and performance alignment, board of directors compensation, and shareholder communication among others. Farient has offices in Los Angeles and New York and covers clients in more than 30 countries through our partnership in the Global Governance Executive Compensation Group (GECN).

New York: 654 Madison Avenue Suite 1209 New York NY 

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