St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Executive pay rebounds with performance - But the biggest hikes had more to do with special circumstances

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Executive pay rebounds with performance – But the biggest hikes had more to do with special circumstances

April 17 2011

Companies really mean it when they say pay for performance, says Steven Hall, managing director at consulting firm Steven Hall & Partners in New York.  “2010 was a year when profits rebounded quite a bit, and companies when they set their budgets may had expected life to not quite be that good,” he said.

As of early April, Hall says, “say on pay” resolutions had passed at 223 companies and failed at five.

The voting requirement, Hall says, is forcing firms to do a better job of explaining their pay practices.  Some are also doing things like making stock grants forfeitable when performance lags, trimming severance packages and eliminating red-flag perquisites like country club dues.