A NIRI White Paper                                                    225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 560                       ...
NIRI White Paper: Compensation and the Investor Relations ProfessionNIRI-Korn/Ferry International Corporate IR Professiona...
   21% of respondents reported a reduction in cash bonus received for the 2012 effort; these        findings follow 65% r...
profession, approximately 25% look at their IR role as transitional, and almost one-quarter are undecided.These data point...
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NIRI White Paper: Compensation and the IRO


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National Investor Relations Institute White Paper on the Investor Relations profession and compensation trends (02/2013).

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NIRI White Paper: Compensation and the IRO

  1. 1. A NIRI White Paper 225 Reinekers Lane, Suite 560 Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 562-7700 www.niri.org Compensation and the Investor Relations Profession By Ariel Finno, Director-Research (afinno@niri.org) Matt Brusch, Vice President-Communications and Practice Information © 2013 National Investor Relations Institute
  2. 2. NIRI White Paper: Compensation and the Investor Relations ProfessionNIRI-Korn/Ferry International Corporate IR Professionand Compensation Study ResultsPresented here are key findings from NIRI’s 2008, 2010 and 2012 NIRI-Korn/Ferry InternationalCorporate IR Compensation and Profession Study research projects.2008 Key Findings  The largest segment (1/3) of respondents earn between $126,000 and $175,000 and over 95% receive a cash bonus, with a typical bonus target of under 50% of base salary.  More than half of those surveyed receive stock options and more than half receive restricted stock/units as part of their compensation packages.  The largest proportion of respondents (23%) has more than 12 years of experience.  IR professionals in our survey most frequently report to the CFO.  Over half of respondents have between five and fourteen sell-side analysts covering their companies.64% of NIRI respondents report providing earnings guidance compared to 51% in 2007 survey results and 66% in 2006.In 2010, NIRI released NIRI-Korn/Ferry International Corporate Investor Relations Compensation SurveyResults, which announced the results of its corporate member data on the subject.2010 Key Findings  Despite the dramatic economic downturn and resulting stock market volatility, average base salary ranges of corporate IR practitioners were essentially unchanged from the last survey (published in 2008), with the largest segment reporting a range of $126,000 - $150,000.  IR budgets also remain virtually unchanged compared to the prior survey.  A new data point in the survey revealed average respondent salary of $168,604 with a median of $156,000.  Respondents reported base salaries in ranges from a low of $100,000 and below, to a high of $501,000 to $700,000.  The downturn seems to have had its greatest IR compensation impact on cash bonus levels with a majority of respondents (65%) reporting a reduction in amount of bonus received, though other forms of compensation were not reduced for the majority.  Eighty-six percent of those who were eligible to receive a bonus report receiving bonuses for 2009 compared to 82% in 2008.NIRI again studied this subject in 2012 in order to assess the current state of compensation and the IRprofessional atmosphere and organizational structure, and to review developing trend information. InOctober 2012, NIRI released 2012 NIRI-Korn/Ferry International Corporate IR Profession andCompensation Study Results.2012 Key Findings  Average base salary ranges of corporate IR practitioners were higher than in the previous two studies (2010 and 2008); the largest segment reported a range of $175,000 - $200,000, an increase of $50,000 from the reported range in both 2010 and 2008.  Median salary was $175,000 up from $156,000 in 2010.  The percentage receiving a cash bonus increased to 82% from 71% in the 2010 survey.© 2013 National Investor Relations Institute
  3. 3.  21% of respondents reported a reduction in cash bonus received for the 2012 effort; these findings follow 65% reporting a reduction in the 2010 survey. Bonus target remained unchanged.  46% of respondents had a cash bonus range of 0-25% of their current base salary; for 28% the cash bonus range was 26-50%.  37% of respondents reported an organization total IR budget between $1,000,000 and $2,499,999. These data are in line with 2010 survey results.  The majority (70%) of respondents report IR staff sizes remain unchanged for the last two years.The Investor Relations ProfessionThe overwhelming majority of respondents (96%) are currently employed in corporate IR. Of those thatare not, about one-half were laid off from work in the field. Based on member interest, NIRI included a fewquestions to capture data regarding the circumstances for those not currently working in corporate IR.The data clearly reveals that the largest lay-offs occurred in the third quarter of 2009, and the first andfourth quarters of 2010. Most (80%) are actively looking for another IR position, 21% are doing contractIR work, and 15% have accepted another position in a related field. The most common professional title for survey respondents was ‘Vice-President’ (35%), followed by ‘Director’ (28%), and ‘Manager’ (12%). To illustrate the complex nature of the position, 51% of respondents stated they have responsibilities in addition to IR. This data point has remained above the 50% since 2008 findings. Over three-fourths of those stated they had between one and four additional responsibilities, with the most common of these being external communications (52%), followed by financial media relations (49%). The least common additional responsibilities were Corporate Secretary (3%) and audit functions (2%). Seventeen percent of respondents indicated having five or more additional responsibilitiesseparate from their IRO duties. Although salary wasnot found to be correlated with whether the IRO hadadditional responsibilities, market cap-size, age, Figure 8: Professional Background Field of the IRO by Yearyears of work experience, and employment by aFortune 500 company were all correlated with havingadditional responsibilities. For example, 92% ofmicro-cap IROs had additional responsibilities,compared with 16% of their mega-cap counterparts.In terms of age, those reporting additionalresponsibilities peaked at 61% of respondents intheir fifties or above. Thirty percent of IROs with lessthan one year of IR work experience had additionalresponsiblities, compared to 70% of those with 21 ormore years work experience. Finally, continuing thetrend since the 2008 survey, Fortune 500respondents were less likely to have responsibilitiesin addition to IR (29%) than their non-Fortune 500 counterparts (67%).Since NIRI’s 2008 compensation survey, the number of different industries IRO respondents havereported working in has remained constant, with the majority (80%+) of the populations having worked intwo or more. The vast majority has never worked as sell-side or buy-side analysts, and this percentageremains unchanged since the preceding survey. Finally, over one-half plan to make IR their career© 2013 National Investor Relations Institute
  4. 4. profession, approximately 25% look at their IR role as transitional, and almost one-quarter are undecided.These data points also remain largely unchanged since the 2008 effort.Concerning type of degree, the MBA continues to be the most common advanced educational attainmentfor respondent IROs, regardless of survey year. Advanced certifications, associates degrees, Series 7(and other securities licenses), and other professional credentials are held by approximately 2% of IROs,and this percentage remains unchanged from prior years.IRO Workplace EnvironmentOne-half (50%) of participant IROs report to the CFO, and another one-fourth report to the Head (or VP)of IR. For 70% of respondents, IR staff size has remained unchanged since the 2010 effort. Ten percentof respondents are currently in an IR position which is considered rotational within their company. Almostone-fourth have IR staff level positions that are rotational. A new survey question item inquired about thecurrent work environment. The overwhelming majority (92%) reported working full-time in their company’soffice, while another 6% telecommuted/worked remotely at least part of the week.ConclusionThe 2012 NIRI-Korn/Ferry International Corporate IR Profession and Compensation Study sheds light onthe behavior of companies emerging from the recent economic downturn, and provides IROs with areason for optimism. For example, compared with 2010 data, which painted a picture of modest belt-tightening (most notably seen in cash bonuses), 2012 data reveals that median base salary and cashbonuses received are on the rise. In addition, IRO staff and budget sizes are holding steady, and itappears IROs have weathered the worst of the storm, as IR lay-offs are down in all quarters of 2011when compared to the previous three years.The IR role continues to grow more complex as today’s executives face increasingly varied professionalchallenges both internally and externally. Over one-half of respondents have responsibilities in addition totheir IR duties. The vast majority of the population holds some type of advanced degree, certifications,licenses or other specialized education related to their field. These findings support the idea that the IRposition and the IROs that hold them are valued for their expertise among the C-suite.Many variables affect both the base salary of IROs, as well as their equity and benefits compensationpackages. To illustrate, for 2012 respondents, the median annual salary of an IRO with 11-15 years ofwork experience employed at a micro-cap company is $136,500, whereas the annual salary of an IROwith the same amount of experience at a mega-cap company is almost double that amount. Or,depending on geographic location and title, an IRO with the title of ‘VP’ can have a median salary rangebetween $196,000 and $230,000.More InformationFor complete survey results, please visit www.niri.org, or contact Ariel Finno, Director of Research, (703)562-7678, afinno@niri.org.About the National Investor Relations InstituteFounded in 1969, the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) is the professional association ofcorporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporatemanagement, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. The largestprofessional investor relations association in the world, NIRI’s more than 3,300 members representingover 1,600 publicly held companies and $9 trillion in stock market capitalization.© 2013 National Investor Relations Institute