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06 Dec. 2017 | Comments (0)

Financial company CEOs profited from post-election’s double-digit stock market gains, with some 2016 cash bonuses reporting staggering increases of more than 40 percent.

Download CEO and Executive Compensation Practices: 2017 Edition

In 2016, cash bonuses grew by more than 10 percent in the Russell 3000 and by more than 8 percent in the S&P 500—in many cases, offsetting the year-on-year drop that had been registered in 2015 and attributed to the meager annual return of the stock market following a period of high volatility (the S&P 500 Total Return, a measure combining stock appreciation and dividend income, closed 2016 at +12.25 percent, compared to the +1.19 percent of 2015). However, in the S&P 500 index, when compared to other compensation elements and if the entire six-year period is considered, annual bonuses showed the lowest aggregate gains—their value had a mere 0.78 percent uptick, compared to the 12.82 percent growth rate of base salary and the 98.78 percent rise in the value of stock awards. (In the Russell 3000, the median annual bonus rose 20.28 percent in six years, still a fraction of the 264.98 percent increase reported for the value of stock awards). 

CEO and Executive Compensation Practices: 2017 Edition and the full Corporate Intelligence portfolio are complimentary to members of The Conference Board and The Conference Board Governance Center. A fee may apply to non-members. (To learn more about our member benefits, email us at

The report is a collaboration among The Conference Board, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and MylogIQ.

  • About the Author:Matteo Tonello

    Matteo Tonello

    Matteo Tonello is managing director at The Conference Board. In his role, Tonello advises members of The Conference Board on issues of corporate governance, risk management, corporate sustainability a…

    Full Bio | More from Matteo Tonello


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