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CORPORATE CEOs AND BOARD MEMBERS DISAGREE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION, COOPERS & LYBRAND SURVEY REVEALS

CORPORATE CEOs AND BOARD MEMBERS DISAGREE ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION,
 COOPERS & LYBRAND SURVEY REVEALS
 NEW YORK, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Corporate chief executive officers and directors differ as much as they agree on executive compensation issues, according to a Coopers & Lybrand survey released today.
 For example, over 56 percent of directors believe shareholders should have a greater influence on executive compensation, while more than 59 percent of chief executives assert they should not.
 Over 75 percent of both groups, however, agree that executive pay should be linked more directly with company performance. These issues are being hotly debated by regulators and in board rooms.
 "While there was striking agreement in several key areas, there were also considerable differences between the two groups," according to Janet Fuersich, national director of compensation consulting at Coopers & Lybrand. "For many corporations these differences will be a stumbling block to developing a compensation program that satisfies executives, directors, employees, shareholders and regulators."
 The telephone survey of more than 500 CEOs and over 500 board members at the nation's largest companies indicates that nearly half the CEOs strongly oppose shareholders' stronger influence on compensation packages, while nearly half of the directors agree they should.
 Fuersich noted that while both groups strongly agree that executive pay and company performance should be linked, over 69 percent of CEOs and more than 53 percent of directors oppose capping compensation levels. "With this linkage established, they believe pay should not be limited by a pre-set maximum, but should continue to increase as performance levels increase," she said.
 At least 55 percent of the CEOs believe that stock options should not be charged against corporate earnings when issued, a proposal currently under consideration by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Fuersich explained that such a charge would decrease a company's current earnings, which may have been the cause for CEO opposition.
 Nearly half the CEOs and board members oppose extending stock options to all employees. "This may reflect the potential impact on earnings, the dilution that could occur or the inability of many employees to have an effect on stock value," Fuersich said.
 She noted that both CEOs and board members support disclosure of total executive compensation packages, indicating that the SEC's initiative on the issue will be readily accepted and that corporate America is comfortable with fully disclosing compensation information.
 Here are other findings from the survey:
 -- Most CEOs and board members believe executives should retain large holdings of company stock.
 -- Both groups believe directors should receive a major portion of their fees in stock.
 -- CEOs and board members agree the current debate on executive compensation will prove positive for American business.
 Copies of "The Coopers & Lybrand Survey on Executive Compensation Issues in the 90s" are available free of charge by contacting Coopers & Lybrand, Attention: Publications Department, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y., 10020; 212-536-3257.
 One of the world's leading accounting, tax, management and benefits consulting firms, Coopers & Lybrand provides solutions for businesses in a wide range of industries. The firm offers its clients the expertise of more than 17,000 professionals and staff in 100 U.S. offices and more than 67,000 people in 121 countries worldwide.
 -0- 6/22/92
 /CONTACT: Amy J. Goldberger of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3256, or David Santos of Howard J. Rubenstein Associates, 212-489-6900, for Coopers & Lybrand/ CO: Coopers & Lybrand ST: New York IN: FIN SU: ECO


CK-OS -- NY016 -- 2280 06/22/92 10:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1992
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