Research Report | November 19, 2020
2020 Director Compensation Report
By Michael Ferrante, Connor Damon, Stephan D. Bosshard


Download the full report in pdf here.

FW Cook’s 2020 Director Compensation Report studies non-employee director compensation at 300 companies of various sizes and industries to analyze market practices in pay levels and program structure.

Year-over-year increases to total compensation, at the median, were modest among large-cap and mid-cap companies compared to small cap companies, which had a relatively significant increase: the large-cap median increased 1.6% to $290,000, the mid-cap median increased 1.7% to $216,950, and the small-cap median increased 5.1% to $163,500. Changes were relatively stable across industries; we observe that Financial Services, Industrials, and Technology companies had no increases in median total compensation, while Energy and Retail companies had increases of 3% and2%, respectively.

The 2020 study includes 275 companies that were also included in the 2019 study (“legacy companies”). Approximately 30% of legacy companies increased compensation by more than 1% and compensation increased 9% at the median among these companies; increases were generally weighted more towards equity than cash, with a median cash valueincrease of 8% and a median equity value increase of 9%.