To help companies benchmark proxy officer change-in-control (CIC) costs, Exequity analyzed 2010 proxy filings of 500 firms representing a wide cross section of industries and company sizes. Top five executives' CIC costs, with CEO values shown separately, are presented both as a percentage of year-end market cap, and in absolute dollar terms. This type of analysis enables firms to reach beyond a traditional comparison of CIC benefits based on an examination of each CIC program design feature, and understand how aggregate CIC costs for named executive officers compare to the market. Comparison of CIC costs to market cap largely neutralizes the impact of stock prices on the value of equity vesting acceleration, and therefore total CIC benefit values, thus leveling the playing field between companies with rising and falling stock prices. Relative costs and prevalence of 280G excise tax gross-up provisions were also collected and analyzed.
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Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, January 7, 2007. Mike Sorensen is quoted regarding the size of parachutes that could be seen during the 2006 proxy season, the first under the Securities and Exchange Commission's new executive compensation disclosure rules.
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