1. Executive Compensation: Just 6 Percent of Russell 3000 Companies Have Announced COVID-Related Incentive Plan Changes, but 2021 Payouts Likely to Dip

    Executive Compensation: Just 6 Percent of Russell 3000 Companies Have Announced COVID-Related Incentive Plan Changes, but 2021 Payouts Likely to Dip

    While the COVID-19 crisis has fundamentally altered the business environment across industries, only 6% of companies in the Russell 3000 Index have announced changes to their incentive compensation plans to date...

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    1. COVID-19 has upended the business context in which many companies made their last compensation decisions, only a year ago.
    2. The challenges of 2020 have accelerated the trend towards ESG-related measures in annual incentive plans.
    3. Those businesses that were severely harmed by the pandemic may have no choice but to grant some degree of discretion to compensation committees making the final annual payout determinations—so that they can modulate pay-for-performance according to the specific circumstances they face.
    4. The events of the last year have raised fundamental questions about the role of long-term incentives.
    5. Looking ahead, investors do not expect companies to overhaul their executive compensation programs in light of COVID-19.
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