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CFO salaries at public companies gaining on CEOs

CFO salaries increasing

In case any of the CFOs of large publicly traded companies were hurting for cash, things are looking up. According to newly released survey data from Compensation Advisory Partners, indicate that overall, "increases in total compensation levels for both CEOs and CFOs slowed in 2011-2012", but increased faster for CFOs than for CEOs for the third year running, "driven by slightly higher increases in long-term compensation and smaller decreases in annual bonus."

Although CFO pay is increasing more rapidly than CEO pay, the study notes that CFOs receive about one third (1/3) of what their CEOs earn. That's still quite a gap, but it's closing. "In 2012, approximately 85% of CFOs received salary increases. The median increase was 3.0% and the 75th percentile increase was 4.9%, according to the study." Considering that the Dow was up by almost 10% in 2012 (Morningstar), it's not surprising that CFOs would see some of the love from increased lining of sharholder investment accounts. Likewise, CFOs are keeping ahead of inflation which came in at just over 2% in 2012. 

For the long term, Compensation Advisory Partners "expect future changes in compensation for these positions (CEO and CFO) to continue to be closely linked to overall company performance, as well stock price performance, since the majority of pay for CEOs and CFOs is delivered through long-term incentives." As the Dow is up 20% through July, CFOs may be in for another good year.