By: Sophie Langlois
The Clarkson Centre for Board Effectiveness (CCBE) has tracked CEO pay and performance alignment for firms on the S&P/TSX Composite Index (TSX Index) since 2004. Overall, data shows that CEO pay and share performance move in the same direction in the long-term. This trend is, however, less apparent in the short-term. To better understand pay and performance alignment in the short-term, this report focuses on a crucial observation period: the 2008 financial crisis; a year where total average TSR of the TSX Index plunged to -32%.
In an era of increased shareholder scrutiny enhanced by the introduction of corporate governance practices such as, “Say on Pay,” this paper examines patterns in CEO pay and performance alignment in the short-term and whether tenure on the S&P/TSX Composite Index influences compensation behavior. For the purposes of this report, CCBE looked specifically at how TSX Index boards reacted to the 2008 financial crisis. How did long-tenured firms align their CEO pay with financial performance relative to short-tenured firms and firms with eventual-tenure?