Towers Watson: 45% of companies changing executive compensation

Nearly half of companies surveyed by Towers Watson are making changes to their executive compensation programs in 2012.

Of the executive compensation executives and professionals at 253 large and midsize publicly traded companies surveyed at the end of September, 45% of respondents report making the changes to enhance pay-for-performance alignment, according to the survey.

The changes come at a time of strong support from shareholders in say-on-pay votes.

Among companies that conducted say-on-pay votes, 61% received at least 90% of shareholder support, while 17% received between 81% and 90% support. Only 2% received less than 50% of shareholder support.

Eighty-three percent of companies with less than 70% of support are making changes in their programs, while 48% of those companies who received between 70% and 90% reported making changes.

Fifty-five percent of respondents replied one reason they have made changes was to “introduce/enhance emphasis on performance-based equity,” 50% replied it was to change performance measures, 29% replied the changes were to “change pay mix,” and 26% responded “change peer group.”