Today, most firms provide equity‐based incentive compensation to their non‐executive directors. We summarize viewpoints supportive and critical of this development. We argue that the effectiveness of incentive compensation is related to the structure of the incentive pay contact. We discuss the use of options and shares as well as the issue of whether incentive pay should be geared towards current rewards or future incentives. We also discuss the critical issue of maintaining the ownership exposure of directors by providing sufficient levels of equity as well as placing restrictions on cashing out. Using our arguments above, we suggest guidelines for constructing an optimal contract. We compare 289 incentive plans offered by public companies in the USA during 1988‐1998 and find that plans deviate significantly from the optimum.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited