Leave Executive Comp to Boards, Not Lawmakers, Securities Industry Group Says

By Staff Report

Jun. 11, 2009

Executive compensation should be decided by company boards, not imposed by legislators or regulators, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said Wednesday, June 10, as it released guidelines for how financial services firms should tie compensation to long-term performance and risk management.

The association called for preserving “the industry’s ability to operate dynamically and help drive economic growth,” and pledged to work with governments globally to achieve compensation fairness, the Washington- and New York-based group said in a statement.

“We can build a better system that aligns compensation with the interests of shareholders, safeguards the financial system and strengthens the economy,” SIFMA president and chief executive Timothy Ryan said in the statement.

The guidelines included four principles: establishing compensation policies consistent with effective risk management, linking compensation to sustainable performance, allowing risk management professionals to be “appropriately independent” and communicating compensation practices to shareholders.

The brokerage industry has come under heavy attack for what are widely viewed as excessive bonuses given to executives of Wall Street firms that have experienced disastrous financial results.

The Obama administration and Congress will consider executive compensation as they take up financial services regulatory reform in the coming months.

The administration is to release its regulatory reform plan June 17.

Filed by Sara Hansard of Investment News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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