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Investors Can Now Instantly Compare Executive Compensation, Reveals Cox

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

28 December 2007


US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman, Christopher Cox earlier this month launched the first-ever online tool enabling investors to easily and instantly compare what 500 of the largest American companies are paying their top executives.

The Executive Compensation Reader - available now on the SEC's Web site - builds on the Commission's new requirements, which went into effect earlier this year, to dramatically enhance clarity and completeness of executive compensation disclosure.

"Gone are the complicated data expeditions that forced investors to hunt through financial statements, footnotes, proxy statements, and other disclosure documents to figure out how much a company pays its top executives," Chairman Cox explained.

"Through its new rules and the power of interactive data, the SEC has transformed the landscape of compensation disclosure. The result is quicker and better analysis, and better-informed shareholders," he continued.

By tagging the executive compensation figures in XBRL, the computer language of interactive data, the SEC the new online tool helps investors to more efficiently view Summary Compensation Tables and certain other data in the proxy statements of large companies.

Investors can quickly glimpse the total annual pay as well as dollar amounts for salary, bonus, stock, options and company perks. They can instantly compare those executive compensation figures with other companies by sorting according to industry or size.

The SEC's new Web tool includes information in XBRL for 500 large companies that have filed proxy statements with the Commission. The new tool includes direct links to companies' proxy statements, including footnotes and the companies' explanation of their compensation decisions.

Selected comparisons can be depicted in both table and graph form, allowing shareholders to compare how executives are paid at companies according to industry, public market cap, or revenue. The data also can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel so that users can further devise their own programs and tables.


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