Compensation Issues

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10 findings on CFO compensation

Total compensation for middle market CFOs is decreasing, on average, while compensation for those at larger companies is on the rise.

Here are 10 findings on CFO compensation.

1. Middle market healthcare CFO compensation fell to $1.7 million in 2015, down 5 percent from the year prior, according to a BDO survey.

2. The BDO survey examined CEO and CFO compensation trends in publicly traded companies with annual revenues from $100 million to $3 billion in the energy, healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, retail and technology industries; and publicly traded companies with assets ranging from $100 million to $6 billion in the banking and financial services industries. Across all industries examined, total CFO compensation averaged about 38 percent of total CEO pay.

3. Seventy-seven percent of CFOs received a salary increase in 2015, according to a 2016 Compensation Advisory Partners report. CAP's analysis was based on a sample of 100 companies with median revenues of $13 billion. In 2014, 72 percent of CFOs received a salary increase.

4. The median salary increase for healthcare CFOs was 3.1 percent in 2015 — the same as the year prior, according to CAP.

5. In 2015, the median increase in total direct compensation — cash plus equity — for CFOs at all companies examined for the CAP report was 1.4 percent. That's down from a median increase of 2.2 percent in 2014. "The lower increases in total compensation for 2014-2015 are partially a result of no increase in bonuses, at median, and only slightly higher single digit increase in long-term incentives," according to CAP.

6. The median total compensation increase for CFOs of healthcare companies examined for the CAP report was 8.8 percent in 2015, compared to a median increase of 7.1 percent the year prior.

7. Performance plans made up about 52 percent of CFOs' long-term incentive awards on average in 2015. That's down slightly from 56 percent the year prior, according to CAP.

8. Total cash compensation for medical group CFOs increased 3.6 percent from 2014 to 2016, according to a survey conducted by the American Medical Group Association.

9. Between 2015 and 2016, medical group CFO pay grew 11.8 percent, according to the AMGA survey. However, AMGA attributed this to a reporting change — the 2016 report only includes data on CFOs, leaving out information on vice president of finance positions that was previously included.

10. Average total cash compensation for medical group CFOs was $308,624 in 2016, according to the AMGA survey.

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