Skip to main content

Please enter a keyword and click the arrow to search the site

Unified analysis of executive pay: the case of the financial sector



Publishing details

Authors / Editors

Talmor E;Wallace J S


Publication Year



This study examines executive compensation determinants in the US financial services sector. Multiple theories of executive pay are discussed and tested using a relatively homogenous sample. We perform an in-depth look at the corporate governance and ownership structure of the companies selected. The analysis is conducted for the financial sector as a whole and for each of three sub-groups: commercial banks, brokerage and other non-depository institutions, and insurance companies. Variables that proxy for managerial strategic discretion and task complexity are found to best explain CEO compensation. Corporate governance, including board characteristics and external ownership, is the second leading determinant of pay variation, while firm performance and CEO specific characteristics seem to play the least role. We explore the simultaneous relationship between compensation, firm performance, and board strength and find evidence that the board of directors provides a monitoring function and that a strong board appears to be a substitute with incentive compensation for aligning incentives. These findings, when viewed with subsequent firm performance, support an efficient contracting argument.

Series Number

ACCT 022


Accounting Working Paper

Available on ECCH


Select up to 4 programmes to compare

Select one more to compare
subscribe_image_desktop 5949B9BFE33243D782D1C7A17E3345D0

Sign up to receive our latest news and business thinking direct to your inbox