The Pay Governance memo analyzes the relationship among stock buybacks, long-term growth and executive compensation for companies in the S&P 500. Here’s the conclusion:
Following up on Pay Governance’s original research into the relationship among executive compensation, share buybacks, and shareholder value creation, we found even stronger evidence that certain executive compensation structures (granting stock options and using EPS bonus metrics) are correlated with share buybacks. We also debunked two common myths: that share buybacks damage long-term corporate investment and that there is an excessive trade-off between short-term and long-term shareholder returns.
Taken together, these findings suggest an alternate narrative about the relationships between executive pay, share buybacks, shareholder value, and company growth. The contemporary fact-driven story of share buybacks is not one of managers shirking investment and long-term stewardship of corporate capital but one of disciplined capital allocation. Companies conducting the largest share buybacks are not just rewarding shareholders with higher long-term returns; they also appear to be investing in the long-term through capital expenditures.
Executive compensation programs are an important part of the strategic structure ensuring this efficient capital allocation and long-term corporate financial sustainability. The use of short- and long-term financial metrics and share-based incentives remains a proven approach for focusing executive teams on long-term value drivers and aligning executive pay with shareholder interests.
-Liz Dunshee, CompensationStandards.com July 15, 2019
Want to keep reading?
Great. Enter your email address and gain instant access to this article