CFO Dive

      CFO DIVE: CFO pay saw record 17% increase in 2021: study

      Median CFO compensation — buoyed by strong company and stock performance — made the largest year over year gains in ten years, a Sept. 30 study by consultancy Compensation Advisory Partners (CAP) found.

      Total direct compensation — including both cash and equity — rose on average 17% for CFOs and 18% for CEOs in 2021, according to the study, which examined compensation trends for incumbent CEOs and CFOs in 130 companies with median revenue of $14 billion. These mark the first increases in the 15-20% range in approximately a decade.   

      Outside of incumbents which may have negotiated their salaries and pay mix earlier in the year, current market pressures make it “a good time to be an experienced CFO,” that may be seeking a new position, said Shawn Cole, president of executive search firm Cowen Partners in a recent interview.

      “There’s been such a significant spotlight put on CFOs in the last two years, and they know it, that CFO pay expectations across the board but especially when it comes to long-term incentives have skyrocketed,” Cole said.

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      About CFO Dive

      CFO Dive provides in-depth journalism and insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping finance. The newsletters and website cover topics such as financial reporting, compliance, technology, risk management, leadership, and more.

      CFO Dive is a leading publication operated by Industry Dive. Our business journalists spark ideas and shape agendas for 10+ million decision makers in competitive industries.

      Cowen Partners is the nation’s executive search firm, enabling companies to harness the power of human capital to fuel their success. Cowen Partners gives our clients access to the top 1% of human capital to create opportunities that accelerate their growth and market share. With Cowen Partners, clients can grow at scale, create value, and drive results with world class talent. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations.

      Clients are typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include VP and director level leadership roles.

      With our proven processes and guaranteed results, we have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, and private equity.

      About Shawn Cole, President & Cofounder

      Shawn Cole is a serial entrepreneur and executive leader with over 15 years’ experience founding and running successful companies. Shawn’s business career has been centered on value creation for both turnarounds and startups.

      Shawn is President and Co-Founder of Cowen Partners, a national CFO executive search firm focused on the key elements of a successful business: sales, marketing, and finance. Business clients across the country trust Cowen Partners to take their companies to the next level by finding them executive talent, such as a CEO, CFO, COO, Chief Revenue Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer. Clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations, typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $1 billion and $15 billion.

      An active participant in the business community and startup space, Shawn Co-Chairs The Cowen Partners Venture Fund which provides seed funding and early stage investments, focusing on market disruptors in niche markets, community businesses, and minority entrepreneurs.

      Shawn attended Oregon State University’s College of Business Austin Entrepreneurship Program and participated in a first-of-its-kind experiential entrepreneurship experiment at Weatherford Hall. He was also a Founding Member and President of Oregon State University’s Students in Free Enterprise, an international non-profit organization working with university students who want to positively change their communities and learn practical knowledge to become socially responsible business leaders.

      At the age of 16 Shawn became a volunteer firefighter and EMT, eventually founding and managing a half marathon to raise funds for the community. To date, the marathon is still a success and has raised over one million dollars benefiting the community.

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