How to calculate your market value and negotiate compensation

Mar 19, 2018
In the latest installment of IR Magazine’s careers video series, we discuss the thorny topic of compensation

The most important starting point for IROs in negotiating their salary is to understand the concept of marketplace value, according to Smooch Repovich Reynolds, managing director of the investor relations and corporate communications practice at ZRG Partners.

Marketplace value is based on two factors – technical skills and intangible leadership skills – Reynolds tells IR Magazine in the latest installment of our careers video series. ‘The latter of the two is more important as people move along in their career track and become more senior,’ she explains.

The median head of IR salary in 2016 was between $200,000 and $249,999 in North America, according to IR Magazine’s Global Salary Report 2016. This is the highest salary level of the three regions the research considers (see below).

Median IR head salary, by region
North America $200,000-$249,999
Europe $150,000-$199,999
Asia $100,000-$149,999

Source: IR Magazine’s Global Salary Report 2016

Although looking at studies about IR compensation and considering how much IR professionals earn at peer companies is a good place to start, Reynolds says IR professionals can fall into a trap of being too narrowly focused. She suggests they should be looking at compensation levels of other direct reports into the CFO and also one other peer group that isn’t regularly considered.

‘Every board has a board-sanctioned peer company list, comprising companies they consider to have best practices, are most admired or are competitors,’ Reynolds says. ‘This list is used by HR and compensation and benefits people to benchmark executive compensation, so I think IROs ought to be very familiar with that.’

In the eventuality that research leads you to believe you are being paid less than your marketplace value, Reynolds says it is important to tell the story with data and make the case as if you were ‘trying to convince your CEO or CFO about changing the directional beacon of dealing with Wall Street. Keep your ego out of it because it’s about them making a smart executive decision.’

Click here to view the full video with Reynolds or watch below. 

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