The salaries of North American IR professionals went up over the past two years, with more than 30 percent reporting a base salary between $276,000 and $350,000 in 2022 and nearly 12 percent taking home $351,000 or more.
According to the NIRI/Korn Ferry Investor Relations Officers Survey, compensation packages in 2022 recorded growth in four areas: beyond base salary increases, annual cash bonus targets also went up, with almost 30 percent of respondents reporting bonuses of 26 percent-36 percent of base compensation, and more than 30 percent of IR professionals seeing bonuses of 36 percent-60 percent.
The report also shows that more than 25 percent of IR professionals have long-term investment plans valued at between 26 percent and 50 percent of their base salary. Of those with an equity component, nearly 60 percent have restricted stock units as part of their compensation package.
IR functions reconsidered
The boost in compensation packages in a post-pandemic world reflects the changes in IR functions and the subsequent alteration of IR career landscapes.
More than eight in 10 respondents to the survey say Covid-19 changed the management of their function and pushed IROs to leverage technology and digital communications,and adapt tactics and strategies to ensure they can operate successfully in a virtual world.
Almost two thirds (64 percent) of IROs claim their function has been ‘elevated’ within their company, and more than 90 percent are optimistic about their career progression. But the research finds that only a small portion of IROs have a succession plan in place, while 71 percent are not sure what their next professional move will be.
Peter McDermott, senior client partner at Korn Ferry, explains that an increase in IR’s range of responsibilities – including ESG – has contributed to companies recognizing and rewarding their IR teams.
‘Investor and board focus on ESG has put a spotlight on the investor relations function during the past few years,’ he says. ‘This has further cemented the importance of the role of IR for the modern executive team.’
Matthew Brusch, president and CEO of NIRI, adds: ‘These results reinforce the high value of the investor relations profession and top IR talent within corporate C-suites.’