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Rivel Research Group Releases Largest Ever Global Investor Relations Compensation Study

Adding Board-level Engagement, Corporate Governance, Strategic Planning or M&A Advisory Activities Lead to Greatest Compensation Gains

San Diego, Calif. – Monday, June 26, 2017 – Rivel Research Group, a global leader in investor market research and analytics, today revealed the US portion of its latest corporate Investor Relations Officer (IRO) compensation data at its semi-annual conference held in San Diego. Extracted from a profile of 1703 global professionals, this study is unprecedented in its size and international reach.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the head US IROs reported a salary increase from Rivel’s study conducted in 2015. Other major findings from the study include:

  • 2016 median base salaries rose to $230,000 from $210,000 in 2014, an increase of almost 10%.
  • Stock grants and cash bonuses remained relatively flat compared with 2014.
  • More than 80% of head US IROs received all three components – base salary, stock grants and cash bonuses – of the compensation package.
  • 95% of head US IROs received a cash bonus. The median cash value was $70,000.
  • 87% of head US IROs received a stock grant. The media cash value of the stock grant was $110,000.

“This study, similar to our study conducted in 2015, highlights the path for IROs to higher compensation, providing them with the tools necessary to drive those higher compensation packages and also the understanding of what separates the highly compensated IROs from the rest of the pack,” said Brian Rivel, President of Rivel Research Group. “The head IRO responsibilities continue to grow through the years with higher compensation commensurate with those responsibilities. If an IRO adds another strategic element to his or her already immense responsibilities, the payoff could be quite substantial, resulting in as much as 29% gains in stock grants and/or cash bonuses.”

The size of the company and additional high-level responsibilities both matter greatly in the path to higher compensation:

  • The median base salary, bonus and stock grants of S&P 500 large-cap head IROs were all significantly higher compared with S&P 400 mid-cap and S&P 600 small-cap companies, as outlined in the table below:
S&P 500 S&P 400 S&P 600
Base 172 126 95
Base salary $260,000 $210,000 $210,000
Bonus $120,000 $70,000 $50,000
Stock grants $150,000 $110,000 $70,000


Rivel Research Group’s data shows that head IROs with additional responsibilities that include one or more of the following lead to the highest compensation levels:

  • Board-level engagement with attendance at board meetings,
  • Corporate governance activities,
  • High-level strategic planning
  • M&A advisory


For more information on the study, please contact Diana Hayden at or (203) 307-2237.