Compensation Growth Continues for Corporate Investor Relations Officers According to Biennial NIRI and Korn Ferry Survey

“IR Today” with NIRI CEO Jeff Morgan and Korn Ferry Global Managing Director Richard S. Marshall recaps key trends and compensation drivers

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – June 25, 2014 – Today’s Investor Relations Officer (IRO) at publicly traded companies face increasingly complex professional challenges both internally and externally, and the rising compensation for this dynamic position reflects the critical nature of the role, according to the latest survey findings from the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) and Korn Ferry International. The biennial study surveyed corporate IROs (including Fortune 500 IROs*) on trends in IR profession compensation, benefits and related practices.

Key survey findings:
Salaries – The latest survey data shows continued increases in average base salaries of corporate IROs over 2012 and 2010 data.

  • Average base salaries rose for the second consecutive survey year to $188,000 from $174,000 in 2012.
  • Median base salary of all respondents was $185,000, an increase from $175,000 in 2012.
  • Since 2012, the inflation adjusted increase to median salary is two percent.
  • The median base salary of Fortune 500 IROs was $195,000 compared with $176,000 for non-Fortune 500 IROs.

Bonuses – The 2014 survey data also reflects continued improvement in cash bonuses received.

  • The percentage of all respondents receiving a cash bonus increased to 92 percent from 82 percent in the prior survey.
  • Average cash bonus was $69,000 compared with $65,000 in 2012.
  • For Fortune 500 IROs, average cash bonus received was $82,732.

Budgets – IR budgets saw a slight shift downward for the first time since 2008.

  • The largest percentage (34 percent) reported total budgets of between $500,000 and $1 million, down from 2012 when the largest percentage (34 percent) reported budgets of between $1 million and $2.5 million.
  • Forty-four percent of Fortune 500 IROs manage IR budgets between $1 million and $2.5 million.

“Investor Relations professionals are a public company’s primary conduit to Wall Street and play a critical role in its securities achieving fair valuation, and the rising IR compensation data reflects this,” said Jeffrey D. Morgan, President and Chief Executive Officer of NIRI. “Investor Relations is a unique position requiring a mature blend of finance, communication, marketing and securities law compliance. We’ve seen IR executives take on a steadily increasing number of other internal duties, more reporting upper level educational and professional credentials, and a steady influx into the field of former Wall Street sell- and buy-side analysts.”

“In today’s disruptive business environment, the role of the IRO has never been more important. And while having the functional expertise will always be core to success in the profession, increasingly there are opportunities for IROs with the right leadership and business skills to expand the scope of their role and elevate to take on even greater responsibilities within the enterprise,” said Richard S. Marshall, Global Managing Director, Corporate Affairs and IR, at Korn Ferry International.

NIRI today also released a new segment of its “IR Today” web video series featuring NIRI CEO Jeff Morgan, and Korn Ferry Global Managing Director Richard S. Marshall, discussing key compensation trends and drivers. The video is available on the NIRI YouTube channel:

(*”Fortune 500 IROs” are IR professionals in a Fortune 500 company.)

Methodology – About the Study
The NIRI - Korn Ferry International Corporate IR Profession and Compensation Study collected corporate investor relations position data in March and April 2014. The response rate of NIRI members was 27 percent.

About the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI)
Founded in 1969, NIRI ( is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants responsible for communication among corporate management, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. NIRI is the largest professional investor relations association in the world with more than 3,300 members representing over 1,600 publicly held companies and $9 trillion in stock market capitalization.

About Korn Ferry
At Korn Ferry, we design, build, attract and ignite talent. Since our inception, clients have trusted us to help recruit world-class leadership. Today, we are a single source for leadership and talent consulting services to empower businesses and leaders to reach their goals. Our solutions range from executive recruitment and leadership development programs, to enterprise learning, succession planning and recruitment process outsourcing (RPO). Visit for more information on Korn Ferry, and for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.