We develop a multi-theoretic approach, drawing on economic, institutional, managerial power and social comparison literatures to explain the role of the external compensation consultant in the top management pay setting institutional field. Taking advantage of recent disclosure requirements in the UK, we collect data on compensation consultant use in 232 large companies. We show that consultants are a prevalent part of the CEO pay setting scene, and document evidence of all advisor use. Our econometric results show that consultant use is associated with firm size and the equity pay mix. We also show that CEO pay is positively associated with peer firms that share consultants, with higher board and consultant interlocks, and some evidence that where firms supply other business services to the firm, CEO pay is greater.
- Executive compensation