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Compensation for U.S. Corporate Directors Increased 6%, Towers Watson 2014 Analysis Finds

October 24, 2014 Comments off

Compensation for U.S. Corporate Directors Increased 6%, Towers Watson 2014 Analysis Finds
Source: Towers Watson

Total pay for outside directors at the nation’s largest corporations increased by 6% in 2013, fueled by higher stock-based compensation, according to a new analysis by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). The study also found that cash compensation remained flat for the first time since 2007, when proxy disclosure rules were enacted requiring companies to report actual values received by directors in summary compensation tables.

According to Towers Watson’s annual analysis of director compensation at Fortune 500 companies, median total direct compensation for directors climbed 6% last year, to nearly $240,000, up from $227,000 in 2012. The increase is double the 3% increase in director total compensation in 2012. Total compensation includes cash pay, and annual or recurring stock awards. The analysis found that the median value of cash compensation remained flat last year at $100,000, while compensation from annual and recurring stock awards increased 4%, to $130,500, the largest increase since 2011. More than half (56%) of directors’ pay in 2013 was delivered through stock compensation, up slightly from 55% in 2012.

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U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014

October 23, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014 (PDF)
Source: Adobe

Key Insights

New record for total online video consumption

  • 38.2 billion−Online video (free access) achieves a record number of videos watched, up 43% year-overyear (YOY) to 38.2 billion.
  • Smartphones overtake tablets−Device preference swings back toward smartphones, with share of access via phones up 59%. (Q2 ‘13 versus Q2 ’14)
  • 25.8% ad growth−Ad growth follows as viewers now watch more than two ads per video start, a 25.8% growth YOY. (Q2 ‘13 through Q2 ’14)

Online TV growth accelerates in 2014

  • 388% YOY growth for online TV video consumption
  • 85% unique visitor growth−2014 has seen a surge in monthly unique viewership growing 85% over the past six months, up 146% YOY.

In brief: New mortality tables to impact benefit obligation assumptions

October 23, 2014 Comments off

In brief: New mortality tables to impact benefit obligation assumptions
Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is expected to finalize a new set of mortality tables by the end of October 2014. Because mortality is a key assumption in developing actuarial estimates, this could significantly impact the valuation of pension and other postretirement benefit (OPEB) obligations. Companies should consider this new mortality data at their plans’ next measurement date in relation to their plan participant population, historical plan-specific mortality experience, and future expectations.

Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap: The Power of Networks

October 23, 2014 Comments off

Bridging the Entrepreneurship Gender Gap: The Power of Networks
Source: Boston Consulting Group

It’s often been said that women are the most underutilized asset in the world. Studies have shown that the economic inclusion of women is fundamental to reducing gender inequality and spurring overall economic growth. Women’s economic participation has been shown to have a multiplier effect: the economic empowerment of one woman ripples meaningfully to her children and family—even to entire communities and nations.

Still, women face a range of challenges—such as restrictions on the hours they can work and the types of jobs they’re allowed to take—that keep them from accessing opportunities in the traditional economy and being fully productive members of the workforce. Entrepreneurship thus provides an important means for women to empower themselves and define their own economic participation when other employment opportunities may not be available. The broader economic impact is substantial; in fact, if women and men participated equally as entrepreneurs, global GDP could rise by as much as 2 percent or $1.5 trillion, according to research by The Boston Consulting Group.

World Wealth Rises at Fastest Rate Ever Recorded

October 22, 2014 Comments off

World Wealth Rises at Fastest Rate Ever Recorded
Source: Credit Suisse

Although the global economic environment has remained challenging, Credit Suisse’s 2014 Global Wealth Report reveals that total wealth grew to a new record high during the past year. It rose by 20.1 trillion US dollars between mid-2013 and mid-2014, an increase of 8.3 percent, to reach 263 trillion US dollars – more than twice the amount of 117 trillion US dollars recorded for the year 2000.

With an 11.4 percent year-on-year increase, wealth creation was particularly strong in North America, where it now stands at 91 trillion US dollars, or 34.7 percent of total wealth. Europe made the second largest contribution, with wealth increasing 10.6 percent to 85.2 trillion US dollars. In both regions, capital markets were a key source of wealth growth: equity market capitalization grew by 22.6 percent in the United States, while Canada, France and Germany all recorded gains close to 30 percent.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Economic & Environmental Impact of Traffic Congestion in Europe & the US

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Economic & Environmental Impact of Traffic Congestion in Europe & the US
Source: Inrix

With people in Europe and the US currently wasting on average 111 hours annually in gridlock, the impact of traffic congestion on individual driver’s time is well understood. However, new research shows traffic congestion actually does much more than test our patience. It’s a significant drain on our wallets as well our economies.

A new report by INRIX in collaboration with one of the world’s leading economic think tanks, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), quantifies the cost of traffic congestion on individual households and national economies in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. This is the first study of its kind to forecast the projected increases in these costs in these countries and their most congested cities between 2013 and 2030. Driven by urbanization and increased GDP per capita over the next 17 years, a few of the key findings include:

  • The combined annual cost of gridlock to these countries is expected to soar to $293.1 billion by 2030, almost a 50% increase from 2013.
  • Over this period, the cumulative cost of congestion for these economies combined is estimated to be a staggering $4.4 trillion.
  • The overall economic impact is greatest in the U.S. where the estimated cumulative cost of traffic congestion by 2030 is $2.8 trillion – the same amount Americans collectively paid in U.S. taxes last year.
  • However the UK (at 66%) and London (at 71%) will see the greatest annual rise in the cost of congestion by 2030, mainly as a result of seeing the highest increase in urbanization
  • At the individual level, traffic congestion cost drivers $1,740 last year on average across the four countries. If unchecked, this number is expected to grow more than 60% to $2,902 annually by 2030.

Free registration required to download report.

Snack Attack: What Consumers are Reaching for Around the World

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Snack Attack: What Consumers are Reaching for Around the World
Source: Nielsen

Who doesn’t love a good snack?

Always at the ready, those crispy, crunchy, chewy provisions are our comfort food when we’re down, meal replacement when we’re in a hurry, companion when we’re relaxing and party staple when we’re celebrating.

As snack manufacturers look to tailor offerings to deliver snacks that appeal to both the palate and the psyche, knowing what drives a consumer to pick one snack rather than another is vital to stay competitive in the $374 billion worldwide snacking industry.

So what’s the go-to nosh for consumers craving a snack—salty, savory, sweet or spicy? How much are health considerations taken into account when selecting a snack? As the size of category sales and consumer need-states across the worldwide snacking industry vary widely from region to region and country to country, finding growth opportunities requires both a global and local understanding of what consumers say and do—which are not always the same.

Free registration required to access report.

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