Corporate Directors Predict Gradual Economic Recovery in 2014

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Public company directors believe the economy will continue to recover—slowly—in 2014, according to a quarterly survey by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD). The Q4 2013 NACD Board Confidence Index (BCI) found directors have a more confident long-term outlook for 2014, but view the near-term with less certainty.

The BCI confidence score averaged 58.9 for 2013. Compared with average BCI confidence scores in 2011 (57.6) and 2012 (54.8), 2013's higher score suggests board optimism about the future. Respondents also said the hiring outlook for the first quarter of 2014 would likely be flat, with a majority (59%) noting they would maintain their current number of employees rather than hire or contract.

The NACD Board Confidence Index offers a view of the state of the economy from the boardroom perspective. Scores above 50 are positive, scores around 50 are uncertain, and those below 50 are negative.

"The continued improvement in boardroom confidence, though not a dramatic change from years past, points to a positive outlook for 2014," said Ken Daly, president and CEO of NACD.

The NACD Board Confidence Index, produced in conjunction with compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer & Partners, also asked directors throughout 2013 to list their key considerations in the development of executive compensation programs. Consistently, participants ranked competitive market practices and their companies' business strategy as their top considerations.

"We're pleased to see directors rank business strategy as one of the most important factors in executive pay decision-making, as this squares with our own thinking," said David Swinford, president and CEO of Pearl Meyer & Partners. "As we enter proxy season, boards should carefully consider whether their disclosures adequately link business strategy to pay designs, especially for programs that don't jibe with proxy advisors' cookie cutter approach to assessing pay-for-performance."

For detailed metrics, methodology, and historical data from the BCI, visit www.NACDonline.org/BCI.

About NACD

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) is the recognized authority focused on advancing exemplary board leadership and establishing leading boardroom practices. Informed by more than 35 years of experience, NACD delivers insights and resources that more than 14,000 corporate director members rely upon to make sound strategic decisions and confidently confront complex business challenges. NACD provides world-class director education programs, national peer exchange forums, and proprietary research to promote director professionalism, ultimately enhancing the economic sustainability of the enterprise and bolstering stakeholder confidence. Fostering collaboration among directors, investors, and governance stakeholders, NACD is shaping the future of board leadership. To learn more about NACD, visit www.NACDonline.org. To become an NACD member, contact Kelly Dodd at kkdodd@NACDonline.org or 202-380-1891.

About Pearl Meyer & Partners

For 25 years, Pearl Meyer & Partners (www.pearlmeyer.com) has served as a trusted independent advisor to boards and their senior management in the areas of compensation governance, strategy, and program design. The firm provides comprehensive solutions to complex compensation challenges for companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to not-for-profits as well as emerging high-growth companies. These organizations rely on Pearl Meyer & Partners to develop programs that align rewards with long-term business goals to create value for all stakeholders: shareholders, executives, and employees. The firm maintains offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, as well as London.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Henry Stoever Chief Marketing Officer 202-775-0509 hstoever@NACDonline.orgSource:National Association of Corporate Directors