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The ESOP Executive Compensation Survey

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ESOP companies face unique compensation issues, and there are virtually no sources of data that cater to them. The NCEO's ESOP Executive Compensation Survey, conducted regularly since 2005, is the only compensation survey with a specific and exclusive focus on ESOP companies.

The survey provides detailed compensation data for seven executive positions, including base pay, incentive pay, deferred compensation, and equity granting policies. It also provides demographic information that allows for comparison between similar companies.

Take the 2016 Survey

We are currently collecting responses for the 2016 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey. The survey is open to all companies with an ESOP.

Click here to take the survey.

Participants will receive a free summary of the results and a discount on purchase of the full report. You can view a PDF of the 2016 survey questionnaire here for your reference and to help you gather the necessary information.

Your participation is fully confidential. We use Qualtrics as our survey platform to ensure the security of your information. (See here for details on Qualtrics's security policies.) Your progress in the survey will be automatically saved if you close your browser window: your questionnaire will pick up where you left off when you return.

We will collect responses through December 15, 2016. If you wish to receive a free summary of the results and a discount on purchase of the full report, please be sure to enter your contact information on the last page of the questionnaire.

Please contact Research Director Nancy Wiefek at nwiefek@nceo.org or by phone at 510-208-1312 with any questions.

Purchase Results of the 2014 Survey

The 2014 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey, conducted between April and June 2014, collected a total of 374 valid responses from a diverse group of ESOP companies.

Two-thirds of respondents were from 100% ESOP-owned companies, and 20% had minority ESOP ownership. Thirty-six percent had 100 or fewer employees, 50% had 101 to 500, and the remaining 14% had more. Forty-four percent had annual revenues from $10 to $50 million; 17% were smaller, and 39% were larger.


Among the surveyed companies, 33% had board compensation committees that are composed entirely or majority of outsiders, while 42% did not have a board compensation committee. The median ESOP contribution rate was 10% of payroll. The most common form of equity compensation was stock appreciation rights (SARs), followed by phantom stock.

The full results of the 2014 survey are available for purchase. NCEO members can view a PDF summary of the results here.
  • CEO or president
  • CFO or top financial executive
  • COO
  • Top divisional vice president
  • Top human resources or personnel professional
  • Top sales or marketing executive
  • Top manufacturing, products, or services vice president

The data contains detailed information on executive compensation, including:
  • Base pay, cash incentive pay, stock-based incentive pay, and deferred compensation
  • What percentage of companies provide incentive pay to which executives
  • Vesting and equity granting policies
  • An array of demographic questions

You may purchase a report that customizes the data to focus on companies comparable to yours, or you may acquire the entire data set (subject to confidentiality provisions).

The Custom Report

If you order a custom report, we will contact you to discuss which criteria are most useful for your purposes.

The Full Database

The full database is provided as an Excel spreadsheet with an automated customization feature. The customization feature allows you to generate tables based on the same criteria available in the custom report. The company data contained in the in the full database is anonymous and subject to the terms of use listed below.

2014 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey Results: custom report ($150 per report for NCEO members, $300 for nonmembers)
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2014 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey Results: full database ($750 for NCEO members, $1,250 for nonmembers)
Add to Cart(Please read the Terms of Use at the bottom of this page before ordering.)

What Users Are Saying

"This report gives us information that we've needed but found very difficult and expensive to acquire in the past. This is a great service."
— Robert H. Carlson (CEO Emeritus and board member, Reell Precision Manufacturing)

"Not only did we get data on executive compensation in ESOP companies, we were also able to look at compensation levels for companies in our size range and industry type. I was impressed with the amount of data, the different executive positions it covered, and the quick turnaround--I would recommend this to any ESOP company."
— Cindy Turcot (Chief Operating Officer, Gardener's Supply Company)

Terms of Use

By purchasing access rights to the NCEO's 2014 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey Results, you are agreeing to following terms of use:
  • You will acknowledge the NCEO as the source of the information in all materials, speeches, presentations, or other forms of communication that draw on the data in the executive compensation database. The correct title is "2014 ESOP Executive Compensation Survey Results." The NCEO should be referred to as the National Center for Employee Ownership. When feasible, a link to our Web site (www.nceo.org) should be provided.
  • The NCEO made the following commitment to each participating company: "All of your answers to this questionnaire will be completely confidential. No specific information will be released to anyone outside the NCEO on a given company's practices." All identifying information (email address, individual names, IP addresses) has been removed from the database. You agree to respect the commitment that the NCEO has made, and specifically:
    • You will not attempt to identify in any public sphere any companies based on the answers to company background questions or any other data contained in the database.
    • You will only share analyses that aggregate data from multiple companies, rather than data from multiple questions for any individual company (i.e., you will not recreate a portion of the answers to the questionnaire for any one company).