ISS ESG - Executive Compensation Data & Profiles

Data category

Governance data

Brief description of the data offering

ISS Executive Compensation Data and Profiles delivers comprehensive compensation data for company executives including salary, bonus, stock-based incentive awards, option grants, non-equity incentive plan pay-outs, deferred compensation pay-outs and other compensation components. Compensation data provides investors with a comprehensive view of executive pay programs, covering more than 100 compensation factors for more than 1100 companies globally, with the ability to track in detail the life cycle of incentive awards from grant to vest. Detailed pay data is available on 32,000 executives across the U.S., Canada, UK., Europe and Australia.

Investors can use Compensation Data and Profiles in different ways, based on their profile and goals:

Fundamental Investors

  • Evaluate the link between executive pay and financial performance and assess whether pay incentives are aligned with company strategy
  • Benchmark companies based on standardized valuations of stock option grants, performance-based equity grants, time-based equity grants, and CEO pay ratio data
  • Create an 'information edge' by ingesting data often overlooked by traditional research and data providers
  • Reduce time spent in sourcing data manually through filings; not scalable and requires market expertise to translate


  • Incorporate executive compensation data into investment models to uncover how changes in management and compensation structure can influence short and long-term firm performance
  • Evaluate corporate strategy and analyse the rigor of associated executive incentive goals
  • Identify activist opportunities or themes an activist may highlight

Governance Professionals, Compliance and Passive/Index Investors:

  • Establish target companies for engagement
  • Prepare for engagement efforts
  • Perform non-financial investment due diligence
  • Uncover key 'red flags'

Where and how do you source your data?

Compensation data is driven by publicly disclosed filings and annual reports to ensure consistency. 

Who are the data users?

Data is used by a broad range of institutional investors, asset managers, asset owners, fund managers, banks, government institutions, universities and research firms.  

What is the cost for your data offering?

Pricing is based on the method by which data is delivered. ISS can provide data via its proprietary platform, DataDesk, or via data feed. Pricing for this solution is available upon request. 

What are the key attributes that differentiates the data you offer?

The ISS Executive Compensation Data delivers important and often overlooked drivers of management behaviour in a comprehensive, granular and standardized way. The Executive Compensation data offering helps investors better understand management teams by moving the headline numbers and following the journey of compensation from grant to vest.

  • Standalone governance focus backed by ISS’ 35 years of governance expertise leads to better data and deeper insights
  • Standardized valuations of stock option grants, performance-based equity grants, time-based equity grants, and CEO pay ratio data for 37,000 executives in the US, Canada, Europe and Australis.
  • Quantitative and qualitative signals or risk in executive compensation programs.
  • Globally harmonized view of pay. The Executive Compensation methodology relies on ISS’ governance, legal, and language expertise in each region. Standards can widely differ by region, highlighting the importance of evaluating each company against comparable peers.
  • ISS data collection is led by 300 governance experts – segmented by country and focus (Governance, Compensation, Pay and even-driven updates).
  • Sophisticated categorization and standardization of inherently qualitative data incorporating ISS voting policy, making it easier to analyse and compare companies across regions.
  • Multiple definitions of pay, including as-disclosed, ISS Total Compensation.
  • Incorporates same pay-for-performance tests ISS uses to analyse and recommend FOR or AGAINST executive compensation that apply to the annual meetings of companies in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia.
  • Companies are actively invested in verifying their data and ensuring the ISS has the correct and most updated information flowing into the Executive Compensation database.


Leverage @ISSGovernance's global #compensation data and profiles to evaluate the link between executive pay and financial performance and assess whether pay #incentives are aligned with company strategy.

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Corporate Statements

Turning knowledge into action

Maximilian Horster, head of ISS ESG, foresees several trends will shape the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment space over the next 12 months. Environmental Finance spoke with him to see how ISS ESG is tailoring its data, index and reporting solutions as a result

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