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Comments by:Steven HallManaging DirectorSteven Hall & PartnersNew York, NY

A recent study conducted jointly by locally based Steven Hall & Partners and Equinox Partners showed that compensation increases for REIT CEOs and CFOs hovered around 24% this year while the rest of the industry dealt with hikes closer to 10%. Our Feedback Poll last week gauged the industry as a group, and 58% of our poll respondents say they did worse than the 10% while 23% said they fared better. (For 18% the paychecks stayed the same.) This week, commentator Hall shares some thoughts on the meaning of his survey and ours.

“What was curious to us was that the numbers were so significant. The world has been a tougher place for pay increases, and yet we saw CEOs and CFOS showing large double-digit increases. It’s the second year we’ve seen such payouts for those people.

“Of course, 10% is still a respectable number. But as concerns your poll, we didn’t see everyone in the world benefiting. It was pretty differentiated in terms of who was getting what. In fact, we saw pay for general counsel go down or remain flat. Also, as you go lower in the organization, the percent of increase lowers.

“But, there are also certain types of high-demand positions. There’s a crunch for talent and a lot of competition for developers, for instance, and you wouldn’t see a decrease there since it’s been such a hot market. As another example, there are two different levels of CFO. One keeps the books, the other gets involved in dealmaking. And we think there’s a movement toward the dealmakers. Companies are stepping up the level of CFO they have, not only for reporting purposes but also making them a more valued member of senior management.

“I don’t want to sound insulting, but so many of these companies are stepping up their game from operating as a private company to following the responsibilities of a public company with the realization of the need for top-grade professional management who can make a difference in the company. They’re trading up and the higher salaries reflect that.”

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