The economy's hard times have taken a toll on financialexecutives' compensation, according to a survey by FinancialExecutives International.

Thirty-one percent of the almost 1,000 executives who reportedtheir 2008 compensation to FEI said they didn't get a boost in basesalary last year, up from 16% who didn't get a raise in 2007. Andthe average increase in base salary was just 3.7%, down from 4.96%the year before. Public companies boosted salaries by 4%, whileprivate companies awarded average raises of 3.4%.

Marie Hollein, FEI's CEO and president, says that the latestdata shows a continued shift away from cash bonuses and toward theuse of stock options, a trend tied to concerns about the retentionof finance executives. Just 17.6% of the executives surveyed wereeligible for cash-based, long-term incentives last year, down from22% in 2007 in 2006. But 59.2% were eligible for some type of stockaward, up from 36% in 2007 and 31% in 2006.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.