irectors of funds advised by the 50 largest fund firms took home an average check in 2002 that was 8 percent bigger than in 2001. The median compensation of this group was $113,000 last year, according to a survey by Stamford, Connecticut-based Management Practice Inc.
based on SEC filings.
While two cost conscious firms -- Vanguard Group and American Funds -- both raised board director pay, Fidelity and Janus both cut costs in this area. The average Fidelity director earned $262,450, down a little from $266,050 while Janus slashed director compensation to between $94,000 and $184,000 from a flat $185,000 in 2001.
Despite giving directors a slight raise, Vanguard still paid an average of only $110,500, though.
The biggest checks were brought home by the independent directors of Putnam Investments' funds. That group earned an average of $228,000 in 2002, up from $207,000 in 2001. John Hill, vice chairman of First Reserve Corp., was the Putnam director earning the largest compensation. His pay totaled $388,250, down from $403,500 in 2001.
The highest paid director at the 50 fund complexes was Joseph DiMartino, who earned $816,000 for serving on 189 fund boards for Dreyfus.
One explanation offered for the increase in director compensation is the growing thicket of regulations of funds specifically involving the boards. Top on that list is last year's Sarbanes-Oxley legislation. As a result, directors are finding they must attend more board meetings and spend more time devoted to board issues.
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