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Perks, Extras Decrease in Contracts

March 15, 2007

By Tavia Evans Gilchrist

Perks for the highest paid association CEOs – country club memberships, paid spouse travel and leased cars – are in decline in many industry groups, a product of increased scrutiny from the IRS and watchdog groups to crackdown on abuses.

Search committees, often made up of association board members, are also taking the cue as they recruit new leaders and configure their contracts.  These committees are rolling back the perks and amenities, executive recruiters say, favoring simpler contracts and offering fewer carrot sticks to attract and retain competitive CEOs.

“These days, we’re hearing that the cleaner and simpler the contract, the better,” said Wendy Pangburn, a partner with the Washington, D.C. office of Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm.

“The days are over when people ask about spousal travel, and it gets into a gray area with associations that are regarded as nonprofit organizations. This is not corporate America,” she said.