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Is CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME) Excessively Paying Its CEO?

Simply Wall St

In 2016 Terry Duffy was appointed CEO of CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CME). This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation with other large companies. After that, we will consider the growth in the business. And finally we will reflect on how common stockholders have fared in the last few years, as a secondary measure of performance. The aim of all this is to consider the appropriateness of CEO pay levels.

Check out our latest analysis for CME Group

How Does Terry Duffy's Compensation Compare With Similar Sized Companies?

Our data indicates that CME Group Inc. is worth US$73b, and total annual CEO compensation was reported as US$13m for the year to December 2018. We think total compensation is more important but we note that the CEO salary is lower, at US$1.5m. We note that more than half of the total compensation is not the salary; and performance requirements may apply to this non-salary portion. We took a group of companies with market capitalizations over US$8.0b, and calculated the median CEO total compensation to be US$11m. (We took a wide range because the CEOs of massive companies tend to be paid similar amounts - even though some are quite a bit bigger than others).

So Terry Duffy receives a similar amount to the median CEO pay, amongst the companies we looked at. This doesn't tell us a whole lot on its own, but looking at the performance of the actual business will give us useful context.

You can see, below, how CEO compensation at CME Group has changed over time.

NasdaqGS:CME CEO Compensation, January 16th 2020

Is CME Group Inc. Growing?

CME Group Inc. has increased its earnings per share (EPS) by an average of 11% a year, over the last three years (using a line of best fit). In the last year, its revenue is up 25%.

This shows that the company has improved itself over the last few years. Good news for shareholders. This sort of respectable year-on-year revenue growth is often seen at a healthy, growing business. You might want to check this free visual report on analyst forecasts for future earnings.

Has CME Group Inc. Been A Good Investment?

Boasting a total shareholder return of 94% over three years, CME Group Inc. has done well by shareholders. This strong performance might mean some shareholders don't mind if the CEO were to be paid more than is normal for a company of its size.

In Summary...

Terry Duffy is paid around what is normal the leaders of larger companies.

The company is growing earnings per share and total shareholder returns have been pleasing. So one could argue the CEO compensation is quite modest, if you consider company performance! If you think CEO compensation levels are interesting you will probably really like this free visualization of insider trading at CME Group.

Arguably, business quality is much more important than CEO compensation levels. So check out this free list of interesting companies, that have HIGH return on equity and low debt.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.