THE U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pushing ahead with its strategy of building interest in XBRL through niche applications — one of which will let investors compare executive pay across Fortune 500 companies.
In a speech to the 2007 Corporate Counsel Institute, SEC chairman Christopher Cox said the commission would tag executive compensation information from proxy statements in XBRL and provide an online tool for investors to “slice and dice” the information.
Investors will be able to do industry comparisons and analyze specific types of pay, such as options.
“We’re going to do this for at least several hundred of the largest public companies in America — and we expect to have it available in June,” he said.
Real world examples to drive interest
Dow Jones reports that the tagged information will likely include summary compensation tables and details on stock options and restricted stock.
As I wrote last month, the idea behind the pay database is to provide investors with examples of the power and potential of XBRL.
Of course, the CEO community may not be too thrilled by what investors will learn from using the SEC’s interactive pay data. The XBRL community still has to come up with a compelling reason for the corporate community to jump on the XBRL wagon.
The latest move by the SEC follows its approval in January of a proposal to test XBRL filings for the risk/return summary found at the front of mutual fund prospectuses.
Last December, the SEC unveiled an online XBRL viewer that enables investors to use XBRL data filed by companies that are taking part in an XBRL pilot program.
- The SEC will host a roundtable on the use of interactive data by public companies and mutual funds on March 19. Vanguard Group Chairman and CEO John J. Brennan will be the keynote speaker.