|KAMAN CORP filed this Form DEF 14A on 03/03/2017|
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those of our shareholders. To facilitate the accumulation of equity and the satisfaction of these guidelines, the Committee may elect (and, in recent years, generally has elected) to pay up to one-third (1/3) of a cash-based long-term incentive award payout in shares of Company stock. At the discretion of the Committee, up to the entire amount of such payout may be paid in shares of Company stock to the extent requested by a plan participant.
Our Compensation Program
We have designed our executive compensation program to achieve the goals described above in a variety of ways with the intention of providing market-competitive pay for a company of our size and incentive opportunities that challenge and correspondingly reward our executives when, and to the extent that, the Company succeeds. First, we use a combination of pay elements, each of which over time is intended to approximate the market median compensation for each position. These elements include base salary, annual cash incentives, longer-term cash and equity incentive opportunities, and benefits. The opportunities afforded by each pay element are determined on the basis of comparison to objective criteria to assure consistency with companies of similar revenue size, which include national surveys and a sampling of the Russell 2000 companies recommended by the Committee’s independent compensation consultant which approximate the Company’s revenue size (but none of which specifically reflects our combination of business segments).
Actual annual and longer-term incentive pay is then determined by comparing selected metrics of Company financial and operational performance to the entire Russell 2000 index of companies. The Committee uses the Russell 2000 because it believes this is the most likely group that both current and potential shareholders would use to evaluate the Company in making their investment decisions, and the disparity of our two business segments (Aerospace and Distribution) precludes us from developing a relevant peer group of similarly situated companies. The Committee regularly reviews the continued appropriateness of using the Russell 2000 for comparison and has reconfirmed its use for 2016.
The financial performance metrics upon which annual and longer-term incentive opportunities have been based are those that management has used to evaluate business performance. For corporate participants (those who do not work primarily for one of our two business segments), annual incentive metrics for 2016 included return on invested capital as compared to the return on invested capital achieved by the companies comprising the Russell 2000 index, growth in earnings per share as compared to the growth in earnings per share achieved by the companies comprising the Russell 2000 index, and growth in earnings per share as compared to corresponding amounts established with reference to the Company’s annual profit plan. For business segment participants, annual incentive metrics for 2016 included the accomplishment of predetermined financial goals and other operational performance factors relating to the relevant business segment, as well as the Company as a whole. Longer-term incentive metrics payable in respect of 2016 were the same for corporate and business segment executives and consisted of the Company’s average return on investment, compounded growth in earnings per share and total return to shareholders, generally over a three-year period. All such metrics were approved by the Committee. The weightings of these metrics in the overall determination of award payments for the annual cash incentive and longer-term incentive are discussed in more detail below.
The pay elements of our corporate executive compensation program are designed to work together in a way that results in above average compensation when the Company achieves above average financial performance compared to the Russell 2000 index of companies.
How the Program Works in Practice
The Committee determines base salary ranges and annual cash incentive and long-term incentive targets for our Named Executive Officers using a biennial market report prepared by the Committee’s independent compensation consultant. The independent compensation consultant has advised the Committee that our business segment diversity makes identification of a single peer group to benchmark compensation unworkable, so the independent compensation consultant’s market report estimates the 50th percentile for base salary, target annual cash incentive award and the annualized cash value of long-term incentive compensation for each position using information obtained from a variety of sources, including nationally recognized compensation surveys and a number of comparison peer groups, to the extent that such comparison information is available for each position. The independent compensation consultant then compares the final average competitive market rate for each position to the midpoint of the corresponding salary grade within Kaman's own compensation structure and reports this information to the Committee.
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