A Compensation Assessment of CFO’s In The Casino Sector

August 7, 2019 - In a recent study of the compensation of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position in 33 public gaming companies, conducted by hospitality human capital advisory firm AETHOS Consulting Group, results showed that incentive compensation constitutes a large portion of executive pay today, particularly in the gaming sector. In the case of Gaming CFO, nearly 70% of the median compensation comes in the form of incentives, as compared to nearly 80% for the CEO role.

“The CFO is typically the second most important role in a public company, behind the CEO,” shares AETHOS CEO and New York-based Managing Director Keith Kefgen. “As we annually assess gaming CEO pay, we also decided to look at the state of CFO pay too.” AETHOS’ analysis includes operators and manufacturers., and the data represents CFO total direct compensation, including base salary, short and long-term incentives and other pay. The numbers are reported in percentile format and includes cuts at the 25th, 50th and 75th percentiles for each component of compensation.

Kefgen analysed the information to share the following findings:

  • The base salary of the group ranged from USD $273,900, at the 25th percentile to USD $721,000 at the 75th percentile. Gamehost’s CFO Craig M. Thomas had the lowest salary at USD $175,000 in contrast to Ken Barton at Crown Resorts who had the highest base salary of USD $1,261,938. The median CFO salary at USD $437K was higher than the median for the same position in both the hotel and restaurant sectors.
  • Incentive pay for CFOs ranged from USD $189,8321 at the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile at USD $1,946328. James Kohn, CFO of Nevada Gold Casino had the lowest incentive package at USD $22,324, while in contrast, William Clifford CFO of Gaming and Leisure Properties earned USD $7,653,615 in incentives.
  • Total direct compensation is the combination of all components. The total direct compensation percentiles are as follows: at the 25th percentile a CFO received USD $471,256 and at the 75th percentile, USD $2,554,020 in total direct compensation. The highest paid CFO in the industry was William Clifford, who achieved a total compensation of USD $8,519,881. The lowest paid CFO was Craig M. Thomas who earned USD $200,600 a year in direct compensation.

As with our CEO analysis, the size of a paycheck matters but performance is even more important. AETHOS will shortly release its findings of the Gaming CFO Pay for Performance Survey to determine which CFOs actually earned their pay, regardless of size.