This excerpt taken from the NYX DEF 14A filed Mar 2, 2009.
We intend to weight the annual compensation package for our named executives significantly toward performance-based and long-term pay to encourage achievement of annual corporate objectives and progress toward long-term goals. The salary levels for each title were developed taking into account historic salary practices, appropriate differentiation among the titles, the desire to achieve consistency across geographic locations and general views of competitive practice.
In evaluating competitive practice, we consider compensation levels at both a peer group consisting of publicly traded global marketplaces (industry peers) and a second peer group consisting of a blend of U.S. and non-U.S. domiciled companies that have a global reach, in addition to having characteristics such as brand name recognition, regulatory compliance obligations and a technology-dependent business component (global peers). We believe our salary levels are in the top quartile of our industry peers and at the median of our global peers. The HR&CC felt that these levels were appropriate given our size and competitive position in the relevant markets in which we operate. Please see Compensation Decision ProcessIndependent Consultant below for the companies comprising our industry peers and global peers.