This excerpt taken from the PNC DEF 14A filed Mar 19, 2009.
The Committee has the sole authority to retain and terminate any compensation consultant directly assisting it. The Committee also has the sole authority to approve fees and other engagement terms. The Committee receives comparative compensation data from our management, from proxy statements and other public disclosures, and through surveys and reports prepared by McLagan and Towers Perrin.
McLagan. Under its authority, the Committee retains McLagan, an independent consulting firm, to advise it on executive compensation matters. In this capacity, McLagan reports directly to the Committee.
McLagan attends most of the in-person and telephonic meetings of the Committee, and meets regularly with the Committee without members of management present. McLagan also reviews and may contribute to meeting agendas. McLagan and members of management assist the Committee in its review of proposed compensation packages for our executive officers.
Throughout the year, McLagan also assists the Committee in its analysis and evaluation of our overall executive compensation program and the structures used to pay our executive officers. McLagan reviews information supplied by management and compensation-related surveys and reports. From time to time, McLagan may be requested to help the Committee evaluate compensation programs that are specific to business units.
McLagan also provides limited services directly to our management. Management often requests these services due to a particular business or subject matter expertise offered by McLagan. McLagan has provided our management with industry-specific surveys of compensation practices. The Committee reviews reports describing the services provided directly to our management, and the associated fees that McLagan receives. In 2008, the fees received by McLagan for the services it provided directly to the Committee totaled approximately $520,000. The fees received by McLagan for the services provided to management totaled approximately $70,000 (all of which was survey-related). The Committee believes that providing limited services to management, primarily informational rather than advisory, does not impair the independence of the advice that it receives from McLagan.
In February 2009, the Committee evaluated the scope and nature of the services provided by McLagan and McLagans overall performance. After discussing the results of the review, and having an opportunity to ask questions of McLagans representative, the Committee determined that McLagan was independent from PNCs management. The Committee also concluded that McLagan provided
appropriate support to the Committee. This review was included as part of the Committees annual self-evaluation process.
Towers Perrin. Our management retains Towers Perrin, a global professional services firm, as its principal compensation advisor. Towers Perrin provides various actuarial and management consulting services to us. Our management utilizes Towers Perrin to:
Reports prepared by Towers Perrin that relate to executive compensation are also shared with the Committee and McLagan, in its capacity as advisor to the Committee.
As discussed on page 53, management also retained Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. in 2008 to assist in the evaluation of the 2009 peer group.