Follow the Money: Big-Buck Associations Contend With Big-Buck Problems on Capitol Hill
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Posted by: Kim Lauer
there are a few positive signs, the economy remains uncertain. So, where should
consultants be looking for business? How
about a place visited by everyone who is looking for a way to influence
policies that affect their business? That’s right: Washington DC, or at least
firms that work there.
Journal’s salary survey of the leaders at Washington's biggest trade
associations, professional societies, think tanks, and interests groups reveals
that big money is being spent to make sure Capitol Hill hears their take on any
potential legislation that may impact them.
The April 3 edition of the National Journal reported: "The compensation of 89 top executives
exceeded the $1 million mark, according to 514 tax forms recording pay between
2007 and 2009 that National Journal and our partner CEO Update
analyzed for this report. That’s a 30 percent increase from our 2008 survey
(covering 737 organizations between 2005 and 2007). Although nowhere near the
sort of paydays common on Wall Street – we found some eye-popping numbers for
the nation’s capital.”
"In Washington terms, those [salaries] are very,
very generous," Larry O'Brien, head of lobbying firm OB-C Group, told the
Journal went on to report: "Among
the top earners in our review are John Castellani, president of the Business
Roundtable, who received a total compensation package of $5.57 million in 2008;
Billy Tauzin, the departing CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America, who made $4.48 million; and Scott Serota, CEO of the
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, who took home $3.99 million. The
highest compensation went to Marc Lackritz, the now-retired head of the
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. He received an exit pay
package that boosted his total compensation to $6.76 million in 2008.”
"It's hard for the rational mind to justify,
given the economy," Pamela Kaul, president of executive search firm
Association Strategies, told the magazine. "But it's the mystique of
Washington. These are the power brokers that have the access to networks and
But it is not all mystique, Steve Anderson, CEO of
the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, told the National Journal: "These jobs have become so complicated now that I
don't think you can look at them in the vacuum of just a salary.”
"It's not just CEOs who are raking in the dollars;
the lobbyists are doing quite well, too,” the magazine added.
And add to all this Washington’s bigger roles in the
economy and elsewhere. These associations and other groups, funded by a
membership which is made up of businesses, not individuals, require superb CEOs
and great managers.
Opportunities await management consultants willing to
do their homework and follow the money all the way to the groups spending big
bucks – and needing help – to influence the policy-makers around Washington and
the legislators on Capitol Hill.
For more information, here’s a link to the story at http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20100403_9562.php.
About the Author
Davis, IMC Member in Washington, DC serves associations, consultants and
speakers with his Yearbook of Experts, and www.ExpertClick.com
Website. Called a "dating service of PR”
by PRWEEK - he helps the news media find interview sources.