Besides rising pay for directors, a recent study found that the proportion of S&P 500 companies with classified boards dropped by 8 percent last year, leading to the majority of those companies holding annual elections for all of their directors.

The 2007 Board Practices, Board Pay Study was conducted by Institutional Shareholder Services, a provider of corporate governance and proxy voting services. The report examines the board structure and compensation of boards of directors at S&P 1500 companies based on 2006 disclosures.

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