Raking in $50,000 a month by serving on the board of a major energy company despite no prior experience in the industry sounds absurd on its face, but when compared to the level of board compensation of other large corporations, it’s almost unimaginable.
A Federalist analysis of board members’ earnings of comparable corporations reveals just how much Hunter Biden was being showered with excess compensation for serving on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father Joe Biden served as vice president dictating U.S. policy towards Ukraine.
According to Bloomberg, Hunter Biden brought at least $50,000 a month for his position on the board of Burisma from 2014 to 2019 without any experience in energy, bringing the former vice president’s son about $600,000 a year and dwarfing the compensation of board members serving on corporations of comparable size.
A 2018 survey from FW Cook, a well-regarded executive compensation consulting firm, shows that of the companies in the S&P 500, large-cap companies, which are companies with a market value of more than $10 billion, paid individual board members a median of $275,000 a year. Among S&P 500 companies in the energy industry, board members were compensated with a median $213,000 a year, with those in the 75th percentile of the salary range still only bringing in $289,000, less than half of what Hunter Biden has been reported earning at Burisma.
Last week, Mark Hemingway of RealClearInvestigations reported on a study from Watchdog Research revealing that Hunter Biden was paid 12 times the amount expected at a similarly sized company, whose board members are typically paid about $55,000 to $83,000 for an entire year.
Looking at director compensation on ExxonMobil’s board of directors provides an even better perspective on Biden’s pay from Burisma. According to a 2018 proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), the average level of compensation for Exxon’s board of directors in 2017 was almost $365,000. The median compensation was nearly $337,000. Only one of the company’s members of the board made more than $350,000 in total benefits, which was Susan K. Avery, who brought in approximately $767,000 for her work on the board.
While more than Biden’s pay from Burisma, Avery boasts an impressive resume with extensive knowledge in the field. Her experience, according to the report, includes membership on scientific and research advisory committees of NASA, NOAA, the National Science Foundation, the National Park System, the Climate Change Science Program, the Center for Southern Hemisphere Ocean Research, the Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.
She also came into the position at Exxon with experience serving as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary-General and the National Research Council Global Change Research Program Advisory Committee. Even more, she was the president and director of the global research organization, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 2008 to 2015.
Hunter Biden’s qualifications? His father was the vice president of the United States and played a pivotal role in setting U.S. policy towards Burisma’s home country of Ukraine. It landed him a salary far above the typical board member.