Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) Announces Addition of ISS Incentive Lab Data Covering Executive Compensation Performance Metrics, Goals, and Payout Structures

Philadelphia, PAWharton Research Data Services (WRDS), the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for corporate, academic and government institutions worldwide, is pleased to announce the addition of ISS Incentive Lab data, covering compensation for 2,400+ US and European companies. A part of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, WRDS provides global corporations, universities and regulatory agencies the thought leadership, data access and insights needed to enable impactful research.

“WRDS is pleased to add ISS Incentive Lab to our other suite of ISS data offerings,” said Robert Zarazowski, Managing Director of WRDS. “Executive compensation is an important and complex research area in an increasingly global landscape, and WRDS is proud to expand its support for researchers who examine how compensation structures impact firm performance.”

ISS Incentive Lab is the 6th ISS dataset added to WRDS. Current datasets include: Governance, Directors, Voting Results, Shareholder Proposals, and Voting Analytics with N-PX Data.

Due to regulatory requirements, investor pressure, accounting changes, and public scrutiny, performance-based pay has become a driving factor in total executive compensation and ISS Incentive Lab allows researchers to conduct cutting edge compensation research to understand and properly value compensation and explore its impact.

“As the leading source for institutional investors and governance practitioners seeking data on managerial incentives and detailed components of performance-based pay, ISS Analytics is pleased to now make available its robust data sets to academics through the WRDS platform,” said Roy Saliba, Global Head of Compensation Products at Institutional Shareholder Services.  “With extensive and unrivalled coverage, WRDS subscribers will now have access to compensation data and analytics needed to support academic research initiatives.”

Academic researchers can use ISS Incentive Lab to find 335,000+ individual grants covering 25,000+ fiscal years.

Features include:

  • PAY MIX—Cash Equity, Short-term/Long- term, Time/Performance
    • Metrics: Type (financial and non-financial), Weights, Relationships
    • Goals: Threshold, Target, Maximum
    • Payout Structures: Vesting, Leverage, Holding Requirements
    • Peer Groups: compensation and performance peers
    • Stock Ownership Guidelines
    • Compensation Consultants
    • Summary Compensation Table
    • Grants of Plan-Based Awards
    • Outstanding Equity At Fiscal Year End
    • Stock Vesting and Option Exercises

Recent Research with ISS Incentive Lab

Performance-Vesting Provisions in Executive Compensation, J. Bettis  (Arizona State University), J. Bizjak (Texas Christian University) , J. Coles (University of Utah; Arizona State University), S. Kalpathy  (Texas Christian University)

Internal versus External Earnings per Share Goals and CEO Incentives, C. Armstrong, C. Ittner (University of Pennsylvania), J. Chau (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), J. Xiao (University of Rochester)

Performance Vesting Provisions and Executive Incentives, J. Core, H. Packard (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Along with continually adding new data to the platform, WRDS is a leader in enabling impactful research. Through a first-of-its-kind partnership with SSRN, WRDS is elevating the visibility of universities and researchers working across an array of fields. The WRDS Research Paper Series is a searchable repository of all papers submitted to SSRN that cite WRDS in their work, which will increase researcher visibility, increase their Eigenfactor® score, and build a specialized research base that will advance shared knowledge. In addition, the three organizations have launched the WRDS-SSRN Innovation Award™ to honor emerging business schools. Learn more about how WRDS is driving impact here>>.


Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) is the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds, and asset service providers. ISS’ solutions include: objective governance research and recommendations; RI data, analytics, and research; end-to-end proxy voting and distribution solutions; turnkey securities class-action claims management; and reliable global governance data and modeling tools.

Institutional clients turn to ISS to apply their corporate governance views, identify environmental, social and governance risk, and manage their complete proxy voting needs on a global basis. ISS is a global company with approximately 900 employees spread across 18 offices in 12 countries. ISS covers approximately 40,000 meetings in 117 countries yearly, delivering proxy research and vote recommendations while working closely with clients to execute more than 8.5 million ballots representing 3.8 trillion shares. ISS’ RI research covers more than 20,000 companies across the globe. Our flexible coverage universe expands correspondingly with our clients’ holdings. ISS analysts have unique expertise and insight on the governance and RI landscape, local market voting practices and regulatory requirements, along with expertise in varied fields such as law, M&A, compensation, and analytics.


Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) provides the leading business intelligence, data analytics, and financial research platform to global institutions—enabling comprehensive thought leadership, historical analysis, and insight into the latest innovations in academic research.

WRDS provides researchers with one location to access over 250 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Accounting, Banking, Economics, ESG, Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Marketing, and Statistics. Flexible data delivery options include a powerful web query method that reduces research time, the WRDS Cloud for executing research and strategy development, and the WRDS client server using PCSAS, Matlab, and R. Our Analytics team, doctoral-level support and rigorous data review and validation give clients the confidence to tailor research within complex databases and create a wide range of reliable data models.

An award-winning data research platform for over 50,000 commercial, academic, and government users in 30+ countries, WRDS is the global gold standard in data management and research—all backed by the credibility and leadership of the Wharton School.


Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world.  The Wharton School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 participants in executive education programs annually and a powerful alumni network of 95,000 graduates.