Private equity firms indirectly are raising executive compensation standards at listed companies, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The report found that public companies increasingly are competing for talent with p.e.-backed entities, which entice executives with some serious incentive money. Base salaries at p.e.-backed companies tend to be lower than at their public counterparts, but outperformance awards are more generous for those executives who meet higher p.e.-imposed standards. Those include setting time periods for achievement, milestones and other performance measures, which PwC says “could force a change in attitude [in public companies] if private equity is seen to deliver consistently superior returns.” So, p.e. firms are able to motivate management to give it their all with the carrot of “substantial awards if very demanding and highly focused targets are achieved. These targets will be extremely pertinent to the company and its particular circumstances,” according to the report.