Isn’t it ironic?

As more proxies start to come in, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: top executives are pretty attached to their Gulfstreams, judging by the amount of money they’re spending on personal use of their company’s corporate jet. Of course, given all the flying I’ve been doing lately, it’s easy to see the attraction: you don’t have to get undressed or dump your personal possessions into an ugly gray bucket and hope you remember to retrieve them all as you run for your plane. Still, it’s hard not to find irony in Clark Inc.’s (CLK) disclosure late Friday. Not familiar with Clark? They happen to own Pearl Meyer & Partners, which provides compensation consulting to lots of boards and companies. In other words, they’re the company that advises others how to dole out perks like personal use of the corporate jet.

Clark Chairman and CEO Tom Wamberg rang up $77.1K in his personal use of the corporate jet last year. That’s up about 40% from the nearly $55K spent in 2004. Of course, Clark doesn’t provide the 2004 number in the proxy, so you have to dig up the earlier proxy to do the comp. But perhaps what’s really interesting here is how Clark’s stock has done over the past year. In a nutshell, not well, judging by this chart.

Of course, Clark wasn’t the only company with a mediocre track record to file late Friday. CR Bard (BCR) also disclosed that its Chairman and CEO likes to spend a lot of time in the air. Though Chairman and CEO Timothy Ring saw his personal use of the corporate jet more than double in 2005 to $163K, the stock’s performance has been ho-hum.

Perhaps is Mssrs. Ring and Wamberg spent more time in their offices, instead of flying off to Naples, or wherever else CEOs go to unwind these days, the charts for these two companies would look different. Indeed, earlier research by NYU Professor David Yermack found that companies with CEOs who tend to overuse the corporate jet tend to underperform. Unfortunately the research is now a bit dated. Now, with companies providing greater disclosure on this perk, it seems like a great time to take a fresh look and see exactly how much these frequent flyers are costing investors.