Current Pay Governance Viewpoints

  • CEO Pay As Governed by Compensation Committees: The Model Works!

    By Ira T. Kay, John R. Ellerman and Sara Bivins

    Last year, two articles in the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review criticized the overall CEO pay model at U.S. companies. The authors of both articles, Robert Pozen and S. P. Kothari, link their criticisms to shortfalls in executive compensation governance (e.g., poor disclosure, misleading metrics, and selecting inappropriate peer groups) that have been allowed and/or encouraged by Board Compensation Committees. In this article, we address these critiques. Read More

  • U.K. Companies Must Comply With Gender Pay Gap Reporting

    By John R. Ellerman

    While U.S. companies are addressing the new requirement to report CEO pay ratio statistics to shareholders, U.K. companies are now required to report statistics on the gender pay gap. Such reporting is mandated for no later than April 4, 2018, and the reporting must occur on the company's public-facing website and submitted directly to the government using its dedicated online reporting service. Such reporting is in direct response to the U.K. Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. Read More

  • Optimizing the Retention Impact of the Executive Pay Program

    By John R. Sinkular, Joshua Bright and Phil Johnson

    Talent retention is one of the executive pay program's most important objectives. In order to minimize situations when retention is an issue with the pay program-rather than one of its characteristics-it is important to ensure the core elements are well designed and operating effectively. A strong pay program foundation includes target pay opportunities at market-competitive levels, incentive plans understood by participants, and payouts commensurate with performance. Read More

Team Member Highlight


Sara Bivins is a Consultant in the Dallas office of Pay Governance with over 17 years experience in executive compensation. Sara serves as both a key contributor and a day-to-day project manager for client engagements focused on assessing the competitiveness of compensation programs, and their alignment with the organization's business strategy. Her experience includes developing compensation strategies, conducting competitive market pay assessments, as well as designing and implementing annual and long-term incentive plans. Additionally, she designs and develops pay strategies and programs for non-employee directors of the Board, assists with proxy statement development by providing technical knowledge of disclosure regulations and assistance with required filing requirements, and conducts 280G change-in-control analyses. Sara's client experience primarily includes work with publicly-traded companies in various industries including energy, pharmaceutical, retail, high technology, financial services, and transportation.

Past Experience

Prior to joining Pay Governance at its inception in 2010, Sara worked in the Dallas office of Towers Perrin's executive compensation practice for over 10 years.


Sara earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with distinction in Finance from the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.

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