Current Pay Governance Viewpoints

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    IRS Releases Additional Section 409A Regulations Concerning Executive Compensation

    By John R. Ellerman

    Section 409A was added to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC or “Code”) as part of the American Jobs Creation Act legislated in 2004. Essentially, Section 409A sets forth certain requirements for the effective deferral of compensation under nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. Much of the impetus for Section 409A was the ability of certain executives to accelerate the payment of their supplemental retirement arrangements and deferred compensation at Enron immediately prior to the company’s demise. Read More

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    Continue Paying Executives for Performance: A Rebuttal to the HBR Article “Stop Paying Executives for Performance”

    By Ira T. Kay and Lane T. Ringlee

    The Harvard Business Review [HBR] recently published an article, “Stop Paying Executives for Performance,” by Professor Dan Cable and Associate Professor Freek Vermeulen of the London Business School. The authors present arguments and analysis that incentives do not motivate executives to improve corporate performance. In fact, they argue that incentives might damage performance. Read More

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    Two New and Important Regulatory Developments Impacting the Financial Services Sector

    By John R. Ellerman and Lane T. Ringlee

    Last month, U.S. regulatory agencies released two sets of new rules affecting executive compensation. One set of the new rules has been developed by the Department of Labor (DOL) and deals with defining who is a fiduciary pursuant to rendering investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan (subject to ERISA) or an individual retirement account (IRA). The DOL’s fiduciary rule is considered to be a Final Rule and will become applicable on April 10, 2017. The second set of rules is a proposal by six U.S. financial regulatory agencies (Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Federal Housing Finance Agency) setting forth new policies and rules pertaining to incentive compensation plans of certain financial institutions. Read More

Team Member Highlight

  • Donald Kokoskie
  • Partner | Cleveland
  • View Articles by Donald Kokoskie


With over 25 years of experience, Don assists board of directors and senior management in developing performance-based reward systems that encompass all reward elements and support the company's business strategy. Outside of executive compensation matters, he has conducted work in director compensation, sales incentives, sales force management and broad-based compensation matters. Companies served by Don have operated in variety of business settings (LBO, IPO, publicly held as well as private or family owned), various states of development (pre-revenue, start-up, high growth and maturity) and in wide range of industries, including: aerospace, banking, building products, capital equipment/machinery, chemical, consumer products, financial services, food processing, insurance, medical equipment, metals, natural resources, retail and wholesale trade.

Previous Experience

Before joining Pay Governance, Don was a Principal at Towers Watson. Prior to Towers Watson, he served as a senior executive compensation consultant in the national practices of two other major human resources consulting firms.


Don has a B.A. in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. degree in finance and marketing from The Weatherhead School of Management of Case Western Reserve University.