Pay Governance LLC is an independent firm that serves as a trusted advisor on executive compensation matters.
Our work helps to ensure that our clients' executive rewards programs are strongly aligned with performance and
supportive of appropriate corporate governance practices.
Blaine Martinis a Consultant at Pay Governance and is based in Pittsburgh, PA. He has nine years of executive compensation consulting experience. Blaine's expertise includes competitive benchmarking for executives and outside directors, peer group development, compensation practices and trends analyses, short- and long-term incentive plan modeling, shareholder advisory modeling, incentive goal difficulty analysis, and pay-for-performance assessments.
Blaine is a contributor to Pay Governance’s research team and frequently co-authors papers on relevant executive compensation and corporate governance issues. His work has appeared in Agenda, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, World at Work’s Compensation Focus, and The Corporate Governance Advisor.
Prior to joining Pay Governance, Blaine worked in Towers Watson's executive compensation practice for three years.
Blaine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with highest distinction from The Pennsylvania State University.
Spring is in the air, and executive compensation consultants are busy reading a cascade of public filings and proxy advisor reports as we analyze and are asked to predict trends in executive pay in 2017 and beyond. One of the most common questions in executive compensation this year concerns what will become of the Dodd-Frank mandated CEO pay ratio set to be disclosed publicly for most companies beginning with proxies filed in 2018 – if not delayed or overturned beforehand. Earlier this year, acting Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Michael Piwowar took the unusual step of requesting additional comments on the cost and burden of complying with the already approved CEO pay ratio rule, which would require companies to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to that of the median employee. Continue reading →
In the Dodd-Frank Act legislation after the 2008 Financial Crisis, the inclusion of shareholder SOP voting was driven by bipartisan Congressional support to “control executive compensation…” at corporations. In 2009, a former SEC chief accountant said, “Executive compensation at this point in time has gotten woefully out of hand… The time to adopt ‘say on pay’ type legislation is certainly past due.” Politicians, regulators, and some institutional shareholders clearly thought that, “The impetus for passage of Dodd-Frank’s say-on-pay requirement in 2011 focused on remedying ‘excessive’ CEO pay.” Continue reading →
At a recent Compensation Committee meeting, a director remarked, “As we discuss our CEO’s target compensation for next year, we need to remember that there is an ongoing debate about income inequality.” Income inequality and executive compensation are two of the most controversial issues in modern American economic and political discourse. The forthcoming mandated disclosure of the CEO pay ratio will link these two issues directly in the boardroom.
How much of the increase in inequality has been caused by CEO pay, and is this a failure of corporate governance?
This Viewpoint will provide some insights for directors and others into the answers to these questions in the context of the SEC’s mandated disclosure of the ratio of CEO to median employee pay. Continue reading →
Our article was recently picked up by World at Work. Visit this link to be redirected to log in to their site. Our article has also been picked up by Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. … Continue reading →
By Ira Kay, Lane Ringlee, Bentham Stradley, Brian Lane, and Blaine Martin Partners Aubrey Bout Chris Carstens John R. Ellerman John D. England R. David Fitt Patrick Haggerty Jeffrey W. Joyce Ira T. Kay Donald S. Kokoskie Diane Lerner … Continue reading →
The past year has seen extensive criticism of share buybacks as an example of “corporate short-termism” within the business press, academic literature, and political community. The critics of share buybacks claim that corporate managers, motivated by flawed executive incentive plans (stock options, bonus plans based on EPS, etc.) and supported by complacent boards, behave myopically and undertake value-destroying buybacks to mechanically increase their own reward. Continue reading →
On April 29, 2015, the SEC released proposed rules on public company pay-for-performance disclosure mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act. Pay Governance has analyzed the proposed rules and the implications for our clients’ proxy disclosures and pay-for-performance explanations to investors. We are concerned about the validity of describing a company’s pay-for-performance alignment using the disclosure mandated under the SEC’s proposed rules, and its implications for Say on Pay votes. Continue reading →
In this edition of Viewpoint, Pay Governance will discuss the proposed rules and the next steps companies should consider regarding pay for performance disclosure rules. The SEC intends that the pay for performance comparison will supplement the CEO pay ratio in providing shareholders with information to better assess executive pay for purposes of the shareholder advisory Say on Pay vote. Continue reading →
Sustainable investing – defined as an investment approach that considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in the selection and management of investments – has seen significant growth in assets under management in the past several years. In the United States, an estimated 11% of total assets under management are now invested based on sustainable investment strategies. Similarly, shareholder proposals relating to environmental or social issues represented one-third of all shareholder proposals in 2014, representing an increase of nearly 40% since 2009. Some proposals are receiving shareholder support at or above 30%, generally driven by “for” vote recommendations from ISS. We find that ISS favors proposals that seek additional environmental or social reporting versus proposals that seek operational changes or restrictions. This finding contrasts with ISS’s say-on-pay vote recommendation policies, which often seek changes to executive compensation designs. Continue reading →
The vast majority—98%—of companies have passed their annual say on pay votes (SOP) over the past four years. Proxy advisor voting recommendations remain highly influential on these votes, and many companies, perhaps hundreds, have changed the structure of their executive pay programs to try to comply with proxy advisor policies and to obtain a “FOR” SOP vote recommendation from proxy advisors. Continue reading →
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2017 Leading Minds of Compensation, East featuring Diane Lerner, Managing Partner at Pay Governance
A new Equilar report featuring commentary from Pay Governance and Donnelley Financial Solutions analyzes the compensation discussion and analysis (CD&A) section of S&P 100 proxy statements over the last five years. With the average CD&A reaching nearly 10,000 words, the report revealed key strategies in how companies design and communicate pay practices by using alternative pay graphs, checklists and other visualizations that help draw investors to the most important information.
To be redirected to Equilar and download a copy of this important report, click here.
October 4, 2016
Pay Governance Adds New West Coast Partner
Matt Quarles has joined the firm as a Partner. In this role, Quarles is responsible for working with clients across industries on a wide range of executive compensation issues. He will be based in Los Angeles and has nearly 20 years experience in the executive compensation consulting industry.
“The fundamental philosophy of executive compensation is to ‘attract, retain and motivate’ a talented management team. So it’s concerning when you hear incentive awards are just put in desk drawers until plans mature,” said Pay Governance managing partner John England.