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.
In our study of 389 S&P 500 companies, the median CEO pay level is $12.1 million, consistent with many other studies. The median of the “median employee pay” level, as disclosed in the ratio section of the proxies, is $70,129. This latter value has surprised many observers, as it is much higher than expected and — more importantly — 39% higher than the average U.S. private sector salary of $50,620 (142 million employees). This employee pay level was previously unknown. Continue reading →
With the introduction of say-on-pay (SOP) in 2011 and the increased clout of proxy advisory firms on executive compensation program designs, the performance share unit (PSU) has become a common feature of executive long-term incentive (LTI) programs among U.S. public companies. Continue reading →
Over the past 20 years, there has been a major shift in how large public companies have compensated their outside Directors.1 These changes have included the elimination of Board meeting fees, granting of equity compensation in the form of full-value shares, the elimination of Director retirement plans and other perquisites, adoption of stock ownership guidelines for Directors, and giving of supplemental cash retainers to Committee Chairs in recognition of their substantial time commitments to committee work. Continue reading →
If current legislation and SEC rulemaking stand, one big story in public company executive compensation during the 2018 proxy season will be the disclosure of the “CEO Pay Ratio.” Beginning for reporting periods starting on or after January 1, 2017 (spring 2018 proxy filings), companies will be required to disclose the median of employee pay excluding the CEO, CEO pay, and the ratio between the two. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Pay Governance Gives Back
Very happy and rewarding day for the Pittsburgh crew. Today the Pay Governance Pittsburgh office contributed 12 frozen Turkeys to the Washington County City Mission in support to its drive to feed local families in need. This follows the team’s volunteering of time to serve meals to the Mission’s residents, contributing extra firm computers to the Mission’s Education and Training Center, and working to enhance this non-profit’s governance structure on a pro-bono basis.
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.
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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.
Pay Energy®, a new proprietary assessment tool developed by Pay Governance
Pay Energy®, a new proprietary assessment tool developed by Pay Governance LLC, helps companies consider the “drive, discipline and speed” inherent in current programs and in alternative designs that may be evaluated.
“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.