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Christopher S. Carstens

partner | New York 347-708-7567


Chris Carstens is a Partner in the New York office of Pay Governance with over 27 years of experience in executive compensation consulting. During his career, Chris has advised Compensation Committees and company management on a broad range of executive compensation matters, including compensation strategy, incentive plan design, competitive compensation analysis, compensation disclosure and communication, employment agreements, and outside director compensation. His experience spans a variety of industries, including media and information, aerospace and defense, consumer lending, retail, and insurance.

Previous Experience

Before joining Pay Governance, Chris was a senior consultant at Towers Watson and a Principal in the predecessor firm Towers Perrin. In addition to his consulting activities at Towers Perrin, Chris served for six years as Managing Principal of the firm's Global Databases unit, which provides compensation and benefits data through a network of offices around the world. The first nine years of his professional career were spent in advertising account management with Grey Advertising and Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising in New York.


Chris has a B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.

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Compensation Considerations for Company Spin-off Transactions

The past 5 years have seen a significant number of companies spinning off one or more businesses into separate, free-standing companies. S&P’s Capital IQ reports a total of 86 full or partial spin-offs that began trading on a major U.S. exchange from mid-2011 through mid-2016 — an average of 17 per year. Continue reading

Did You Intend That End-of-Career Pay Cut?

Driven by volatile stock markets, stock option expensing, and shareholder advisory firm mischaracterization of stock options as non-performance-based compensation, many companies have significantly shifted away from stock options toward service-based restricted stock and/or long-term performance plans such as performance shares, performance share units, or performance cash units. Continue reading

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