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Ira T. Kay

Managing Partner | New York 800-481-1940

Expertise

Ira T. Kay, a Managing Partner at Pay Governance, is one of the nation's foremost experts on executive compensation. He works closely with the boards and management to help them develop executive compensation programs that increase shareholder value. His clients include premier US and global corporations ranging across various industries, including telecommunications, financial services, retail, defense, technology, consulting, insurance, business services, consumer products, media, food, transportation, among others.

Previous Experience

Prior to becoming a Managing Partner at Pay Governance, Ira served as the global director of Watson Wyatt's Executive Compensation practice for 16 years.

Additional Information

Ira writes and speaks regularly on executive compensation issues. His most recent co-authored book, "Myths and Realities of Executive Compensation", documents the realities of executive pay in the United States and the forces that have shaped pay in recent years. He is also the author of "The Human Capital Edge, CEO Pay and Shareholder Value: Helping the U.S. Win the Global Economic War", and "Value at the Top: Solutions to the Executive Compensation Crisis." Ira has presented analysis of executive compensation issues before the Federal Reserve Board, the S.E.C., the F.A.S.B. and a U.S. Senate subcommittee. He is often quoted in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, The Economist, and other leading publications. His articles have been published in the Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Quarterly.

Education

Ira holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in economics from Wayne State University.


Other Posts by

Strengthening Executive Pay and Performance Alignment by Using a 162(m) “Umbrella” Plan Design for Performance Shares

Performance-based long-term incentive (LTI) awards—typically performance shares or stock units (PSUs)—are a large component of annual LTI awards for executives at most companies . Compensation committees continue to wrestle with the various design considerations associated with PSUs. Continue reading

Does the SEC’s New “Compensation Actually Paid” (“CAP”) Help Shareholders Accurately Assess Pay-For-Performance?

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

Are ISS and Glass Lewis Say on Pay Voting Policies Correlated with Improved Total Shareholder Returns?

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

Conference on Income Inequality, Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation

Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, LLP with the Conference Board, will be hosting a conference on Income Inequality, focusing on Corporate Governance/Executive Compensation and what US Public Companies should understand about the data and the public debate.  Ira Kay, Managing … Continue reading

Are Companies Setting Challenging Target Incentive Goals?

Do companies set appropriately challenging goals in their incentive plans? How does a compensation committee determine whether management is recommending challenging goals? How important are earnings guidance and analyst expectations in goal setting? Continue reading

Realizeable and Realized Pay: Conference Board Report on Alternative Pay Disclosure

When conducting pay-for-performance evaluations, many shareholders and the large proxy advisory firms, e.g., Institutional Investor Services and Glass Lewis, commonly rely on pay figures based on Summary Compensation Table (SCT), representing the value of compensation earned or stock granted during … Continue reading

10 Executive Compensation Predictions for 2014

Last year turned out to be a very good one for U.S. corporations. Strong profit growth and even stronger stock price appreciation were an indication that shareholders were happy. Thus we can predict that executive pay in 2014 will rise … Continue reading

CEO/Employee Pay Ratio Will Not Improve Corporate Governance

Highlights of Executive Compensation Opinion Survey of U.S. Company Directors New York, November 12, 2013 – A mere 18% of directors believe the SEC’s new CEO/median employee pay ratio disclosure will actually improve corporate governance, according to an opinion survey … Continue reading

Executive Compensation: A 2013 Opinion Survey of Compensation Committee Members

Please click the attached newsletter to see an opinion survey that we developed along with the NYSE. We had more than 300 responses to this survey.  For more information, please contact us by clicking here.

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