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.
John is a Partner in Pay Governance's Michigan office. He specializes in the analysis, design and implementation of executive compensation programs that drive shareholder value. John consults with publicly-traded, privately-owned and pre-IPO companies in a wide spectrum of industries regarding executive and non-employee director pay programs. He has experience in helping companies effectively handle significant changes, including asset sales, bankruptcy, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions. John has worked with numerous Fortune 500 and other prominent companies and has a particular focus on people-intensive businesses. He works with companies in a variety of industries, including auto suppliers, branded consumer products, insurance, manufacturing, and not-for-profit organizations.
Prior to joining Pay Governance, John was a Principal at Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson).
John holds the distinction of Certified Compensation Practitioner, as awarded by the American Compensation Association.
John earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska - Omaha and a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Wayne State University.
Incentive plans lie at the heart of the executive pay program, driving and rewarding business strategy execution. This approach has brought great economic success to the clear majority of companies. The typical annual incentive plan and long-term incentive (LTI) mix of multiple award types can capture most regular core performance metrics. A more contemporary design approach may provide significant focus and urgency regarding a company’s strategic transformation, shifting business strategy, or competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. Continue reading →
Any changes to long-standing executive pay rules-regardless of whether they concern taxes, accounting, or regulations-raise questions and uncertainty about whether they will lead to wholesale changes in how executive pay is delivered. Continue reading →
Talent retention is one of the executive pay program’s most important objectives. In order to minimize situations when retention is an issue with the pay program-rather than one of its characteristics-it is important to ensure the core elements are well designed and operating effectively. A strong pay program foundation includes target pay opportunities at market-competitive levels, incentive plans understood by participants, and payouts commensurate with performance. Continue reading →
In order to understand the financial performance measures, target goals, performance ranges, and payouts of an annual incentive plan, we analyzed the proxy-disclosed practices of approximately 100 manufacturing and materials companies. We assessed year-over-year (YOY) trends in particular, including the change in target goals relative to actual results and the spread of threshold to maximum goals. Continue reading →
In the current environment with Say on Pay votes and intense media scrutiny, it can be difficult to stay centered on the foundation of the executive pay program. While it is important to be aware of external views and commentary on “best practices”, companies must ensure that their executive pay program is built on a rock-solid foundation. In terms of the building blocks of the pay program, most companies apply a “market median” compensation philosophy, but there are a wider range of practices for the peer group, performance metrics and assessing pay-for-performance alignment. Continue reading →
In today’s environment, with annual Say on Pay (SOP) votes, intense external scrutiny and the need to strongly align pay with performance, it is increasingly important for companies to be confident in their executive pay program. The foundation of a sound executive pay program is built on the company’s business strategy and talent needs, which, collectively, must be achieved in order to create shareholder value. Continue reading →
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 →
Over the past 15 years, the methods of compensating non-employee directors have changed in tandem with the risk and workload of being a director. The catalyst for change over this time period includes a variety of regulatory requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd Frank, enhanced proxy disclosure rules and increases in shareholder activism. By way of examples, Audit Committees meet more frequently and must have at least one qualified financial expert, and Compensation Committees have greater workloads. Today’s corporate director needs to dedicate more time to the job, assume greater risk, and meet higher qualification standards. Continue reading →
Introduction The intense spotlight on executive pay centers on the relationship between pay and performance for CEOs. Legacy pay-setting practices and proxy advisory firm models have largely relied upon comparisons of pay derived from disclosure in the Summary Compensation Table … 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.