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.
CEO pay continues to be an extensively discussed topic in the media, in the boardroom, and among investors and proxy advisors. CEO total direct compensation (TDC; base salary + actual bonus paid + grant value of long-term incentives [LTI]) has increased at a moderate pace in recent years — in the 2-6% range for 2011-2016. However, CEO pay accelerated in 2017 at an 11% increase, likely reflecting sustained robust financial and total shareholder return (TSR) performance. Our CEO pay analysis is focused on historical actual TDC, which reflects actual bonuses; this is different from target TDC or target pay opportunity, which uses target bonus and is typically set at the beginning of the year. Continue reading →
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 →
As we approach the 2018 proxy season, a key change for companies will be the first publication of the CEO Pay Ratio as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Companies will begin publishing CEO Pay Ratios in proxy statements in early 2018. Continue reading →
Last month, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) released its 2018 voting policy updates for companies that have shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2018. More recently, ISS revised its “Pay-for-Performance Mechanics” white paper, providing additional details on its 2018 policy changes, and updated its Frequently Asked Questions documents for both U.S. Compensation Policies and U.S. Compensation Plans. As many companies prepare for the upcoming proxy season, we are providing insight and additional guidance in navigating the latest ISS policy developments. Continue reading →
Ira Kay is quoted in this article recently published in the Wall Street Journal. The article can be read by clicking on the link. https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-that-perform-best-dont-pay-ceos-the-most-1507194000?shareToken=st19c79a1da3d84bf1a07dd2c56c0c0f86&reflink=article_email_share October 5, 2017
CEO pay continues to be a widely debated topic in the media, in the boardroom, and among investors and proxy advisors. As the U.S. was in the heart of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, CEO total direct compensation (TDC; base salary + actual bonus paid + value of long-term incentives [LTI]) dropped for 2 consecutive years. 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 →
Say on Pay (SOP) and shareholder advisor vote recommendations have caused a dramatic increase in the use of relative total shareholder return (TSR) as a long-term incentive (LTI) plan performance metric. Continue reading →
CEO pay continues to be a widely debated topic in the media, within the government, and in the boardroom among investors and proxy advisors. As the U.S. was in the heart of the financial crisis in 2008 – 2009, CEO total direct compensation (TDC = base salary + actual bonus paid + value of long-term incentives) dropped for two consecutive years. As the U.S. stock market sharply rebounded and the economy started to slowly grow again, CEO pay also rebounded. Large pay increases occurred in 2010, primarily in the form of larger long-term incentive (LTI) grants. Since then, year-over-year increases have been fairly moderate – in the 2% to 6% range for the period 2011-2015. 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.