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 →
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 →
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 →
Since advisory Say on Pay (“SOP”) votes became effective in 2011, ISS and Glass Lewis have exerted significant influence over the vote outcomes for these proposals. These advisors use quantitative tests to assess CEO Pay for Performance (“P4P”) alignment and supplement those quantitative assessments with a qualitative review of pay practices/program design. Continue reading →
In the first 3 months of 2017, our firm’s partners and consulting staff attended more than 200 corporate Boards of Directors compensation committee meetings in our role as executive compensation advisors. From attending these meetings, we have learned a great deal about certain issues emerging as dominant themes in Board discussions about executive pay and corporate governance. Continue reading →
Companies have migrated a significant portion of equity compensation to performance-based long-term incentive (LTI) awards—typically performance shares or stock units (PSUs)—from stock options. Over 80% of companies in the S&P 500 now have such plans; these also now comprise the majority weighting among LTI vehicles. This trend has been driven in, large part, by the desire of Compensation Committees to place at least one-half equity compensation in the form of “performance-based” pay as defined by the proxy advisory firms. 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 →
January 16, 2017 – The Havard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation re-published our most recent Viewpoint ” Effectively Administering a Relative TSR Program – Learning and Best Practices. Click here to be redirected to their column.
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 →
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.