Our Insights

Kicking Off the 2009-10 Executive Compensation Season: A Real-time Discussion of Critical Issues and Looming Legislative and Regulatory Changes

A host of critical issues and looming legislative and regulatory changes are poised to affect the landscape for the 2009-10 executive compensation season. In an October 2009 webcast, SBCG's Blair Jones and Roger Brossy partnered with Latham & Watkins to address frequently asked questions surrounding corporate governance reforms and the growing influence of proxy advisors, institutional investors and shareholder activists. Read more

What’s the Role of Equity in the New Environment?

Companies are challenged with goal setting in a volatile market, dramatically diminished value of past equity awards, and share usage issues by maintaining a strict “target value” approach to equity awards. This article, written by Seymour Burchman and Blair Jones, explores alternative approaches to equity awards given these uncertain market conditions. Read more

Setting 2009 Executive Compensation: A Real-Time Discussion About Annual Bonuses

This issue of “Advancing the Dialogue” considers the challenges surrounding annual bonuses. It suggests ways to tackle goal setting and employ discretion to ensure annual plans reflect today’s realities and also consider the interests of all stakeholders. Read the entire article (PDF) written by Roger Brossy and Blair Jones. Read more

Setting 2009 Executive Compensation: A Real-Time Discussion About Long-Term Incentive Plans

This issue of “Advancing the Dialogue” explores the thorny issues surrounding long-term incentives, including: How can companies structure long-term awards in the current environment? Does long-term goal setting make sense given the turbulence and low visibility in today’s economy? What reasonable approaches exist to address the challenge of underwater options? Read the entire article (PDF) written by Roger Brossy and Blair Jones. Read more

Finalizing 2008 and Setting 2009 Executive Compensation: A Real-time Discussion of Critical Issues

Many companies, Boards and Compensation Committees are faced with important decisions in determining annual bonus and long term incentive compensation for performance periods ended in 2008 and setting performance periods and goals for periods beginning in 2009. The 2008 recession, current volatile and highly-charged economic and political environment, and poor visibility into whatever else 2009 might bring make this year's compensation setting season more challenging than ever. Register to View Archived Webcast >> Download Webcast Slides >> Read more

Long-Term Performance Plans: Overcoming Design Challenges

Companies are facing increasing pressure from shareholders and regulatory mandates to consider compensation vehicles that reward long-term performance. The success of these programs requires identifying the right metrics and establishing suitable goals. This article, written by Seymour Burchman and Blair Jones, provides four approaches to goal setting for performance-based pay programs. Read more

Navigating the Storm: Compensation Committee Best Practices for Today’s Environment

“Storm conditions” on the executive compensation front make it particularly important for a company’s Board to be proactive and make decisions from a position of strength. To explore what Boards, Compensation Committees, and their advisors are thinking and doing, Agenda recently hosted a roundtable discussion by a select panel of Board members and compensation advisors. Blair Jones, a Semler Brossy Managing Principal, participated on the panel. The discussion (captured in the report, “Navigating the Storm”) focused on compensation philosophy and the application of best practices – particularly timely, given the press spotlight coinciding with significant regulatory, legislative, and economic pressures. Effective navigation starts with a compensation philosophy laying out key principles as a foundation for setting goals and rewards and taking necessary actions to ensure the creation and protection of shareholder value. Actions driven by a set of shared principles, coupled with open lines of communication, will serve a board well – ensuring it can proactively and effectively address problems and take action with conviction, appropriately balancing and responding to internal and external pressures. Read more

Four Trends in Executive Compensation

Increased scrutiny of executive compensation has led a majority of companies to revamp their compensation programs, with many emphasizing long-term performance plans to link pay and performance. This examination of four trends in long-term plans explores key considerations to avoid a well intentioned plan with unintended consequences. Read more