Our Insights

Annual & Long-Term Incentive Program Design

Read about recent trends in annual and long-term incentive program design, including budgeting, selection of performance metrics, target setting, the role of discretion, vehicle mix, and the role of equity in talent retention.

Short-Termism: Good Until It Goes Bad

There are days James Pethokoukis, a scholar at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, isn’t quite sure short-termism is the problem. “When you talk to companies they feel a lot of shareholder pressure to focus on quarterly returns,” he… Read more

Set Goals That Meet Stakeholder Expectations

In recent years, no subject in executive compensation has gotten greater focus than the shift toward formulaic, performance-based incentive plans. The advent of annual say on pay, coupled with the increasing attention of institutional investors and proxy advisers, has accelerated this trend and now made this practice the norm. The focus has thus changed to ensuring that the goals underlying such programs are sufficiently rigorous and robust. Read more

Share repurchases: What influence on exec comp?

Corporate America has increasingly relied on share repurchases to fuel earnings per share (EPS) growth in recent years. A study by Reuters found that nearly 60% of nonfinancial, publicly traded companies have bought back shares in the last five years, and share repurchases and dividends exceeded capital spending in 2014. Read more

How Incentives for Long-Term Management Backfire

To hear long-term investors tell it, company executives have embraced short-term thinking like never before. Two obvious pieces of evidence: The use of earnings for share buybacks that cost more than they’re worth, and dividend increases that divert cash from long-term investment. Read more