Compensation: Executives to Key Contributors

Images, Inc. (not the real name) is a high-tech, publicly traded company with approximately $100 million in annual revenue and a history of solid growth.

Attracting Leaders

The technology industry is extremely competitive at the executive management and board of directors level; companies need to be on their toes to attract and keep leadership roles. Images, Inc. worked with Keystone to benchmark and develop recommendations for a total compensation plan for its executive group and board of directors.

Keystone had already worked with Images, Inc. two years earlier to complete a benchmarking study of all non-executive jobs. We also mapped out a graded salary structure to better manage their compensation program. As part of that project, we developed a thought framework for the client (or total rewards philosophy and strategy) that became the road map to guide the executive and board of directors’ compensation study.

Total Rewards Compensation FrameworkCollecting and Analyzing Information

To get a solid knowledge foundation, Keystone held an initial meeting with the business and HR leaders of the company. The session resulted in an understanding of the current business environment, the challenges the company was facing, and defining a peer group of companies for benchmarking purposes.

Next, Keystone collected benchmarking information using various market data sources and proxy filings to establish a competitive reference point. In addition, statistical analyses of various published compensation survey data and proxy filings for the named group of competitors assisted with understanding current pay level and mix of components relative to the market. All information was analyzed and presented to give Images, Inc. an accurate picture of executives base salaries, board of directors retainer, and variable pay in the form of annual and and long-term incentives.

Communicating Change

Keystone provided recommendations for executive base salary, short-term, and long-term incentives taking into consideration market data and our understanding of the roles and the people in the executive positions. For the board of directors’ pay analysis, we again used published survey data and information from the named peer group of publicly traded competitors.

The project was concluded with presentations at two board of directors meetings to ensure their understanding and support for the final recommendations.

Linda Herman was the client facing consultant, but as with most of Keystone’s projects, work was done collaboratively by both Dr. Abboud and Ms. Herman.

For more specific information about executive and board of directors compensation planning, please contact us by email or at 612.810.3522.

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