Quantum Mechanics

Executive compensation decisions should be judgements based on good information. The committee is accountable to shareholders and others for the process and the outcomes. 

Data is important, but not the whole story. Data is the servant not the master. Investor’s dislike pay rises which follow the market slavishly. The belief that pay survey data causes pay ratcheting, is incorrect; but commonly held. 

Pay data is often Right Skewed. That means the right spread profile of the higher paid is much wider than the left spread one of the lesser paid. So, the ‘Median,’ the middle occurring number, is a better guide to mid-market than the arithmetic mean. 

Selecting comparator companies is a choice, and some consider more than one comparator set. Selecting the best job match is another one, as is the selected position against market, both in terms of pay levels and pay mix. Then there is also considering the importance, and performance, of the person in post. 

Surveys assume broad compatibility of the performance conditions for STI and LTI; and the LTI vehicles observed. That assumption is unsafe. The performance test difficulty or the absolute delivered value vary; or both. 

Framing gain share plans, such as a Value Creation Plan, is also tricky. Data has less application here; but is not irrelevant. In addition, the design framework to recognise the need, the market norms and investor views are all important. 

Pay surveys can tell you what others are doing on average, and at the extremes; but they will not tell you what you should do. 

In short, the right executive compensation answer is not found in a survey; it is a set of decisions. But getting to grips with what the surveys are saying is a vital part of the process. 

Robert Head

Lead Consultant

Robert works with organisations of all types as a reward consultant or interim reward professional providing reward solutions, interim management and consultancy.

Robert is experienced in working across multiple sectors (including public listed, private equity, commercial, financial, non-profit, and charity).

Robert has deep subject matter reward experience in corporate governance, executive reward, remuneration committees, reward strategy, reward policy, annual bonus, long-term incentives, transformation and change, corporate actions, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring.

Robert is experienced in stakeholder management working closely with Chairs and executive directors including CEOs and CFOs, non-executive director members of remuneration committees, members of executive committees including business unit CEOs/Presidents, senior HR business partners and other line executives, senior management in other organisations, outside specialists and advisers, and investors.

Robert Head Corpgro

Jane Allen

Lead Consultant

Jane has over 30 years of Reward experience within listed multinational organisations and consultancy environments.

Her expertise covers Total Reward (strategy and programmes), benefits & wellness, pensions, executive compensation, Remuneration Committee support, annual and long-term incentives, VCPs (value creation plans), M&As and restructuring.

Jane has successfully established reward teams and best practices for all key reward processes, leading on complex local and international issues across UK and US listed, family owned, and PE backed ownership structures.

She has a keen interest in ESG and how this can be reflected within Executive Pay to align with the long-term sustainability of businesses. 

Jane is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and a Chartered Insurer. She is an independent Trustee for The Economist Pension Plan.

Damian Carnelll

founder director

CORPGRO is a reward consultancy specialising in executive incentives particularly those connected with growth; and ESG.

Damian has extensive experience advising leading companies on all aspects of executive compensation and equity plans. He was previously with Willis Towers Watson, Aon, and Ernst and Young. 

Damian’s extensive experience in executive compensation and equity plans means he is fully familiar with Corporate Governance norms, institutional shareholder views and proxy voting both advisory and binding.

Damian Carnell Corpgro