We work with Compensation Committees to ensure the most effective processes are in place to go beyond mere compliance with governance requirements and create healthy, dynamic relationships between the board, management and its advisors. Our ultimate goal is to help boards attract and retain critical talent and make informed business decisions that will link pay and performance, drive business results, increase shareholder value and mitigate potential risks.
We achieve these goals by providing the following governance services:
Board Advisory Services
Investors expect executive pay to closely reflect company performance. At Meridian, we help companies assess the pay and performance alignment of their compensation programs and ensure that program designs are structured to reward for achievement of stretch goals while appropriately mitigating excessive risk taking behaviors. Some of our board advisory services instead of governance services include:
- Performance metric evaluation and selection
- Performance and payout curve review for short- and long-term incentive plans
- Realized and realizable compensation analyses
- Compensation risk assessments
Compensation and benefit programs should support value creation while attracting and retaining the critical executive talent you need to execute your business strategy. Meridian begins each client relationship by ensuring we have a solid understanding of your business objectives and identifying how your organization may be unique. To this business understanding we bring our deep knowledge of effective compensation design, experience with thousands of clients over the past decade and extensive data on current market practices and trends. Our program design work includes:
- Peer group development
- Compensation survey evaluation
- Position matching
- Comparison of all pay elements, including base salary, target bonus and long-term incentives
- Review of long-term incentive valuation methodologies
- Plan design comparisons, including short-term and long-term incentives, stock ownership guidelines, perquisites, etc.
Investors expect executive pay to closely reflect company performance. We help companies assess the pay and performance alignment of their compensation programs and to design pay arrangements that create strong alignment between performance and pay outcomes. Our alignment services include:
- Performance metric evaluation and selection
- Application in short- and long-term incentives
- Degree of stretch and range around target performance levels
- Realized compensation assessments
In addition to answering the question of “how” to pay executives, our clients need to determine “how much” to pay. Compensation benchmarking provides an external quantitative answer to how much other comparable companies are paying similarly situated executives. Meridian has extensive analytical resources and access to the highest quality compensation databases to performance benchmarking for our clients, including the following actions:
- Peer group development and survey evaluation
- Position matching
- Total compensation benchmarking
- Equity incentive and valuation methodologies
- Short- and long-term incentive plan design comparisons
Regulatory Issues and Governance Practices
We maintain a dedicated team to focus on the regulatory, tax, accounting and shareholder issues that influence executive compensation. While none of these issues should determine pay decisions on their own, we ensure our clients have a robust understanding of all the relevant impacts on executive compensation when making an informed decision. A sampling of these issues includes:
- Shareholder voting (Say on Pay) strategies
- Proxy advisor strategies (e.g., ISS, Glass Lewis)
- Proxy disclosure drafting and review
- SEC reporting and compliance
- Tax and accounting strategies
- Employment agreements
- Stock plan modeling and approval strategies
- Severance/change-in-control liability calculations
- Expense calculations (Black-Scholes, Monte Carlo)
- Governance policies and guidelines (clawbacks, risk assessment, stock ownership)
Corporate restructuring activities present many unique issues that our clients may only face once in their careers. We have consultants that understand the executive compensation implications that must be considered as part of any corporate transaction. Types of transactions we have experience with include:
- Initial public offerings (IPOs)
- Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
- Divestitures and spin-offs
- Private equity buyouts
- Bankruptcy restructuring
We encourage you to review our talented Meridian consulting team in our ten offices across North America.
Our consultant roster features expertise across all the important disciplines that boards and executive teams need to deliver effective compensation and governance.
Our structure and culture emphasize collaboration across all consultants and resources, to bring every client access to the insights gained across more than 700 client relationships.
Our insights and approach benefit from decades of Meridian firm and consultant experience serving clients in executive compensation and governance.
We help clients navigate through challenging topics and initiatives that shape today’s corporate board agendas with the highest level of business ethics, integrity and professionalism. Our experience, knowledge, independent thinking and trusted advice help board members make informed business decision on executive pay and governance matters.
Meridian brings customized, timely and industry-relevant perspectives that provide our clients with the background needed to make informed business decisions. Our materials and solutions are tailored to each company’s facts and circumstances. We take great pride to understand what is unique about our clients and craft our solutions accordingly; we do not apply a prefabricated solution.
Action. Balance. Belonging. Difference. Effective. Respect. Results. Strength.
The Meridian Diversity and Inclusion Council reflects the balance and strength of our associates and strives for effective and supportive initiatives. Over the years, our Council has successfully listened and taken action based on what we learn.
- We improved our parental benefits and policies to establish balance for working parents.
- We established several support groups for underrepresented associates as a foundation to our sense of belonging.
- We created hiring approaches to ensure our new hires add new perspectives and strengths.
- We take action building upon our values of respect and ethical inclusiveness in mind.
We continue these important conversations by sharing articles, formal training, conducting focus groups and comparing survey results focused on results.
7 Council Members:
30% Racial Diversity
43% Under 40
71% Outside Headquarters
57% Under 10 years with the firm
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