Tips For Evaluating Your Compensation Consultant

Not long ago, compensation consultants were under attack. Some boards and governance experts blamed them for the significant uptick in executive compensation. In reality, consultants provide compensation committees with valuable data so that they can make informed decisions on executive pay packages.

Anyone who has served on a public-company compensation committee knows the importance of having a good relationship with your compensation consultant. So how does one ensure they’ve found the right person?

In this episode, long-time compensation consultant Susan O’Donnell from Meridian Compensation Partners takes off her consultant hat and crosses over to the director side. Host TK Kerstetter asks her to imagine that she’s a compensation committee chair evaluating or interviewing consultants for her company. What criteria should she use during the selection process for a compensation consultant? What questions should she be asking to evaluate her current consultant?

If you have a consultant, you really want to know that they individually have the mindset and the perspective of providing independent advice and counsel to you. And so what does that mean? That means being objective at all times and maintaining that objectivity. That means being willing to challenge the status quo or bring up topics that may be a little challenging or difficult for people to be thinking about.

— Susan O’Donnell, Partner, Meridian Compensation Partners
The original episode can be viewed here.