Cowden’s compensation practice applies a holistic and continuous approach to working with clients to develop and implement tailored compensation strategies and plans. In order to construct a plan that’s right for each client, we work closely with them to understand company business goals and objectives while conducting thorough research to gather all of the significant data. Our consulting process includes evaluation of the company’s existing programs and their effectiveness through external benchmarking of peer groups; analysis of overall competitiveness of total compensation, including annual and long-term incentives; and analysis and recommendation of appropriate base salary and incentive opportunities, equity ownership and retirement plans.
Each company should have a total compensation strategy that sets forth the company’s philosophy on issues such as:
Cowden recognizes that disputes may arise regarding the interpretation of plan provisions. As such, we have demonstrated excellence in litigation support activities representing corporations in legal disputes concerning compensation, equity, retirement, collective bargaining issues, and health and benefit matters for hourly and salaried employees, including preparation of expert reports and testimony.
Cowden works with companies to identify appropriate peers for financial performance and pay benchmarking. We analyze competitive compensation data from several sources:
Our primary focus is on comparing total compensation programs in the peer group and from other published databases with a company’s existing programs. In addition, we identify general trends in the market place and provide our perspective based on current developments regarding creative pay concepts, such as:
Our process includes local and industry market analyses of pay information and an extensive review of all aspects of regional and competitor compensation programs. We use comparative data from national and regional external databases and regional proprietary internal sources. Our analysis includes:
The best-designed comprehensive compensation plans may fail if not properly communicated. Cowden assists companies in preparing communications to employees and providing education for managers regarding the new program and other related assistance.
We help you to implement any newly developed compensation programs by preparing internal documentation necessary for approval at committee levels and/or Board of Director levels. Our assistance would include preparation of materials and, if needed, attendance at meetings to present program overviews.
A total Compensation Statement is a communication tool that clearly shows employees the financial worth of their total compensation. Show your employees the major investment your organization makes in their lives and that of their families. Cowden helps transform your employees’ understanding of the value of your overall benefits package by preparing Total Compensation Statements.
We offer a variety of independent and objective services for compensation committees: Our analysis includes:
With over 20 years of experience, Cowden is a recognized leader in providing independent advice to compensation committees and their senior management. We specialize in the development of performance-driven, comprehensive compensation programs that are directly linked to the economic value of the business enterprise while remaining fully compliant with SEC, IRS and state requirements. We also advise shareholders on designing committee member compensation programs that attract and retain high performing members. Our services include:
We design and implement innovative approaches that ensure executive and Board plans are compliant, cost effective and competitive.
We design specialized annual and long-term incentive plans, including performance and event related incentives. The initial phase of our assignment is to gain a complete understanding of your business structure and performance drivers. Working with you, we then establish performance measures along with associated benchmarks. It is essential that the plan design achieve the following mutual objectives:
The process typically includes: