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Location Strategy Analysis: Moving Your Firm Forward

A robust assessment of potential location strategies lies beyond just evaluating compensation differentials. When exploring relocation or building in new locations, it is important to look across multiple factors – especially the availability of quality talent – to inform decisions that will create financial impact and fit your business strategy. This article provides insights from our work comparing potential locations for clients and addresses some of the nuances when approaching location strategy analysis.

Infographic: Five Ways to Use your Compensation Survey Results

Compensation surveys enable teams to work smarter, providing access to data with deep insights
and answers about pay requirements in specific locations. This data is key to identify cross-industry
pay differentials and trends for specific jobs, all while ensuring that your valuable talent with
cross-sector experience is being rewarded competitively. Our infographic outlines the best ways to leverage your compensation market data.

The Spotlight: Ray Everett, President, McLagan

Ray Everett is the president of McLagan, responsible for overseeing the firm globally. Previously, Ray led our Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa practices, where he conducted executive compensation consulting assignments, managed the regions’ survey programs, and worked with key clients. Ray has significant experience designing and implementing annual and long-term incentive plans, carried interest plans, performance management systems, and job architecture. He also advises the boards, remuneration committees, and management of many of our global clients.

ISS Clarifies 2019 Compensation Policy Updates

Recent FAQs provide clarification on how ISS will implement changes to its equity plan scorecard methodology, director pay evaluation, equity dilution concerns, and more. While not fully comprehensive at this point, the FAQs address several important compensation policies, which we summarize in this alert.

Cost Analytics: How to Uncover the Opportunities that Drive a $1 Billion Cost Optimization Program

Following the latest set of quarterly earnings results from major banks, it’s clear that there is a renewed focus on cost management. Prior to the results, analysts closely studied how banks are performing on costs, with some banks announcing or reiterating forward guidance on efficiency ratios. As we near the end of the economic cycle and macro risks continue to emerge, we anticipate that this renewed focus on cost will only intensify. Across our own client base, we are seeing heightened activity around assessing support costs.

What We Learned from CEO Pay Ratio Exemptions

Months before the first CEO pay ratio disclosures were filed, the SEC issued guidance around the types of individuals that could be excluded from a firm’s median identification analysis. With the first year of disclosures now mostly behind us, we decided to take a closer look at how those exemptions were used—and whether they proved to be beneficial for companies.

Market Rationalization in the Middle East

The banking sector in the Middle East has enjoyed a steady recovery and will post solid results in 2018. The Governor of the Central Bank, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, emphasized that the industry is liquid and strong, with credit growth for the private sector increasing 6.5% during the first 9 months.

To Truly Assess Gender Pay Gaps, Companies Must Dig Below the Surface

In most cases, you can’t begin to fix a problem until you understand why it exists in the first place. This is certainly true for the complex challenge of addressing gender pay equity. It’s time for companies to carefully examine their data and work outside the confines of basic pay comparisons to find and fix specific root causes. Once organizations actually start to dig deeper, we’ve found that the following issues are the most significant drivers of both real and perceived gender pay gaps.

Bank Compensation Trends: What You Need to Know

The end of the year is just around the bend and many firms are already knee-deep in their year-end planning. However, before fully diving in, it’s important to evaluate all the changes and resulting outcomes that occurred in 2018 to ensure you have the right reward plans and practices in place. To help this process along, we've used our 2018 Regional & Community Banking Compensation Survey and McLagan proxy database results to share an overview of the major topics and trends that are shaping the sector today and in the future.

ISS Replaces Financial Metrics in Favor of Economic Value Added in Evaluating Pay for Performance in 2019

ISS' newly released draft policy updates for 2019 would swap GAAP metrics for EVA and adopt a voting standard around board diversity. Glass Lewis’ final policies are extensive in both compensation and corporate governance topics. We explain what the updates entail.

Infographic: Are You Capitalizing on Prime Services Market Growth?

Prime services has been the fastest growing area of global markets since 2013, experiencing a 29% revenue increase between 2013 and 2017. However, our data shows that U.S. firms are the primary beneficiary, capturing market share from European firms—a recurrent theme across most products since the global financial crisis. We explore the numbers in our latest infographic.

A Side-by-Side Look at Talent and Rewards in Financial Services and Technology

Financial services firms are challenged to imagine and operationalize the talent and rewards strategies required to transform their workforces for the digital age. No matter what technology initiatives firms are focused on, adapting longstanding practices to attract and retain technology talent is key. McLagan and Radford have teamed up to help financial services firms navigate this changing landscape.

The Spotlight: Adam Barnett, Partner, Asset Management

Adam Barnett is a Partner in McLagan’s asset management practice, providing performance and reward consulting services to various investment management organizations. Adam’s areas of expertise include designing annual and long-term incentive plans and sales compensation programs, conducting sales and financial performance benchmarking studies, and analyzing competitive compensation practices and levels.

Career Frameworks: Your Most Important HR Tool for the Era of Increased Transparency

The human resources function is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Designing approaches that fit the needs of a multi-generational workforce and an emerging job market adds tremendous pressure to HR strategies. Companies are attracting and retaining talent by using more customization and adaptability in their role profiles and job descriptions. However, having so much customization, and ultimately so many unique job profiles, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to addressing the current industry-wide need for more transparency. And often, the result can be a lack of clarity into what career paths are available within your organization.

Infographic: Five Quick Tips for Tackling Compensation Governance in Today’s Economy

As regulatory changes continue to evolve, it is important to stay diligent and ensure your firm has the right structure and framework in place. Our infographic outlines five tips that can help.

How is Technology Impacting Financial Services?

As financial services firms’ business models continue to evolve, legacy technology will likely be replaced with emerging technologies, resulting in a convergence of the technology and financial services industries. New technology innovation has already done a lot to improve the customer experience, supply data for decision making, and reshape longstanding firm policies and practices. The question is whether financial firms have the talent to support further innovation at the appropriate speed.

The Post-Crisis Evolution of Pay

Ten years ago this month, the financial crisis came to a head with the failure of Lehman Brothers. While there have been too many stories written on the crisis to cite, one thing we can agree on is the shared culpability ranging from individuals over-extending themselves in the housing market, the distribution of bad loans, poor underwriting and mortgage lending standards, packaging of securities by banks, uneducated ratings of these securities by agencies, and greedy and naive investors searching for yield.

The Spotlight: Roopank Chaudhary, Partner, India

Roopank Chaudhary, a partner at Aon, is the Head of India for McLagan and the Head of Regional Insurance for Asia Pacific. Roopank manages key client relationships with various financial institutions. He specializes in supporting clients in developing rewards strategies, structuring and benchmarking, designing and evaluating job descriptions, organization structuring, employee engagement, and HR set-up.

Infographic: A Checklist For Fall Comp Planning

Fall is in the air, which means the start of compensation planning season for most firms. To help your team prepare, we have developed a quick checklist for keeping your pay programs up to date.

SEC Takes A Closer Look at Proxy Advisory Firms

The SEC has signaled that they are actively reviewing how investment advisers use proxy advisory firms’ recommendations. The SEC has set a November 15th date for a roundtable to review requirements for investment advisers. As we highlight in this alert, this may ultimately force investment advisers to rely more on internal analysis; thus, diminishing the role of the duopoly that proxy advisory firms presently enjoy.

What to Consider When Calculating Your CEO Pay Ratio in Year 2

Deciding whether to re-identify your median employee is a key question going into the second year of pay ratio disclosures. We weigh the pros and cons. The primary focus for many companies during the first year of calculating the CEO pay ratio was determining what methodology to use when identifying the median employee—ensuring it was both reasonable, accurate, and consistently applied across all employees.

Realigning the Human Resources Function

It is an exciting time in the HR community, as members no longer need to push to get a seat at the table and are considered significant drivers of change and value. However, we must recognize that where the HR function stands today is, in many cases, the result of multiple years of cost-cutting initiatives. After already achieving a lean state of operation, it is not uncommon to find that HR size and cost has been reduced even further. Yet, just when organizations have tirelessly worked to minimize costs as much as possible, executives have become even more aware of the importance of HR within firms, where talent is a crucial asset.

The Spotlight: Don McNees, Partner, Insurance

Don McNees is a partner at McLagan and leads Ward Benchmarking for life, annuity, health, and retirement. Don works with senior management to enhance growth and improve performance at some of the world’s largest insurers. He advises clients on target operating models, performance benchmarking, and organization effectiveness to achieve their business objectives.

IRS Releases New Guidance Concerning Changes to Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code

One of the more noteworthy provisions within the giant corporate tax bill that passed at the end of 2017 for executive compensation professionals was the elimination of a provision under Section 162(m), which allowed companies to deduct performance-based pay above $1 million. Now, we’re getting more clarification on how that change in tax law will play out in practice.

Five Questions for Banks to Consider When Setting Executive Annual Incentive Plan Goals

With such a substantial percentage of executive pay delivered through incentive programs, it’s no wonder that incentive plan discussions comprise a significant portion of the compensation committee’s agenda for many banks. However, through our experience of serving as advisors in over 300 compensation committee meetings per year, we are surprised by how little dialogue exists around the specific topic of annual incentive plan performance goal selection and goal setting. 

ISS Issues Survey Hinting at 2019 Policy Changes

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) took the first step in its yearly policy update process when it recently released its annual corporate governance policy survey to clients. Following the survey period, ISS releases draft policies in the early fall for a two week comment period, followed by final policy updates that typically come in November. Adopted policies are effective in February for the proxy season.
 

Getting Started with Your Compensation Survey Results

Understanding where you stand in the market helps you ensure that employee compensation spend is optimized for your firm. Overpaying relative to performance and the market could lead to increased shareholder pressure and sub-optimal financial results. Underpaying could weaken your firm’s ability to attract, motivate, and retain talent.

Infographic: Forces to Watch for Financial Services Firms Across the Globe

We are in an age of major global transformation for financial services. Technology disruption is happening all around us, forcing traditional establishments to innovate, re-think old tactics, and adapt to the ever-shifting digital world. In this current state of change, there are many new challenges that financial services firms must face head on, while contending with political and social unrest, economic fluctuation, and strong regulatory standards. From global expansion to new reward structures, client experiences, and entirely new sectors, here are the top trends affecting financial services firms across the globe.

Top Six Life-Health Insurance Industry Trends to Know

Insurance industry spend in technology and analytics has increased at significant levels, as companies continue to integrate innovation into business processes. The average insurance company increased spending by nearly 22% and roles within data analytics more than doubled since 2013. Companies are making big bets that emerging, innovation from InsurTech and leading outsourcers will streamline internal processes and improve the way that they interact with customers. In our 2018 Digital and Intelligent Innovation Survey, we found that 58% of insurers have reached the implementation phase on one or more elements of the new digital and intelligent innovation toolbox.

Top Five Property-Casualty Insurance Industry Trends to Know

Property-casualty insurance firms have seen a significant shift in the staffing profile in recent years. The average company added over 20% more staff in technology, actuarial, and analytical roles compared to a 40% decline in front office roles, including policy processing, data entry, and clerical work. We anticipate that automation will require fewer employees to directly interact with the customer and perform data entry tasks, as these activities are delivered through automated and digital methods.

 

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