Skip to main content

Cool Compensation Considerations for the Private Company 2018: Pay, Performance and Perspectives


Speaker(s): Alicia C. McCarthy, Andrew L. Oringer, Arthur H. Kohn, Erin Bass-Goldberg, Gregory T. Grogan, Jonathan F. Lewis, Kyoko Takahashi Lin, Laurence Wagman, Maria Corsaro Charon, Marissa J. Holob, Matthew M. Friestedt, Robert C. Fleder, Steve Rimmer, Steven W. Rabitz
Recorded on: Mar. 12, 2018
PLI Program #: 221468

Alicia C. McCarthy is Counsel in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Department at Wachtell Lipton.  Ms. McCarthy advises clients with respect to executive compensation and employee benefit matters involving mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs, joint ventures, financings, litigation as well as plan compliance.  Her experience includes ERISA’s fiduciary rules and the investment of plan assets with an extensive background representing financial institutions, fund sponsors and ERISA investors.  She also advises on executive compensation matters including performance-based compensation plans, nonqualified pension plans, and employment, severance and change in control agreements.

Ms. McCarthy chairs the Committee of Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  She speaks frequently on executive compensation and ERISA topics for the Practicing Law Institute where she co-chairs the ERISA Investment Fiduciary Basics program.  She is the recipient of the Pro Bono Publico Award (2010, 2011 and 2014) for her services to The Legal Aid Society.  She is also recognized in Best Lawyers of America (2012-2019) in Employee Benefits (ERISA) law and New York Super Lawyers (2013-2018).  She recently co-authored the articles “Sun Capital Redux:  Private Equity and Pension Liability,” The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (April 5, 2016); “Counting to 80,” Private Equity Manager (August 2013); and “New Ways to Manage Old Pension Liabilities,” Law 360 (June 17, 2013).

Ms. McCarthy received her B.A. in 1981 from Georgetown University and her J.D. cum laude in 1984 from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a member of the Journal of International Law.


Andrew L. Oringer is a partner and the co-chair of the Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group at Dechert LLP.  He is the co-chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association’s Business Section, the Emerging Issues Coordinator of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Taxation, a former co-chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and chair of the NYSBA’s Committee on Attorney Professionalism.  Mr. Oringer is a charter member of the Practical Law Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Advisory Board and was a long-standing member of the Advisory Board for the Bloomberg BNA Benefits Resource Practice Center and for the Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, a Senior Fellow from Practice for the Regulatory Compliance Association and an adjunct professor at the Maurice A. Deane Law School at Hofstra University.  He is co-editor of a leading treatise on ERISA fiduciary law and has authored a chapter in a leading treatise on the taxation of nonqualified deferred compensation.  Mr. Oringer is highly rated by a number of key ranking organizations, is included in a widely disseminated list of the Top 100 lawyers in New York City across all practice areas and is a member of The Legal 500 Hall of Fame.


Arthur Kohn is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP. His practice focuses on compensation and benefits matters, including executive compensation, pension compliance and investment, employment law and related matters.

He repeatedly has been recognized for his work on behalf of clients by the business and legal press, including Best Lawyers, which named him its 2014 New York Employee Benefits (ERISA) Lawyer of the Year. He has also been recognized for his work in employee benefits and executive compensation law by Chambers USA, The Legal 500, Super Lawyers of New York and others.

He is frequently invited to speak about executive compensation, taxation and corporate governance matters across the United States. Arthur is an adjunct professor at  New York University School of Law, a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School and a member of the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Arthur joined Cleary in 1986 and became a partner in 1995.

He received a B.A. from Columbia University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Scholar and received Phi Beta Kappa honors.


Erin Bass-Goldberg is a Managing Director in the New York Office of FW Cook. She joined the firm in 1998 and is located in Philadelphia. Her client assignments have been with both public and private companies in various industries. Erin’s consulting engagements focus on development of executive compensation strategy, design of annual and long-term incentive programs, and transaction-related executive compensation issues. 

Erin serves as the independent advisor to Compensation Committees. She is an author and contributor to the firm’s technical papers and studies and is a speaker on executive compensation issues.

Previously, Erin was employed as an executive compensation consultant with The Hay Group and as an auditor and structured finance consultant with Arthur Andersen. She is a graduate of Lafayette College (BA, business and economics) and Columbia Business School (MBA, with concentration in finance and management).

 


Greg Grogan is a Partner in Simpson Thacher’s Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Practice and focuses his work on executive retention and motivation in M&A transactions and IPOs, with a particular focus on private equity. 

Greg has advised on approximately 100 investments or exits by Blackstone, including: the acquisition and subsequent IPOs of Hilton Hotels, SeaWorld, Invitation Homes, and Gates Global; the acquisitions of Equity Office Properties, Motel 6, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Refinitiv, StuyTown, PSAV, Performance Food, and GSO Capital.

Greg also regularly advises BC Partners (PetSmart, MultiPlan) and Centerbridge (Great Wolf Resorts, GSI, American Renal, BankUnited), as well as companies engaging in sales to private equity buyers (such as ADT and Johnson Controls/Tyco).

Greg has assisted on the following private equity transactions:

  • Microsoft in its $28.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, its $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub, its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, and in its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype from Silver Lake Partners
  • Vodafone’s $130 billion sale of its U.S. group to Verizon Communication
  • Invitation Homes in its $20 billion merger of equals with Starwood Waypoint Homes
  • Tyco in its merger of equals with Johnson Controls
  • Spinoffs of Hilton, Tyco, and PPL (and subsequent merger “reverse Morris trust” transactions at Tyco and PPL)
  • SiriusXM's acquisition of Pandora

Greg routinely advises boards of directors with regard to CEO succession matters, including at Hilton, PetSmart, Johnson Controls, Gannett, SeaWorld, Change Healthcare, and Cosmopolitan Las Vegas (and, at the height of the financial crisis, both Wachovia and Washington Mutual).

In 2016, Chambers USA described Greg as “very technically proficient, practical, timely, responsive and just a wonderful lawyer.”

Greg attended Georgetown University Law Center and California State University, Northridge.  He serves on the Board of Visitors at Georgetown University Law Center.


Jonathan F. Lewis is a partner in the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group in New York. His practice encompasses a broad range of executive compensation, employee benefits and human resources matters. The scope of his practice includes:

  • Public and private mergers and acquisitions, with an emphasis on the private equity, healthcare and insurance sectors.
  • The design, operation and disclosure of executive compensation plans and programs.
  • The formation of private equity funds and the investment in the funds by ERISA pension plans

Mr. Lewis is recognized by Chambers USA as a leader in Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation, where he is described by clients as “an outstanding lawyer,” and “a superstar” with “incredible knowledge of a complex field, he is very practical and gives advice that is appreciated from a client’s perspective.” The Legal 500 US also recommends Mr. Lewis, with clients praising his “creative and practical approach.”

Mr. Lewis is a frequent writer on legal developments regarding employee benefits and executive compensation. He is the author or co-author of the Russian chapter of “Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits,” Getting The Deal Through, (July, 2015), “Counting To 80,” Private Equity Manager (August, 2013), “Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers: Two Years In,” Westlaw Journal - Health Law (March, 2013), Employee Equity Repurchases Draw SEC Scrutiny,” The M&A Lawyer (March, 2013), “Buyer Beware (Employee Edition): Employee Benefit Covenants Could Have Unintended Consequences On ERISA Plans,” The M&A Lawyer (March, 2012), “Wage and Price Controls in Private Equity?,” The M&A Journal (June, 2011), “To Change or Not to Change: Should Sponsors Modify Management Equity Due to the Market Downturn?,” The M&A Lawyer (February, 2010), “Private Equity and Hedge Fund

Arrangements,” a chapter in Section 409AHandbook (BNA Books, 2d ed. 2016) and “Mind the (Funding) Gap: Trouble Ahead for Multiemployer Plans,” Private Equity Manager (January, 2010).Mr. Lewis is also a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences, including Practicing Law Institute’s “Cool Compensation Considerations for the Private Company” (March, 2017).

Mr. Lewis received his B.A. from Harvard College in 1990 and his J.D. with high honors from The George Washington University Law School in 1994, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The George Washington Law Review. Mr. Lewis served as a law clerk to the Hon. Stewart Dalzell in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1994 to 1996.


Laurence Wagman is a Certified Public Accountant and the founding principal of Golden Parachute Tax Solutions LLC.  His technical expertise is primarily in the area of taxation of executive compensation and is a nationally known resource within the area of golden parachute tax penalties (Internal Revenue Code Sections (“IRC”) 280G and 4999.

Having founded Golden Parachute Tax Solutions in 2010, the firm has become a leader in providing Section 280G advice to both public and private companies either planning for or undergoing a change-in-control.  Since its founding, the firm has advised on over 500 matters, and transactions with an aggregate market cap value greater than $1 trillion.

As a technical resource Laurene has written several articles for both the Journal of Compensation and Benefits and the Taxation of Executive Compensation and Retirement on IRC Section 280G related matters this list includes: Structuring Change in Control Arrangements Within the Current Executive Compensation Environment (Sept 2009), The Golden Parachute Excise Tax; Why it’s about to Become More Expensive, Why a Gross-Up May be Necessary and How to Structure it to be Performance Based (July 2010),  The Golden Parachute Excise Tax – Not Just a Public Company Issue (Sept 2011), and Canadian Employers – Beware the United Stated Golden Parachute Excise Tax as Not Just a U.S. Problem (2012). 

In addition to writing, Laurence has also given numerous live presentations on IRC 280G related topics, including the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (“NASPP”), Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) and the knowledge and Knowledge Congress Webcast Series.

Prior to forming Golden Parachute Tax Solutions, Laurence’s experience includes over ten years of “Big 4” experience – focusing mainly on executive compensation/employee benefits matters, and thereafter, traditional executive compensation consulting with James F. Reda and Associates, an independent executive compensation consulting firm. 

Laurence is a graduate of Lehigh University (1995), received his Master of Science in Taxation at Seton Hall University (2002) and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of New Jersey.  Laurence can be reached at lwagman@280Gsolutions.com.


Maria Corsaro Charon is a member of the legal department of CBS Corporation as Vice President, Senior Counsel, Executive Compensation.  She is primarily responsible for advising on executive compensation, ERISA and benefits matters.

Maria’s areas of expertise are: executive compensation, ERISA/benefits, tax, mergers and acquisitions and securities law.

Prior to joining CBS, Maria was Special Counsel in the Executive Compensation and Benefits Department of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Maria is a frequent guest speaker at the Columbia University School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar Association. 

Maria earned her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, cum laude, where she was a member of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and is licensed to practice law in New York. She attended Cornell University and received a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations.


Marissa J. Holob advises clients on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation. She regularly represents public and private companies, and tax-exempt entities, on the design, negotiation, and ongoing compliance of qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, equity and incentive plans, employment agreements, and deferred compensation arrangements. Marissa also counsels on employee benefits and executive compensation-related issues that arise in the context of mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, and other similar transactions. In addition, her work with hedge funds and private equity funds includes issues relating to the application of ERISA's plan asset regulations. Marissa serves as the co-chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits practice.


Matt Friestedt is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (where he has worked for over 20 years) and leads the Firm’s executive compensation M&A practice. He is experienced in handling all matters involving the compensation of senior executives, including employment, change in control, equity compensation and severance arrangements. He has worked on $500 billion of M&A transactions since 2015 (including over 40 deals worth more than $1 billion) and has worked on over $1 trillion of M&A transactions during the last 12 years. He also regularly advises on governance issues.


Ms. Lin is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the Executive Compensation Group. She advises boards, companies, compensation committees and individual executives on executive compensation, equity-based incentives, deferred compensation, severance plans and other compensatory arrangements, with particular emphasis on issues arising in mergers and acquisitions transactions, initial public offerings and new and joint ventures, as well as for financial institutions. 

She also advises on employment and consulting arrangements, the applicability of securities and tax laws to executives and employers and general employment-related matters. Ms. Lin is co-editor of the "Davis Polk Briefing: Governance" blog, which covers current topics in corporate governance, securities law and executive compensation.

In her pro bono practice, Ms. Lin has represented individuals seeking asylum in the United States and has advised not-for-profit organizations, including Grameen America and International Arts Movement.


Steven W. Rabitz is a Partner at Dechert LLP focusing on executive compensation matters for public and private companies and the fiduciary responsibility, prohibited transaction and funding rules of ERISA.  He is regularly featured in Chambers USA for his work in employee benefits and executive compensation and in Best Lawyers for his ERISA-related practice. He is nationally recommended by The Legal 500 and was named a “Leading Lawyer” in 2017, in addition to being ranked in Super Lawyers.   Mr. Rabitz’s writing on current legal topics and issues has appeared in numerous publications, including, Tax Management Compensation Journal, Pension & Benefits Daily, Derivatives: Financial Products Report, The Hedge Fund Law Report, and he has been quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Barron’s, Bloomberg, Hedge Fund Law Report, International Business Times and Law 360. In 2015, he received the Burton Award for excellence in legal writing.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Rabitz pioneered and led the ERISA, executive compensation and benefits legal function at Lehman Brothers and served in a similar capacity at Barclays Capital. He also worked as part of a dedicated team of ERISA and compensation lawyers at Goldman Sachs earlier in his career. Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Rabitz was a partner at a national leading law firm.

 


A partner and chair of the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group, Robert Fleder has handled ERISA, employee benefits and executive compensation matters for over 40 years. Described in The Best Lawyers in America as “without question the ‘Dean of the Bar’ in his practice area globally, period,” Rob is recognized as one of the leading lawyers in the United States in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation by peer review organizations Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. Additionally, he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (New York City) since 1987, and was named among the “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys – Employee Benefits and ERISA” by Human Resource Executive magazine.

EXPERIENCE

Rob has extensive and sophisticated experience in the legal, accounting, actuarial and human resource issues connected with the implementation and operation of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements.  In numerous merger and acquisition transactions, he has addressed the issues that arise in connection with the assumption of (or failure to assume) benefit plans and other employee obligations.  His major transactions include representation of the airline pilots who led the successful multi-billion dollar effort to have employees acquire a majority stake in United Airlines through an ESOP.

Rob has been involved in defending and settling significant ERISA fiduciary claims involving private plaintiffs and the Department of Labor.  Rob regularly advises about ERISA fiduciary matters for investment funds and plan fiduciaries. Corporate bankruptcies often require major support on benefits and executive compensation, and Rob regularly participates in restructuring and reorganization transactions of every type. In particular, he has significant experience dealing with troubled pension plans, including dealing with PBGC, the federal agency that insures underfunded pensions when a plan sponsor fails, and dealing with multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability.

Rob is a member of the Executive Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association and a member of the New York City and American Bar Associations and has written and lectured extensively.  He is co-chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the New York State Bar Association.


Steve has 30 years of experience in the human resource consulting field and specializes in coordinating the HR aspects of mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs. Steve is a NY-based principal in our Human Resource Transaction Services practice and works on transactions with a full array of private equity and strategic clients.

Steve has significant experience supporting clients on HR issues in the Technology sector including the following recent projects:

  • Advising a global software and systems company with the spin off of a major subsidiary
  • Assisting a PE firm in the acquisition of the cloud outsourcing division of a major eservices company.
  • Assisting a data storage company with HRIS, payroll, benefits and compensation integration for a major global acquisition.

Steve has been with PwC for 25 years, including 20 years in New York and five years in London. Prior to joining PwC, Steve qualified as an actuary with a leading UK firm of actuaries. Steve is a fellow of the UK Institute of Actuaries, a Certified Compensation Professional and holds an MBA from the University of Manchester.

Recent thought leadership includes chapters in books by PEI on HR due diligence and PE portfolio compensation.