Executive Compensation: Strategies and Frameworks

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

September 15, 2022

Course Duration

DURATION

6 weeks, online
4–6 hours per week

Course Fee

Overview

From driving leadership performance to ensuring alignment with organizational goals and shareholder expectations, a well-designed executive compensation plan is critical to business success. If you are looking to develop and structure an executive compensation plan for your organization or to update your existing plan, this program provides strategies, frameworks, and expert insights that will help you build a customized plan with incentive compensation contracts and policies to meet your organization’s specific needs.

41%

A 2020 boards of directors survey found 41 percent of organizations were planning to add environmental, social, and governance (ESG) measures to their executive compensation plans.

SOURCE: Willis Towers Watson

70%

Equity incentive awards make up 70 percent or more of CEO compensation in the U.S., yet they have not been linked to positive long-term stock performance.

SOURCE: MSCI

Key Takeaways

Wharton’s Executive Compensation program explores the complexities of executive compensation planning in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. This program will enable you to:

  • Examine the key components of executive compensation plans
  • Identify an effective executive compensation plan for your organization
  • Align organizational objectives and key metrics with executive compensation plan criteria
  • Identify the effects of regulation when designing executive compensation plans
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders in the executive compensation planning process
  • Examine executive expectations of total compensation relative to public perceptions

Who Is This Program For?

This program offers strategies for successfully attracting, hiring, and retaining senior executives in today’s highly competitive executive compensation arena.

The program will be particularly valuable for:

Senior HR professionals seeking to understand the executive compensation planning process, how to use compensation strategies to influence positive senior leader behavior, and how to improve their organization’s executive compensation system.

Board members who want to learn how to leverage executive compensation strategies to attract and retain talent, assess and compensate executives, and ensure compliance with related regulations and corporate governance practices.

Senior executives looking to learn how to design an executive compensation plan that aligns with their organization’s strategic objectives and to discover strategies to improve performance, profitability, employee satisfaction, and collaboration with stakeholders throughout the executive compensation process.

Program Modules

Module 1:

Introduction to Executive Compensation

Receive a broad introduction to the fundamental aspects of executive compensation planning that will be addressed in this program, including key components and stakeholders.

Module 2:

Key Considerations in the Design of Executive Incentive-Compensation

Explore how executive compensation attracts, retains, and rewards high-caliber executives responsible for strategic decision-making and the long-term sustainable growth of an organization. Examine key considerations, such as principal—agency conflicts and strategies for overcoming those conflicts, as well as pay-for-performance incentives that encourage decision-making in the organization's best interest.

Module 3:

Framework for Designing Executive Compensation Packages

Consider the value of executive compensation plans for both senior executives and organizations.

Module 4:

Managing Executive's Equity Holdings

Examine the value of an executive’s equity holdings and the internal and external tools used to manage those holdings and explore the details of the internal and external constraints that regulate executive incentives and compensation.

Module 5:

Managing External Stakeholders

Explore the impact of external stakeholders and influences on executive compensation, including proxy advisor and shareholder voting, the effects of organizational ownership and capital structure on the design, oversight of compensation plans, and the effects of public perception on executive compensation.

Module 6:

Executive Compensation in Special Situations

Examine some special situations related to executive compensation. On occasion, organizations face times of uncertainty, financial stress, bankruptcy, or acquisitions that affect the role and compensation of senior executives.

Module 1:

Introduction to Executive Compensation

Receive a broad introduction to the fundamental aspects of executive compensation planning that will be addressed in this program, including key components and stakeholders.

Module 4:

Managing Executive's Equity Holdings

Examine the value of an executive’s equity holdings and the internal and external tools used to manage those holdings and explore the details of the internal and external constraints that regulate executive incentives and compensation.

Module 2:

Key Considerations in the Design of Executive Incentive-Compensation

Explore how executive compensation attracts, retains, and rewards high-caliber executives responsible for strategic decision-making and the long-term sustainable growth of an organization. Examine key considerations, such as principal—agency conflicts and strategies for overcoming those conflicts, as well as pay-for-performance incentives that encourage decision-making in the organization's best interest.

Module 5:

Managing External Stakeholders

Explore the impact of external stakeholders and influences on executive compensation, including proxy advisor and shareholder voting, the effects of organizational ownership and capital structure on the design, oversight of compensation plans, and the effects of public perception on executive compensation.

Module 3:

Framework for Designing Executive Compensation Packages

Consider the value of executive compensation plans for both senior executives and organizations.

Module 6:

Executive Compensation in Special Situations

Examine some special situations related to executive compensation. On occasion, organizations face times of uncertainty, financial stress, bankruptcy, or acquisitions that affect the role and compensation of senior executives.

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Executive Compensation Playbook

Each module of the program contains essential elements of a playbook that you can use to reflect on your learning, access tools and frameworks, and complete activities that will help you build a compensation plan within your organization. Because there is no one-size-fits-all compensation plan, the playbook provides an opportunity for thoughtful consideration of your organization’s specific needs.

Program Experience

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DISCUSSION BOARDS

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INDUSTRY EXAMPLES

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ASSIGNMENTS

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LIVE OFFICE HOURS

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KNOWLEDGE CHECKS

Case Studies

This online program provides real-world case studies and industry examples designed to help you understand the realities of executive compensation planning in today’s volatile business environment.

Image of a power plant relating to the case of Enron

Enron

Explore the importance of a carefully calibrated executive compensation plan through the lens of Enron’s catastrophic failure.

Image of a person next to a food checkout counter relating to the case of McDonald's

McDonald's

Learn about executive compensation “clawbacks” — recovering money paid to a senior executive who fails to honor conditions of a contract — via this example from the fast-food giant.

Image of a bank relating to the case of Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo

Explore the effects of public perception on executive compensation and related board intervention.

Faculty

Faculty Member

Christopher Armstrong

EY Professor of Accounting

Professor Armstrong’s research focuses on issues related to corporate governance, debt and executive compensation contracting, corporate valuation, and cost of capital. Professor Armstrong serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Research, and The Accounting Review. More info

Guest Speakers

Faculty Member

Allan McCall

Vice President of Human Resources, 10x Genomics

Allan McCall is an experienced human resources leader with deep expertise in total rewards strategies, operations, and analytics. His background includes partnerships with business leaders and compensation committees, outreach to investors regarding corporate governance and executive compensation, and development of scalable global programs and operational platforms. He has published peer-reviewed research on compensation and shareholder voting that has been cited in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Discussion topic: Compensation consulting — engaging with compensation committees and sharing perspectives

Faculty Member

John Kepler

Assistant Professor of Accounting, Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Professor Kepler’s research relates to documenting and understanding the interrelated nature that firms’ contracts—both explicit and implicit—play in driving firms' financial reporting and corporate governance practices. His recent work has examined the role of executive bonus plans in facilitating cooperation among management team members. Other work examines how corporate insiders exploit their private information advantage about corporate audit findings for personal gain. Professor Kepler received his PhD in Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Accounting and Finance from the Foster School of Business of the University of Washington. Prior to his studies at Wharton, he worked in Financial Planning and Analysis for Nordstrom in Seattle, Washington.

Faculty Member

Alan Jagolinzer

Professor of Financial Accounting, Head of Accounting Faculty Subject Group, & Co-Director, Cambridge Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability, Cambridge Judge Business School

Professor Jagolinzer’s research interests include financial reporting, international accounting, corporate governance, executive compensation and incentives, and insider trading. He is a member of the editorial boards of The Accounting Review and The Journal of International Accounting Research. In 2015, he was a Fellow of the International Accounting Standards Board, London. Before joining Cambridge Judge Business School, he was an Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Colorado-Boulder and an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. His work has been published in a variety of professional publications including the Journal of Accounting and Economics and the Journal of Accounting Research, among others. Discussion topic: Regulatory considerations

Certificate

Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program

Certificate

Upon successful completion of the program, you will earn a digital certificate of completion from the Wharton School.

Download Brochure

Note: After successful completion of the online program, your verified digital certificate will be emailed to you in the name you used when registering for the program. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the Wharton School.

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FAQs

  • How do I know if this program is right for me?

    After reviewing the information on the program landing page, we recommend you submit the short form above to gain access to the program brochure, which includes more in-depth information. If you still have questions on whether this program is a good fit for you, please email learner.success@emeritus.org,and a dedicated program advisor will follow-up with you very shortly.


    Are there any prerequisites for this program?

    Some programs do have prerequisites, particularly the more technical ones. This information will be noted on the program landing page, as well as in the program brochure. If you are uncertain about program prerequisites and your capabilities, please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for assistance.


    Note that, unless otherwise stated on the program web page, all programs are taught in English and proficiency in English is required.


    What is the typical class profile?

    More than 50 percent of our participants are from outside the United States. Class profiles vary from one cohort to the next, but, generally, our online certificates draw a highly diverse audience in terms of professional experience, industry, and geography — leading to a very rich peer learning and networking experience.


    What other dates will this program be offered in the future?

    Check back to this program web page or email us at learner.success@emeritus.org to inquire if future program dates or the timeline for future offerings have been confirmed yet.

  • How much time is required each week?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page.



    How will my time be spent?

    We have designed this program to fit into your current working life as efficiently as possible. Time will be spent among a variety of activities including:



    • Engaging with recorded video lectures from faculty
    • Attending webinars and office hours, as per the specific program schedule
    • Reading or engaging with examples of core topics
    • Completing knowledge checks/quizzes and required activities
    • Engaging in moderated discussion groups with your peers
    • Completing your final project, if required

    The program is designed to be highly interactive while also allowing time for self-reflection and to demonstrate an understanding of the core topics through various active learning exercises. Please contact us at learner.success@emeritus.org if you need further clarification on program activities.



    What is it like to learn online with the learning collaborator, Emeritus?

    More than 250,000 professionals globally, across 80 countries, have chosen to advance their skills with Emeritus and its educational learning partners. In fact, 90 percent of the respondents of a recent survey across all our programs said that their learning outcomes were met or exceeded.

    A dedicated program support team is available 24/5 (Monday to Friday) to answer questions about the learning platform, technical issues, or anything else that may affect your learning experience.


    How do I interact with other program participants?

    Peer learning adds substantially to the overall learning experience and is an important part of the program. You can connect and communicate with other participants through our learning platform.

  • What are the requirements to earn the certificate?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week, so you can gauge what will be required before you enroll. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page. All programs are designed to fit into your working life.

    This program is scored as a pass or no-pass; participants must complete the required activities to pass and obtain the certificate of completion. Some programs include a final project submission or other assignments to obtain passing status. This information will be noted in the program brochure. Please contact us at learner.success@emeritus.org if you need further clarification on any specific program requirements.


    What type of certificate will I receive?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a smart digital certificate. The smart digital certificate can be shared with friends, family, schools, or potential employers. You can use it on your cover letter, resume, and/or display it on your LinkedIn profile.
    The digital certificate will be sent approximately two weeks after the program, once grading is complete.


    Can I get the hard copy of the certificate?

    No, only verified digital certificates will be issued upon successful completion. This allows you to share your credentials on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


    Do I receive alumni status after completing this program?

    No, there is no alumni status granted for this program. In some cases, there are credits that count toward a higher level of certification. This information will be clearly noted in the program brochure.


    How long will I have access to the learning materials?

    You will have access to the online learning platform and all the videos and program materials for 12 months following the program start date. Access to the learning platform is restricted to registered participants per the terms of agreement.

  • What equipment or technical requirements are there for this program?

    Participants will need the latest version of their preferred browser to access the learning platform. In addition, Microsoft Office and a PDF viewer are required to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts.


    Do I need to be online to access the program content?

    Yes, the learning platform is accessed via the internet, and video content is not available for download. However, you can download files of video transcripts, assignment templates, readings, etc. For maximum flexibility, you can access program content from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

    Video lectures must be streamed via the internet, and any livestream webinars and office hours will require an internet connection. However, these sessions are always recorded, so you may view them later.

  • Can I still register if the registration deadline has passed?

    Yes, you can register up until seven days past the published start date of the program without missing any of the core program material or learnings.


    What is the program fee, and what forms of payment do you accept?

    The program fee is noted at the top of this program web page and usually referenced in the program brochure as well.

    • Flexible payment options are available (see details below as well as at the top of this program web page next to FEE).
    • Tuition assistance is available for participants who qualify. Please email learner.success@emeritus.org.

    What if I don’t have a credit card? Is there another method of payment accepted?

    Yes, you can do the bank remittance in the program currency via wire transfer or debit card. Please contact your program advisor, or email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for details.


    I was not able to use the discount code provided. Can you help?

    Yes! Please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org with the details of the program you are interested in, and we will assist you.


    How can I obtain an invoice for payment?

    Please email learner.success@emeritus.org with your invoicing requirements and the specific program you’re interested in enroling in.


    Is there an option to make flexible payments for this program?

    Yes, the flexible payment option allows a participant to pay the program fee in installments. This option is made available on the payment page and should be selected before submitting the payment.


    How can I obtain a W9 form?

    Please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for assistance.

  • What is the policy on refunds and withdrawals?

    You may request a full refund within seven days of your payment or 14 days after the published start date of the program, whichever comes later. If your enrolment had previously been deferred, you will not be entitled to a refund. Partial (or pro-rated) refunds are not offered. All withdrawal and refund requests should be sent to admissions@emeritus.org.



    What is the policy on deferrals?

    After the published start date of the program, you have until the midpoint of the program to request to defer to a future cohort of the same program. A deferral request must be submitted along with a specified reason and explanation. Cohort changes may be made only once per enrolment and are subject to availability of other cohorts scheduled at our discretion. This will not be applicable for deferrals within the refund period, and the limit of one deferral per enrolment remains. All deferral requests should be sent to admissions@emeritus.org.

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Flexible payment options available. Learn more.