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Session Description: Pandemics, Social Unrest & ESG: Current Issues in Executive Compensation
2020 and 2021 brought major changes to the field of executive compensation. The rise of ESG amidst a backdrop of pandemic-induced market volatility and macro-economic uncertainty has led to the arrival of many new problems on the plates of equity professionals. As design season gets underway, compensation designers are headed back to the drawing board to develop new award designs with new metrics for 2022. Over the past year they’ve been confronted with award modifications, concerns over the exercise of discretion, new HCM disclosures, new proxy advisor guidelines, and the rise of ESG. Pay equity has also emerged as an item of focus. On top of all of this, a new SEC and Biden administration have brought their own implications. Join us as we explore the major issues that compensation professionals need to stay on top of within the current work environment, and a look forward in to what may transpire in 2022.

Speaker Bios:


Nathan O’Connor, Managing Director, Equity Methods
Nathan O’Connor is a Managing Director at Equity Methods, a consultancy in Scottsdale, Arizona that helps hundreds of public and private companies model, value and account for equity compensation and other complex securities. As the first point of contact for prospective clients, Nathan brings over a decade of quantitative consulting experience to bear in collaborating with the Valuation, Reporting, and HR Advisory practices within Equity Methods to ensure that prospective clients’ needs are met. As a liaison between the company and the broader compensation community, he shares best practices at industry events throughout the country and through publishing technical articles. Prior to his current role, Nathan served as the national valuation practice leader at Equity Methods, where he oversaw all client delivery, operations, and R&D in support of more than 400 public and private clients, in addition to directly serving the compensation consultants and senior executives of several Fortune 50 companies. A technician at heart, Nathan is a Certified SAS Base Programmer who has taught financial management in the University of Arizona’s MBA program and internal derivatives workshops at Equity Methods. 


Chris Earnest, Partner, Compensation Advisory Partners
Christopher Earnest is a partner of Compensation Advisory Partners LLC (CAP) in Houston. He has over 12 years of experience consulting with compensation committees and management teams. He also practiced law in Texas for 4 years. Chris consults in all areas of executive compensation ranging from short and long-term incentive program design to performance measurement, target setting and regulatory/compliance related issues. He also advises on director compensation programs. Chris has experience consulting with companies ranging from private entities to Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries including oil & gas, manufacturing, chemicals, engineering and construction, technology and retail. He frequently advises clients on navigating the guidelines and expectations set forth by shareholder advisory firms and has been engaged to assist in shareholding outreach. He has significant experience assisting clients through corporate transactions including initial public offerings, mergers, and spin-offs. Chris has also testified in the Southern District of Texas as a designated compensation expert in bankruptcy related proceedings. Chris holds a BS in Law & Society with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Tulsa. He also holds a JD and an MBA from the University of Tulsa.


Tony Eppert, Partner, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Tony’s multi-disciplinary legal practice focuses on executive compensation, ESOPs and employee benefit arrangements (including their related tax, accounting, securities and corporate governance issues) in the United States and abroad. He leads the Firm’s Compensation Practice Group. Before entering private practice, Tony served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Tony received his LL.M., (Taxation) from New York University in 1999; his JD from Michigan State University College of Law, cum laude, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder, Journal of Medicine and Law in 1998; and his BA from Michigan State University in 1993. This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

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