A new independent executive compensation advisory firm offers Canadian boards and senior management teams another option to develop people and pay programs that enhance business results
TORONTO, ONTARIO – September 14, 2021 – The world is quickly changing, amplified by COVID-19 and its social and economic impact, and businesses are evolving to be more agile and resilient to address the uncertainty and increased pace of change. At the same time, boards are being tasked with making strategic decisions that not only support long-term value creation for shareholders but also consider the interests of all stakeholders. However, many boards and senior management teams continue to put too much emphasis on market alignment and compliance without sufficient consideration of their company’s unique circumstances. The role of a human resources committee is getting more complex and nuanced and can benefit from the support and guidance of an independent advisor.
Amanda Voegeli is President and Managing Partner of Southlea Group, a new executive compensation advisory firm in Canada. Amanda noted that “Southlea identified a gap in the way corporate decision makers approach and design pay programs for their most senior leaders. By bringing fresh insights that are anchored in a deep understanding of the business and the key performance drivers for all stakeholders, we give decision makers a clear perspective to support the attraction and retention of the required talent who will drive company performance” Amanda and the three other founding partners of Southlea Group, including Ryan Resch, Alex Pattillo and Tara Armstong, are former leaders at one of the world’s largest executive compensation consulting practices. While Southlea Group is a new firm, the founding partners bring over 65 years of combined experience in executive compensation and governance.
While human resources committees have long established practices to regularly review and monitor their executive compensation programs, there is also an opportunity for board members to step-back and re-evaluate their priorities to ensure sufficient time is spent on the alignment of their pay programs with the business strategy. Amanda indicated that “Southlea provides insights that are data-oriented and supported by clear analytics, so that decision makers not only understand market competitive pay levels but that the performance targets are appropriately calibrated to align pay outcomes with performance”.
More often, human resources committees are being asked to take responsibility for the oversight of broader people programs, including corporate culture, diversity, equity and inclusion, and talent management. Ryan Resch, Senior Partner of Southlea Group commented that “we have worked with numerous boards to refresh the human resources committee charter and meeting agendas to prioritize valued-added activities, such as oversight of the organization’s people programs, while still addressing their core oversight responsibilities of executive compensation”. Ryan also noted that “Southlea can provide independent guidance on these broader issues by ensuring the right questions are being asked of management, that sufficient decision-quality information is being provided to assess program effectiveness and that relevant market insights are brought forward.”