Pearl Meyer at a Glance


  • "The people and the positioning of the firm for the future."
  • "Challenging, team-oriented work environment."
  • "Management is open to change."


  • "Leadership is tough to figure out."
  • "The unpredictable workflow."
  • "Conservative firm."

The Buzz

  • "Small HR only firm"
  • "Good, HR focused."
  • Limited reputation.

About Pearl Meyer

Pearl Meyer is the leading advisor to Boards and senior management on the alignment of executive compensation with business and leadership strategy, making pay programs a powerful catalyst for value creation and competitive advantage. Pearl Meyer's global clients stand at the forefront of their industries and range from emerging high-growth, not-for-profit, and private companies to the Fortune 500 and FTSE 350. The firm has offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.. 

All of the firm's core practices deal with compensation, with consulting services that range from compensation strategy design to implementation and communication of pay programs. Capabilities include compensation philosophy and guiding principles, salary programs, annual short-term and long-term incentives, value creation and performance measurement, contracts, severance agreements, change-in-control arrangements, equity programs, competitive intelligence and compensation surveys. The firm also conducts extensive research, ensuring that it can serve as an up-to-date resource with trustworthy benchmarking. 

Winding path to the present

Pearl Meyer was founded in 1989 and acquired in 2000 by Clark Consulting. Seven years later, in March 2007, AEGON N.V., a Dutch life insurance and pension group, bought out Clark Consulting. Under a special asset exchange agreement between Clark Consulting and AEGON, Pearl Meyer and other divisions that had been part of Clark Consulting were sold to Clark Wamberg, LLC, an investor group created to absorb the former Clark Consulting assets made up of Clark Consulting executives Tom Wamberg, Jim Benson and Ken Kies. Once the M&A dust settled, in May 2007, David N. Swinford, then head of Pearl Meyer's New York office, succeeded Joseph R. Rich as the firm's CEO and president. 

Lay of the land

Knowing what your competition is paying its executives and employees is important to keep the right people in the right jobs. Pearl Meyer's compensation survey practice publishes the CHiPS compensation survey series, managed surveys, as well as custom surveys. The CHiPS family of surveys are broad studies that provide data on segments of the employee population, such as recent college grads, customer-focused positions and, of course, upper-level executives and managers. The firm partners with industry associations and groups to run managed surveys that report pay data for specialized industries or geographic areas such as the Washington DC metropolitan area, the engineering and construction industry, and community banking associations. Peal Meyer's custom surveys are usually designed to tackle a single organization's unique employee population segments, which may have unique credentials or backgrounds that would make benchmarking difficult. Pearl Meyer also conducts custom surveys; for example, a company employing a large number of expatriates, or with positions requiring high skill and experience, may require a more focused or specialized competitive assessment. All surveys are available in print and online formats. 

A recognized resource

A longtime provider of compensation information and services, industry professionals have come to rely on Pearl Meyer for its expertise and advice, which the firm offers via research reports, articles and white papers, "As We See It" perspective pieces on industry trends and client alerts, which offer technical advice on compensation developments in the disclosure, tax and accounting areas.

Pearl Meyer consultants also regularly participate in industry events and conferences, and are regularly quoted in industry publications-such as Directorship, Workspan, Compliance Week, Financial Week, Pension & Benefits Daily and CFO-and in mainstream media, such as AP, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, the New York Post, and the Washington Post. 


Summer 2015

Pearl Meyer Gives Back

For the third year, Pearl Meyer is proud to be a presenting sponsor of World T.E.A.M. Sports' Adventure Team Challenge [VIDEO]. The three-day, multi-discipline race brings outdoor sports enthusiasts with disabilities and able-bodied participants to work together in teams to complete a daring athletic competition. Pearl Meyer's Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Enos says, "I can say first hand this is an incredibly inspiring, challenging, and life changing event that strengthens relationships, fosters teamwork, promotes problem solving, and brings camaraderie to the forefront. It is a powerful experience and one that our firm greatly values." 

Pearl Meyer on NPR and in the Wall St. Journal

The SEC has had an active summer issuing multiple proposals and rules for executive compensation disclosure and several prominent media outlets have relied on the firm for information and opinion. NPR's nationally syndicated radio program, The Takeaway, recently interviewed [AUDIO] managing director Deb Lifshey for perspective on the controversial CEO Pay Ratio. The Wall St. Journal took a unique angle on the story with an article featuring Pearl Meyer communications expert Sharon Podstupka on how to mitigate the negative impact of the rule in the workforce. 

"Pay Transparency is the New Black"

What's at stake for an organization when a recent survey says 50% of people do not believe they are paid fairly within their companies? How will the proposed CEO Pay Ratio further complicate an already difficult employee engagement situation?

In a recent article from Workspan, the firm advises planning a good offense and adopting a company-wide environment of pay transparency that includes complete and balanced information on how pay programs are created and governed.  

"When Your CEO Becomes a Million Dollar Baby"

For many banking institutions, the future may include growth to an asset size where market-based compensation above $1 million is a reality for the CEO and other proxy-named executives. Boards and Compensation Committees have to think about the $1M pay cap limitation under the IRS code and understand the implications for tax deductions. The head of Pearl Meyer's national banking practice, managing director Laura Hay, looks at the details and outlines a process.

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Pearl Meyer

570 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 644-2300
Fax: (212) 644-2320


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: David N. Swinford
  • 2015 Employees: 130

  • Employment Contact

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Board Compensation
    Compensation – Related Governance
    Executive Compensation

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY (HQ)
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Houston, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • London
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