Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC at a Glance


  • "Collegial work culture and steep learning curve."
  • "Fast opportunity for growth."
  • "Lots of variety in projects."


  • "Geographic dispersion."
  • "Narrow field of expertise."
  • "Small and quiet office culture."

The Buzz

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

About Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC

For almost three decades, Pearl Meyer has provided compensation consulting services and compensation survey data to clients ranging from Fortune 500s to emerging, high-growth companies and not-for-profits. At a time when executive pay is under the regulatory microscope and shareholders are demanding more value for their money, Pearl Meyer provides a comprehensive approach to compensation planning. The firm's 100-plus professionals work with boards and senior management to create executive reward programs that align with the company's business and leadership strategy. 

All of the firm's core practices deal with executive compensation, with consulting services that range from compensation strategy design to implementation and communication of pay programs. Capabilities include helping organizations develop their 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. 

Its compensation survey practice publishes managed and custom surveys. These are broad studies that provide compensation and total rewards data for senior management, upper-level executives, and managers, and on segments of an employee population such as recent college graduates or customer-focused positions. The firm partners with industry associations and groups to run managed surveys that report pay data for specialized industries or geographic areas and is hired for custom surveys that tackle unique employee population segments with specific credentials or backgrounds that make benchmarking difficult. 

Winding Path to Pearl Meyer 

Pearl Meyer & Partners 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 & Partners 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. In 2010, the Company was spun off from Clark & Wamberg, LLC and is now owned by BB Shared Services, LLC and certain management owners. David N. Swinford has been the firm's CEO and President since 2007. In the fall of 2015, the firm re-branded and shortened its name to Pearl Meyer. In 2017, the firm acquired Main Data Group. 

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, videos, and white papers. "As We See It" pieces offer perspective and opinion on industry trends and timely client alerts offer technical advice on compensation developments in the disclosure, tax, and accounting areas. 

Pearl Meyer consultants regularly participate in industry events and conferences, and are frequently quoted in industry publications such as Agenda, Directorship, workspan, Compliance Week,and CFO; and in mainstream media, including Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, The Sunday Times, and BBC Radio. 


August 2017

Pearl Meyer Acquires Main Data Group 

Pearl Meyer announced that the firm has acquired Main Data Group, a leading provider of executive compensation and corporate governance data. 

"Main Data broadens our portfolio of client offerings through its robust technology and innovative data solutions," said David Swinford, president and CEO, Pearl Meyer. "This expands our ability to provide clients with high-value custom analysis and insight to support the design of effective executive compensation programs that deliver competitive advantage and long-term value for their organizations." 

"We are excited to be joining Pearl Meyer," said Craig Main, CEO and founder of Main Data Group. "The strength of their brand and depth of resources will support our ability to grow and extend our market reach." 

Main Data Group will operate as a separate business unit within Pearl Meyer and will continue to provide its existing clients with total rewards and corporate governance information through its cost-effective cloud-based software platform. 

The Board's Role in Value Creation

In this video, Pearl Meyer President and CEO David Swinford and Sara Mathew, director at Campbell Soup Co. and Freddie Mac, talk about the board's approach to assessing performance and ensuring there is balance between financial and non-financial metrics. Chris Clark with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) leads the discussion.

A Repeal of Dodd Frank? What it Might Mean for Compensation

A quick look at which executive compensation rules and practices might change in the near-term. 

Weathering the ACA Storm: Providers Shore Up Healthcare Executive Compensation Strategies 

Repeal? Repeal and replace? Repeal and delay? As of this writing, the U.S. Senate is working its way through a short list of alternatives and likely finding that none of them will succeed. There seems to be a growing consensus that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") will not be repealed or replaced. Rather, it will likely be modified in a bipartisan effort to improve its deficiencies, and probably be given a new name. Despite ongoing political chaos, healthcare boards are moving forward with industry transformation and using executive compensation as a tool. 

The Visionary Board at Work: Developing a Culture of Leadership

Company success relies on both a robust business strategy and a strong, talented team to deliver it. Boards have long been deeply involved in working with senior management to assess, refine, and execute the company's business strategy. But what about the board's responsibility for leadership strategy? If business strategy defines what a company plans to do, then leadership strategy governs how a company will do it. Shouldn't an active board be equally concerned with both?

Pearl Meyer collaborated with the WomenCorporateDirectors Foundation to author this 2017 Thought Leadership Commission report, which examines four areas that are critical for board discussion:

  • Think beyond the C-suite-develop the next generation of leaders;

  • Nurture culture at the core-create firm-wide alignment and engagement;

  • Embrace the new normal-encourage innovation; and

  • Lead by example-self-govern with purpose.


Long-Term Incentives in the Age of Pay-for-Performance 

Are we seeing greater alignment of realized/realizable executive compensation with firm performance and are companies with strong pay-for-performance (PfP) also performing better? This webcast focuses on long-term incentive design and metrics, and addresses many of the questions directors frequently have when trying to create strong alignment in their executive compensation plans: 

  • How the PfP tests from proxy advisory firms affect publicly traded companies;

  • The proper role of relative TSR;

  • How to think about PfP beyond the current typical framework and more closely link to business strategy; and

  • Are there any silver bullets to maintain PfP alignment?

We explore the challenges and opportunities in selecting metrics and setting goals that can help your organization drive to better long-term corporate performance.

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Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC

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


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: David N. Swinford
  • 2017 Employees: 168

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Executive Compensation
    Board of Directors Compensation
    Compensation-Related Governance
    Compensation Communication
    Compensation Surveys
    Broad-Based Employee 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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