While much is said about the state of executive compensation in the United States today, mostly from the perspective of those who believe that executives are overpaid, with multiples of typical executive pay being hundreds of times that of the average worker, they don’t take into account the many perils that today’s executives face. One of those is the prospect of the entire executive team being effectively divested from the company, which they built from the ground up. For many executives who are heavily emotionally and personally invested in their own companies, this should present a dire specter.
Jeremy Goldstein is one of the nation’s foremost executive compensation attorneys. He has served as a senior partner with famed law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz for nearly two decades. One of the things that Goldstein recommends to executives today, even those of small to medium-sized businesses, which have proven to be just as attractive targets to activist shareholders as some of their larger counterparts, is to maintain a completely harmonious relationship between the executive suite and the corporate board. Goldstein warns that many activist shareholders view disagreement over executive compensation as one of the most potent wedge issues that can be used to gain hostile control of a board against the wishes of the executives who run the company.
With a Juris Doctor in law from New York University and experience working on some of the largest mergers and acquisitions in recent corporate history, including the Kmart acquisition of Sears Robuck, the Verizon merger with Alltel and the Phillips Petroleum acquisition of Conoco, among many others, Goldstein is perhaps the most talented and experienced executive compensation attorney in the country today. Recently, he struck out on his own, forming his own company, Jeremy L. Goldstein and Associates. He is a lawyer to continue watching in the years to come.
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