Michael Graham


Mr. Graham is a consultant with Grahall, LLC and advises clients on human resources, reward strategy and compensation. The firm has over sixty consulting partners in 26 cities in North America and has one office in Zurich, Switzerland. It includes MBAs, CPAs, actuaries, tax specialists, psychologists and legal experts. The average experience level of a Grahall consultant is more than twenty years.

Background and Education. He is a consultant to boards of directors, their compensation committees, and members of management. He specializes in all aspects of people strategy including organization effectiveness, reward strategy, executive compensation, including stock-based compensation, short-term and long-term cash incentive/retention compensation, executive employment arrangements, benefits and development rewards. He has negotiated over 100 CEO and executive employment relationships. Mr. Graham has over 45 years of experience in the field (35 years in the consulting profession). He  advises organizations in all industries and specializes in the Financial and Professional Services Industries.

He received his B.S. in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1974 where he was selected to the Honor Society, Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Student Court and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received his MBA in two years while working full time from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1977.

He has passed all requirements for Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) awarded by World@Work Association (formerly the American Compensation Association) and have been a member on and off beginning on March 14, 1980.

Practitioner – He was a compensation professional for 10 years in the industry with two large international corporations (Albany International and Bausch & Lomb). At Bausch & Lomb he and a team created as Director of Worldwide Compensation and Benefits for Bausch & Lomb one of the first automated job analysis systems which went on to be installed in over 500 organizations around the world. He has been a Consultant for 35 years with 6 major human resource consulting firms as a Consultant, Partner and Practice Director. He has consulted to over 300 clients in the last 30 years on human capital issues such as organization, recruiting, compensation, benefits, partnership structures, performance reviews, employment contracts, personnel policies, and partnership termination. 

Board Membership – He is currently a member of the Board of Directors and shareholder of Onset Computer, a $35,000,000 privately owned technology company that makes and sells environmental data loggers worldwide.


2007-2019 Currently employed at Grahall, LLC as a Consultant.

2003-2007 Prior to Grahall, LLC He was employed with Clark Consulting as a Consultant and Compensation Practice Director for the New York Office of the Human Capital Practice and Consultant at Pearl Meyer & Partners practice of Clark Consulting in NYC and Boston.

2001-2003 Worked at Arthur Andersen Worldwide as a Consultant, Partner & Human Capital Practice Director for the New York Region of the firm.

1998-2001 Worked at the Hay Group as a Consultant & Compensation Practice Director for the Greater Metro New York Office, Member of the Strategic Steering Committee for the Hay Group, and Business Development Leader for the Eastern Region of the United States.

1994-1998 Was employed by Towers Perrin (Currently Willis Towers Watson) as Consultant & Compensation Practice Director initially for the Boston Office and promoted to the New York Office,  Member of the Compensation Practice Leadership Group for the United States and Co-Practice Leader for the Employee Pay Practice for the Eastern United States Practice.

1984-1994 Was employed by the Wyatt Company (Currently Willis Towers Watson) as a Consultant & Principal & Practice Director for the Human Capital Practice of the Boston Office.

1980-1984 Was the Corporate Director Compensation & Benefits Worldwide for Bausch & Lomb.

1974-1980 Began his professional career at Albany International initially as a Junior Engineer and rose through the ranks to become the Manager of Compensation & Benefits Worldwide and a member of the merger and acquisition team and working extensively on numerous mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.


Publications – Books – I have authored or co-authored books for the profession published by either AMACOM or Grahall Omnimedia Publishing:

1)  “Creating a Total Reward Strategy,” - c 2003;

2)  Effective Executive Compensation, Creating a Total Reward Strategy,” c 2008

3)  CEO Compensation and Contracts – A Principled Approach” c 2014;

4)  People Strategy – The Revolution” c 2014;

5)  Board of Directors Compensation and Governance” c 2014;

4)  Hedge Fund People Strategy” – c 2014;

8)  “Board of Directors Governance” – c 2017;

7)  “Executive Benefits and Perquisites” – c 2018;

9)  “Employee Total Rewards Strategy” – c 2018;

10) “Reasonable Compensation Expert Testimony” – c 2019;

11) “Sales Force Reward Strategy” – c 2019

12) “Private Equity Fund People Strategy” – Publishing date 2019

13) “Job Analysis” – Publishing date 2020

14) “Organization Design” – Publishing date 2020

15) “Long-term Incentive Plan Design” – Publishing date 2020

Publications – Research Studies Managed – Mr. Graham has authored and or contributed to the following studies:

The “2009 Executive Rewards Research Series of Reports” which analyzed compensation of Named Executive Officers (NEO’s) in 1,000 publicly listed companies in 24 industries in the United States. The report was published by Grahall Research Institute in 2010 and consisting of 464 pages of information on the pay for CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s and other top executives covering base salary, annual bonuses and long-term incentives such as stock options, stock appreciation rights, etc. These studies correlate organization size and organization performance to the pay for the top executives.

The “2011/2012 Board of Directors Governance and Compensation Study” which analyzed board of director’s governance and pay practices among 1,000 publicly listed companies in 24 industries in the United States. Published by Grahall Research Institute in 2013 and consisting of 328 pages information on board of director’s governance and compensation.

The “Hedge Fund Business, People, Rewards and Compensation” which is a multiyear 236-page research series on the United States based hedge fund issues which was published by Grahall Research Institute in multiple years.

The “Private Equity/Venture Capital Compensation Study” – which is a multiyear comprehensive series of surveys on the United States and European private equity and venture capital finds business, organization, people and compensation levels which was published by multiple organizations such as Grahall Data and Survey, Thompson Reuters, etc.

The “2012 Consulting Industry Human Capital and Compensation Study” which is a 254-page research study on the consulting industry covering business, human capital and reward strategy and pay levels which was published by Grahall Data and Survey Services.  

The “Research Consulting Industry Human Capital and Compensation Study” which is a 170-page study of the Research Consulting/NGO business, people, reward strategies and compensation levels published by Grahall Data and Survey Services.

The “2018 Investment Management Industry” which is a study of publicly traded investment management company’s reward levels for key executives.

The “2018 Construction Industry Research Report” which analyzes compensation for the top 5 executives in the construction industry. 


He has presented to many professional audiences such as the World@Work (formally known as the American Compensation Association) over the last 35 years on topics from Job Analysis, Job Evaluation and Executive Compensation and many other related topics. Most recently he presented at the 2019 AAML Symposium of Northern California on the topic of Reasonable Compensation: Applications to Family Law.


Publications – Periodicals – He is a frequent contributor to various professional blogs and reports published on Grahall, LLC’s website, and have written hundreds of articles for the “The People Strategy Exchange” an eMagazine, for World@Work Digest and other corporate magazines, and has been a contributor and member of the Editorial Board of The Compensation and Benefits Journal.