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Richard V. Smith (Rick) is a Consulting Partner with Grahall and Managing Partner at Equity Compensation Strategies, LLC (ECS) and is an Alliance Partner of the Newport Group. Rick has 31 years of experience serving clients throughout the United States and Europe and is based in their Scottsdale, Arizona office.
Rick and the ECS team are independent advisors to compensation committees and management of public and privately held companies as well as family owned businesses and non-profit organizations. The ECS team has extensive experience providing competitive market analysis for senior level executives and independent directors designing and implementing performance based reward strategies that define the proper mix of total cash and long-term equity incentives as appropriate to the organization and its culture. The industry sectors that the ECS team delivers these services to extensively are energy including oil and gas, gaming including tribal gaming, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, distribution, retail, and pharmaceuticals, among others.
ECS has a significant expert witness litigation support practice team with more than fifteen years of experience. The ECS team assists legal counsel in the areas of family law, shareholder disputes both in public and private companies as well as family-owned businesses, IRS disputes and companies entering or emerging from chapter eleven reorganization. Rick’s work includes executive and employee forensic equity, cash, and assets analysis with comprehensive written opinions. He provides analysis of opposing experts reports and depositions plus strategic assistance to counsel and court testimony.
The ECS team also structures executive employment agreements/contracts considering current practices and individual situations and compliance.
Rick also provides services to Boards and Compensation Committees assisting with strengthening Corporate Governance including: Independent director compensation, board composition, committee charters, proxy preparation and guidance. Rick also structures equity and cash compensation strategies for companies in pre and post IPO and M & A positions including retention strategies both domestic and internationally.
Rick’s 31-year career includes positions as the southwest regional executive compensation practice lead for BDO LLP, Towers Watson, Partner and National Executive Compensation and Governance Practice leader for Sibson Consulting located in their New York City and Phoenix offices, Director and Executive Compensation Practice leader at KPMG and a Senior Consultant at The Hay Group and Mercer in New York. Rick’s assignments have been located throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, and Hong Kong.
Rick has spoken before several professional organizations, including WorldatWork presenting the “8 Habits of a Highly Effective Compensation Committee” and “Redefining Executive Pay-for-Performance”
Other conference speaking engagements include the New York Society of Security Analysts, The New York Hospital Forum and as a member of the Shareholder Forum that studies the impact of “Say on Pay”. His articles on “The Role of the Board and the CEO” and “Rational for Remuneration in Higher Education” have been published in several journals including “Financial Executive” and “Business Officer” plus his recent article "A Holistic Approach to Rewarding the Method of Stock Appreciation" published in "Workspan" magazine. Rick has made several guest appearances on Fox, CNBC, Bloomberg News, and the BBC World News television on executive pay.
Rick is currently a Director on the Board of Econet, Inc. a family-owned business and serves as their Compensation and Nomination Committee’s Chair. Other memberships and affiliations include The Economic Club of New York, The NACD, NASPP, The Shareholder Forum, WorldatWork, and The Conference Board.