not only from our end but also their end. It goes both
ways in terms of culture fit.
Consulting: What are some big issues compensation
and benefits issues clients are facing?
Perez: Executive compensation continues to be a very
hot topic. If you go into compensation and benefits
together, the last 10 years has seen a boom for that
market given all the new regulations, the scrutiny that
has come out in terms of the press and executives
being run through the mill in terms of how much
they’re making, bonuses, etc. It’s an area that has
gotten a lot more attention and rules have made it more
complex. That has really required more focus on this
area, not only by public companies but you’re also
seeing it by private companies. Now you have a few
different dynamics, tax reform which could change the
landscape, and even when you look at bankruptcies
today, compensation and benefits is an important part of
making sure when you have a company going through
that process they’re able to retain the executives they
want to reorganize the company. It really plays a
part in almost everything we do today. Talent today
is hard to come by, there’s a war for talent, and how
you structure compensation and how you retain your
people is a big part of that, whether you’re private or
public and even in professional services firms. It’s
become one of those staples you have to address in
addition to everything else related to it.
Consulting: What are the biggest consulting
opportunities around compensation and benefits?
Perez: When you look at the market, one area I would
tell you has been a very high growth area for us is
compensation and benefits in the context of workouts
and bankruptcies. Those rules changed a few years
ago, the rules were as you went into the courts you
had to have a plan on compensation, those rules have
tightened and it’s created a market unto itself. When
you look at A&M, our legacy for the first 20 years it
was a workout and restructuring and bankruptcy firm.
We’re still the gold standard in the space, when you
combine that side of the house with some of the changes
they’ve made in code as it related to compensation and
benefits we’re seeing a lot of opportunities in that space
because executive compensation is top of mind, and
you have to conform to those rules today. The other
part that I think will continue to be active is executive
compensation, getting plans implemented and making
sure your plans are still up to par with the competition.
Consulting: Where are you looking for future
expansion or growth?
Perez: The first geographies we’re looking at are
places where we already have a presence. When
you look at the New York and Northeast corridor,
we’re looking very intently there. Out in the west
coast, we recently did a transaction there in Silicon
Valley, which is a dynamic market. We’re looking at
how we can continue to grow there. Others include
the Texas market and the Southeast, those are the
markets we’re looking at. But again, we tend to
be very opportunistic, we might not be looking in
Philadelphia, but if we come across something there
that fits with our skillsets and the culture and values
it’s something we’d be willing to look at. It needs to
be something we can leverage and grow and whether
there other divisions there within A&M where we see
synergies. That’s sort of the strategy.
Consulting: What are your goals for the Compensation
& Benefit acquistion?
Perez: My hope is it does a couple of things. First
leverages our skillset in that space, allows us a lot more
geographic expansion and also allows us to deliver
consulting opportunities. When you combine all that
I think we’re probably going to be the premier non-accounting professional services firm that will have a
first in class compensation and benefits practice. That’s
where I see this going and I hope we’re a long way there
already. There’s no other practice like Compensation &
Benefit around that has a national footprint. We were
fortunate to get them and the idea there is to be a top-ranked compensation and benefits practice.