Is It Time to Start Including Comp Ranges in Job Postings?

But Alan Johnson, managing director at Johnson Associates, a New York-based compensation-consulting firm, says he’s “leery” of including a salary range in job postings. He’s more open to the idea of companies publishing a data point—like a minimum salary—instead of a range because it’s all about managing expectations.

“If you hire someone but their salary is not at the top of the range,” he says, “then they are going to be disappointed, and that’s not a great place to start working.”

The comp-range approach could also prove beneficial for some companies, Johnson adds.

“If the range for a job is $60,000 to $90,000,” he says, “there may be a few people who would have been turned off at 60k, but you might get a few more candidates at 90k. You may get a few more people into the funnel because they are turned on by the top part of the range.”

Johnson says he expects to see more companies adopting the comp-range approach in the coming years.

“I think, with all the work on income equality and diversity, it’s going to increase in usage,” he says. “The perception is that adding comp ranges will help us treat groups more fairly. Whether that’s a good idea or not, we can debate. But it’s certainly a trend that’s going to increase.”

Human Resource Executive / September 24, 2019


In a Rare Move, Comp Changes for 2020 Announced Early

Alan Johnson, CEO at compensation consultancy Johnson Associates, believes it’s clear that Argo’s corporate governance changes are the direct result of a proxy contest led by Voce Capital…

Shareholders’ concerns over Argo’s pay design were likely due to the fact that its LTIP plan was an outlier. Indeed, Johnson is surprised that Argo didn’t already have a three-year period in place for measuring its long-term metrics.

“That’s pretty standard,” he says. “Their performance goals weren’t hard enough in their long term.”
While Johnson acknowledges it isn’t common for companies to announce corporate governance changes this early on prior to their next fiscal year, in this case, he says, “it’s certainly reasonable,” since Argo might want to avoid another proxy fight in 2020 or signal to shareholders “we are responsible.”
Johnson says these are two small measures from Argo to shareholders to show “we listened, we heard you.” However, he warns that shareholders shouldn’t ignore the other concerns Voce voiced in its proxy fight, because he says, “I can’t imagine in the proxy fight, they were talking to investors and these were the only two things they were told to do.”

Agenda Week / September 12, 2019


Manning & Napier Seeks to Be Leaner, Focus on Wealth Clients

For institutional investors and consultants assessing the health of money managers, there isn’t necessarily a direct relationship between desired headcount levels and AUM at firms, “especially in today’s market where revenue plays a larger role given the wide range of fee structures for different products,” Francine McKenzie, managing director at compensation consultant Johnson Associates Inc., New York, said in emailed comments.

“I would think AUM might be one factor, but in conjunction with the kind (complexity, associated risk factors, etc.) and number of products,” as some require more staff than others to manage, she added.

Still, a significant drop in AUM and headcount “could signal instability to investors which is obviously undesirable, especially if coupled with poor investment returns,” Ms. McKenzie wrote.

Pensions & Investments / September 2, 2019


Some Wall Street Workers Face Pay Slump in 2019: Report

…there is a peculiar dynamic, where pay can fall even when the economy is strong, said Alan Johnson…

“This is some kind of an inflection point,” he said. “It used to be, ‘As long as AUM is up and as long as the market is up, you’ll be fine.’ But that’s no longer true.”

Although fewer are bringing home massive paychecks, Wall Street still rewards top performers, Johnson said. Those who create products, maintain strong ties with clients and outsmart rivals are particularly valuable… “There’s a huge focus on paying the very best people.”

Reuters / August 6, 2019


Wall Street Girds for Less Growth in Pay

Compensation for many employees of big banks and asset managers is expected to stay flat or drop this year…

Equities trading and underwriting will probably be hardest hit, according to a new report by the compensation consultancy Johnson Associates. Their annual pay packages could fall by as much as 15 percent from last year.

The New York Times / August 6, 2019


Wall Street Bonuses to Take a Hit From This Year’s Trading Slump

Traders and investment bankers “haven’t had the revenues that I think they were expecting,” Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, said in an interview. “Clients haven’t come back, the volumes haven’t come back.”

“The economy is clearly slowing, so how fast is that going to happen I think is the big variable,” Johnson said. “Is it going to slow at a nice, even pace or are we going to have a more dramatic decline?”

Bloomberg / August 6, 2019