How We Work

We believe an informed decision starts with a strong relationship and a disciplined process.


The success of any executive benefit arrangement starts with a complete understanding of the goals and objectives of the organization and the participating executive(s).

Data Gathering

Assumptions matter

Leadership Interviews

Understand the perspectives of all parties

Benefit Philosophy

Establish the corporate benefits philosophy, create a roadmap for future leaders

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A decision is only as good as the alternatives considered

Deferred Compensation (DC) Plans are a promise by an employer to pay specific benefits to an executive in the future. DC Plans commonly involve vesting provisions and must be subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture (SRF) to avoid current income inclusion if the employer is a non-profit organization.

Income Statement Benefit expenses are accrued periodically
Balance Sheet A liability is recorded until the benefits are paid
Taxation The benefits are taxed when constructively received
Stakeholder Perception Because these balances can accrue over a long period, the resulting large payments can be viewed negatively
Reference IRC §457(f)
Cost In most cases, deferred compensation plans result in the largest benefit expenses
Capital Requirements Moderate relative to other alternatives
Retention Value The need for long-term vesting arrangements tends to encourage retention

Executive Bonus Plans involve an employer making a bonus payment to an executive to pay the premiums on a cash-value-oriented life insurance policy. These payments are includable in the executive's taxable income and are rarely subject to vesting requirements. However, depending on the employer's objectives, access to policy values can be restricted as a retention mechanism.

Income Statement Compensation expenses as payments are made
Balance Sheet Cash is reduced as payments are made
Taxation The payments are includible in income when paid
Stakeholder Perception Neutral unless additional compensation is viewed negatively
Reference IRC §162
Cost Additional compensation expenses
Capital Requirements Lower relative to other alternatives
Retention Value More suitable for short to mid-term retention objectives

Split-Dollar Plans are not a type of insurance but a method for two parties to share the benefits of one or more life insurance policies. These arrangements have been used for decades as a way for employers to retain and reward executives. The "loan regime" form of split-dollar, if appropriately designed, is non-compensatory and used when the employer wants to provide a retirement benefit.

Income Statement Other interest income
Balance Sheet Other asset that could be accretive
Taxation So long as sufficient interest is returned to employer, there is no income inclusion
Stakeholder Perception Improved due to capital recovery feature
Reference IRC §7872
Cost Depending upon plan structure and employer specifics, there could be opportunity and other costs
Capital Requirements Can be capital intensive
Retention Value Vesting is flexible and can be structures to accommodate various retention objectives


Making good decisions starts with due diligence and ends with a road map for future leadership

Analysis and Deliberation

Is your decision consistent with your objectives?

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Decide and Document

Memorialize the decision, including the corporate philosophy for future leadership.

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Take Action

How do you lead an effective implementation process?

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