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Mastering the Art of Negotiating Executive Compensation

Executive negotiating at a modern desk with digital displays in red, black, and white

Summary Keywords

Compensation Strategies, Executive Benefits, Executive Pay, Negotiating Executive Compensation, Salary Negotiation

Introduction

Negotiating executive compensation is a critical endeavor for professionals navigating the complexities of new roles in today’s dynamic market. This blog delves into effective strategies and insights from industry expert Laurie Canepa, shared during the Executive Connect Podcast, focusing on the nuanced art of executive compensation negotiation.

Negotiating Executive Compensation

The negotiation of executive compensation has become more sophisticated in recent years, reflecting the broader shifts in work environments and economic pressures. Laurie Canepa, a seasoned executive recruiter, shares her expertise on the topic, emphasizing transparency and strategic preparation as key elements in successful negotiations.

Understanding Market Conditions

The first step in effective compensation negotiation is a thorough understanding of current market conditions. Canepa notes that the executive job market has seen significant changes, with flexibility in work arrangements becoming a central negotiation point. Executives must consider how remote work preferences might affect their compensation packages, especially in leadership roles traditionally requiring more on-site presence.

The Role of Transparency

Transparency from the outset of compensation discussions can set the stage for successful negotiations. Canepa advises executives to be open about their current compensation packages and expectations. This honesty helps align expectations with potential employers and lays a foundation for negotiations that reflect both the value the executive brings and the realistic constraints of the budget.

Strategic Preparation

Preparation is crucial, according to Canepa. Executives should come to the negotiation table armed with comprehensive knowledge about the company, its industry standing, and how similar roles are compensated across the sector. Understanding these elements allows executives to position themselves strategically, advocating for a package that competes favorably with market standards while addressing specific organizational needs.

Negotiating Beyond Salary

Compensation negotiations extend beyond salary. Canepa highlights the importance of considering the entire package, including bonuses, equity options, and other benefits. Executives should evaluate how these components complement their financial needs and long-term career goals. For instance, equity in a fast-growing startup might be more lucrative in the long run than a higher salary in a more established, slower-growing company.

The Power of Flexibility

Flexibility in negotiation can be a powerful tool. Canepa suggests that executives remain open to creative compensation structures that meet their needs while fitting within the company’s financial frameworks. This might include performance-based bonuses, enhanced benefits, or flexible working conditions that provide value beyond base salary.

Conclusion

Mastering the negotiation of executive compensation requires a blend of market knowledge, strategic preparation, and flexibility. By understanding the complexities of today’s job market and approaching negotiations with a clear strategy, executives can secure compensation packages that reflect their worth and support their career trajectories.

See our other articles to learn more about the industries with heightened demand for executives.

Call to Action

For a deeper understanding of how to navigate the complexities of executive compensation negotiations and to gain more insights from Laurie Canepa, tune into her detailed discussion on the Executive Connect Podcast. Listen now!

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Bryan Hancock Headshot — Founder of Integrity Development

Bryan Hancock

Founder of Integrity Development

Integrity Development

Executive Biography

Bryan Hancock has been managing real estate investments—and overseeing development and construction projects—for nearly two decades. He has deep roots in Austin, Texas, and comprehensive knowledge of the opportunities and challenges in this fast-growing market.

Through his development and syndication companies, which he built from the ground up, Bryan has developed 50+ urban infill projects and managed $25M in real estate sales with approximately 35% return on investment at the project level. He also co-founded two private equity funds.

Bryan brings in-depth industry awareness, sharp business acumen, and extensive in-the-trenches experience to his work as co-founder and principal of Integrity Development. He partners with a team of professionals and industry experts (many have been involved in Austin real estate for 40+ years) to identify value-added and opportunistic investments that protect capital and reduce risk for lenders—while delivering outsized returns for investors.

Earlier, Bryan founded and directed Inner 10 Development, a residential development firm focused on Austin’s top zip codes and surrounding communities, and H2i, LLC, a real estate syndication company. He steered these organizations for 17+ years, overseeing the acquisition, buildout, and sale of single-family and multifamily properties, including a 350-unit urban infill joint-venture project.

Bryan was successful in delivering strong returns while minimizing risk for bankers and investors by taking a targeted, data-driven approach to opportunity analysis, due diligence, and strategic decision-making. He zeroed in on potential risks and developed proactive mitigation strategies to protect and grow investments.

Concurrent with his work at Inner 10 Development and H2i, Bryan established Gentry Lending Group, a private-equity debt fund. He also served on the board of Bullseye Capital Real Property Opportunity Fund. These experiences provided Bryan with a grasp of both investor and banker viewpoints, including an understanding of risk and liability on the lending side. This aspect of his background continues to shape his real estate decisions to this day.

There is another unique aspect to Bryan’s career—a corporate history that differentiates him from other investors and developers in this field. Bryan has built organizations, controlled multimillion-dollar projects, and supported billion-dollar programs for some of the world’s largest companies: Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Dell, CACI, and Charles Schwab. He managed teams and vendors in the US, China, France, and India, and often balanced up to 10 projects at a time. He was trusted with a Top Secret Security Clearance from the United States government.

A business-savvy leader and lifelong learner, Bryan holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from Texas Christian University and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Bryan founded the Wealth Investment Network, co-founded RealStarter (a crowdfunding platform for real estate investors), and was a member of the Urban Land Institute and Central Texas Angel Network. He has been a guest speaker at 20+ national events, including conferences and meetups through the Information Management Network (IMN), SXSW, Rice University, Bay Area Real Estate Summit, Soho Loft Conference, Texas Entrepreneur Network, and many others.

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Melissa Aarskaug Headshot — Founder of Executive Connect

Melissa Aarskaug

Founder of Executive Connect

Senior Executive, Board Member & Advisor

Vice President of Business Development
Bulletproof, a GLI company

Executive Biography

Melissa Aarskaug is a global executive and business leader at the forefront of the technology/cybersecurity industry. She shapes strategy, leads teams, and partners with Fortune 500 companies and other enterprise clients to protect their organizations from risk and noncompliance—while improving operations and accelerating growth.

For 15+ years, Melissa has taken the reins to propel organizations to the next level of performance. By combining business acumen and revenue optimization with the sharp mind of an engineer, she uncovers and seizes opportunities for profitable growth in the US and around the world.

Melissa has established a distinguished career with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), where she is a key member of the senior executive team. Throughout her tenure, she has assembled teams, developed new markets, and influenced P&L impact, ultimately positioning GLI as the #1 provider of testing, certification, and cybersecurity services to the global gaming and lottery space.

After achieving this feat—a big win for GLI and game-changer for clients worldwide—Melissa steered both GLI and Bulletproof (acquired by GLI in 2016) into untapped verticals: finance, government, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, and retail. An enthusiastic, knowledgeable growth driver who cultivates partnerships and rallies teams, she led GLI/Bulletproof to dominate these markets as well.

Before joining GLI, Melissa shaped and executed strategy as Vice President of Business Operations for LV Investments, where she built and optimized a portfolio of commercial and industrial properties. Earlier, in a very different role as Project Engineering Manager for Fisher Industries, she directed and mobilized a team of 550 employees and contractors to develop the world’s largest concrete bridge. Previously, she headed a major engineering project for Pacific Mechanical Corporation.

A curious, lifelong learner, Melissa holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering with minors including Business and Mathematics. She is a Karrass Master Negotiator and C4 Executive Coach who actively pursues ongoing education and inspiration as a member of Chief, Austin Technology Council, Austin Women in Technology, and Toastmasters International. In addition to her own personal and professional development, Melissa is committed to helping other people thrive both inside and outside of the workplace. She actively mentors and empowers team members at GLI/Bulletproof, and is an executive leader and coach for Global Gaming Women. She founded Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN) Austin and is a current or past board member of many organizations, including Emerging Leaders in Gaming, Ballet Austin, Texas School for the Blind & Visually Impaired, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has been a Junior League volunteer in Austin, Las Vegas, and Reno for 15+ years.

Throughout her career, Melissa has inspired individuals, teams, and entire organizations to think differently about innovation, cybersecurity, leadership, and business development. She was honored as one of the “Emerging Leaders in Gaming: 40 Under 40” and she continues to share her ideas and expertise through publications, podcasts, webinars, and presentations.

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This is the Executive Connect

A show for the new generation of leaders. Join us as we discover unconventional leadership strategies not traditionally associated with executive roles. Our guests include upper-level C-Suite executives charting new ways to grow their organizations, successful entrepreneurs changing the way the world does business, and experts and thought leaders from fields outside of Corporate America that can bring new insights into leadership, prosperity, and personal growth – all while connecting on a human level. No one has all the answers – but by building a community of open-minded and engaged leaders we hope to give you the tools you need to help you find your own path to success.