Founded on Independence
From the beginning, Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. has provided independent advice to our clients. Our firm was founded in 1973 in New York City when the American economy was stagnant and equity compensation was not yet in its infancy.
Since our founding, the executive compensation landscape has changed dramatically – from ERTA to 409A, from Sarbanes-Oxley to Dodd Frank, from regulation SK to Topic 718, and from "Black Friday" to the financial crisis of 2008, the complexities of executive compensation have increased significantly. Sweeping governance reforms have further heightened the need for compensation committees to retain independent advisors.
Through all the changes, FW Cook has remained the industry leader. Our firm has grown to seven offices across the country, and has served more than 3,000 clients, including some of the largest, most successful companies in the world. Our market share among companies in the Fortune 1000 and S&P 500 is unparalleled in the industry. While some firms provide executive compensation services as a secondary offering to their primary lines of business, our firm consults on executive compensation as its sole business.
Strong, Strategic Leadership
FW Cook has been fortunate to have strong leadership since Fred Cook founded the firm in 1973. His vision for a multi-generational independent consulting firm depends on a business model that is maintained today, the “working consultant” model. Our firm’s leaders are the same people who spend their full time advising clients and directing the strategy and management of the firm. The firm is 100% owned by its principals and therefore is not influenced by outside ownership. The result is a business strategy that focuses on our highest priority – our clients.
The strength of our firm lies in the collective knowledge and expertise of all of our consultants. Due to our commitment to excellence and our long-standing reputation as being a thought leader on executive pay matters, we have been able to attract and retain the industry’s best talent. A majority of our senior consultants have been with the firm for most of their careers, creating a depth and breadth of experience and expertise found nowhere else in the profession.
Seven Offices, One Firm
We have a “one firm” philosophy which means that all of our experienced consultants are able to leverage their collective experiences and knowledge to provide clients with critical insight into the challenges affecting companies in similar circumstances. We proactively share knowledge and analyses to give clients the individual experience of the primary consultants as well as the collective experience of the firm. In addition, it is common practice for us to staff client engagements with consultants across various offices.
“The firm’s culture is a reflection of years of dedication to each other and to being the best that we can be for our clients.” – Samantha Nussbaum, Principal
Intellectual Capital is Our Most Valuable Resource
Our firm’s scale allows us to have in-house technical specialists who are committed to supporting our consultants in their client engagements. We have internal experts on accounting, tax, SEC rules, and shareholder advisory and institutional investor matters who serve as valuable members of the engagement team as necessary and appropriate. Our technical experts include attorneys, MBAs and CPAs who are client consultants but also have additional responsibilities for alerting all consultants to breaking news in our field. Additionally, our internal experts include consultants who are nationally recognized experts on executive compensation programs among tax-exempt organizations, including the “Intermediate Sanctions” legislation. They work extensively in the nonprofit sector including national charities, private foundations, higher education, research institutes, trade associations, and nonprofit health care.
The primary emphasis of our firm is to provide thought leadership in the area of executive compensation and independent counsel to the committees and managers to whom we report. We regularly contribute to the field of executive compensation through innovative plan design, targeted surveys, speeches, articles, essays, and technical commentary to legislative proposals.
We are often invited to speak at or participate in panel discussions at industry events throughout the year. Check our events schedule to view upcoming events.