Steven L. Cross

Managing Director & Head of Houston Office

Profile image of Steven L. Cross
Houston, TX
P: 713.427.8333

Steve Cross joined the Firm in 2012, upon FW Cook's acquisition of Cogent Compensation Partners, a Houston-based executive compensation consulting firm he founded.

For over 25 years, Steve has served as the outside advisor to the board of directors and executive management in the design and ongoing administration of executive compensation programs. He provides independent advice to clients on a full range of topics related to executive compensation such as: annual and long-term incentive plan design, equity compensation, severance arrangements, corporate governance, compensation strategy, competitive analysis, public disclosures, and foreign domicile related issues. He has served a wide range of clients that include publicly traded as well as privately held companies, ranging in size from small cap to Fortune 100.

Prior to founding Cogent Compensation Partners, Steve was the market leader for Mercer's executive compensation practice in Houston. He also spent 10 years at KPMG where he was the Partner in Charge of the executive compensation consulting practice for the Southwest Region.

He has written numerous articles, contributed to the publication of books, and spoken many times on the subject of compensation. He has been a regular guest lecturer on the subject of compensation and corporate governance at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

Relevant Experience

  • Compensation Committee Advisor
  • Incentive Plan Design
  • Severance Plan Design
  • Director Compensation
  • Corporate Governance Process
  • CEO Attraction/Transition
  • Foreign Domicile Related Issues
  • IPO Planning/Coordination
  • Private Company Long-term Incentive Design
  • Competitive Market Comparisons
  • Stock Ownership Guidelines
  • Severance Arrangements
  • Equity Plan Proposals
  • CD&A Drafting/Review
  • Shareholder Outreach

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

Event | July 16, 2018
San Diego, CA

Fresh Perspectives on Compensation Committees
By Steven L. Cross, Michael P. Chavira

Event | October 11, 2017
Houston, TX

Board Evaluation and Development
By Steven L. Cross, Managing Director & Head of Houston Office
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Event | June 14, 2017
Chicago, IL

Energy Industry Roundtable
By Steven L. Cross, Managing Director & Head of Houston Office

Event | June 13, 2017
Chicago, IL

Point Counterpoint: Debating Compensation Practices
By Steven L. Cross, Managing Director & Head of Houston Office


Alert | April 1, 2013
Executive Compensation 2012 Year in Review and Implications for 2013 and Beyond
By James Park, Steven L. Cross
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Alert | July 20, 2012
2012 Glass Lewis Policy Updates
By Steven L. Cross, Managing Director & Head of Houston Office
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