Michael Dennis Graham


Email: michael.graham@grahall.com
Direct: 917.453.4341


Qualifications – Company

Mr. Graham is a consultant with and principal of Grahall, LLC which is a consulting firm that advises clients on human resources, reward strategy and compensation. It has over fifty consulting partners in 26 cities in North America and has one office in Zurich, Switzerland including MBAs, CPAs, actuaries, tax specialists, psychologists and legal experts. The average experience level of a Grahall consultant is more than twenty years.

Qualifications – Individual Background

Michael Dennis Graham is a Consultant with Grahall, LLC. and consults to boards of directors, their compensation committees, and members of management. He specializes in all aspects of people strategy including organization effectiveness, reward strategy, executive compensation, including stock-based compensation, short-term and long-term cash incentive/retention compensation, executive employment arrangements, benefits, perquisites and development rewards. He has negotiated over 100 CEO and executive employment relationships. He has over 45 years of experience in the compensation and benefits field (35 years in the consulting profession) and advises organizations in all industries and specializes in the Financial and Professional Services Industries.

Qualifications – Education – He received his B.S. in Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1974 where he was selected to the Honor Society, Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Student Court and received the Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received his MBA in two years while working full time from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1977.

Qualifications – Professional Certifications – He has passed all requirements for Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) awarded by World@Work Association (formerly the American Compensation Association) and has been a member on and off beginning on March 14, 1980.

Qualifications – Practitioner – He was a compensation professional for 10 years in the industry with two large international corporations (Albany International and Bausch & Lomb). He and his team created as Director of Worldwide Compensation and Benefits for Bausch & Lomb one of the first automated job analysis systems which went on to be installed in over 500 organizations around the world. He has been a Consultant for 35 years with 6 major human resource consulting firms as a Consultant, Partner and Practice Director. He  have consulted to over 300 clients in the last 30 years on human capital issues such as organization, recruiting, compensation, benefits, insurance arrangements, partnership structures, performance reviews, employment contracts, personnel policies, and partnership termination. 

Board Membership – He is currently a member of the Board of Directors and shareholder of Onset Computer, a $35,000,000 privately owned technology company that makes and sells environmental data loggers worldwide.


2007-2019 He is currently employed at Grahall, LLC (a firm which he founded) as a Consultant.

2003-2007 Prior to Grahall, LLC he was employed with Clark Consulting where he was a Consultant and Compensation Practice Director for the New York Office of the Human Capital Practice and Consultant at Pearl Meyer & Partners practice of Clark Consulting in NYC and Boston.

2001-2003 he worked at Arthur Andersen Worldwide as a Consultant, Partner & Human Capital Practice Director for the New York Region of the firm.

1998-2001 he worked at the Hay Group as a Consultant & Compensation Practice Director for the Greater Metro New York Office, Member of the Strategic Steering Committee for the Hay Group, and Business Development Leader for the Eastern Region of the United States.

1994-1998 he was employed by Towers Perrin (Currently Willis Towers Watson) from as Consultant & Compensation Practice Director initially for the Boston Office and promoted to the New York Office.  Member of the Compensation Practice Leadership Group for the United States and Co-Practice Leader for the Employee Pay Practice for the Eastern United States Practice.

1984-1994 he was employed by the Wyatt Company (Currently Willis Towers Watson) for a period of 10 years as a Consultant & Principal & Practice Director for the Human Capital Practice of the Boston Office of the Wyatt Company.

1980-1984 he was the Corporate Director Compensation & Benefits Worldwide for Bausch & Lomb.

1974-1980 he began my professional career at Albany International which when he left owned 54 companies in 15 countries as a Junior Engineer and rose through the ranks to become the Manager of Compensation & Benefits Worldwide and a member of the merger and acquisition team and working extensively on numerous mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.


Publications – Books – he has authored or co-authored books for the profession published by either AMACOM or Grahall Omnimedia Publishing:

1)  “People Strategy – The Revolution” c 2014;

2)  “CEO Compensation and Contracts – A Principled Approach” c 2014;

3)  “Board of Directors Compensation and Governance” c 2014;

4)  “Hedge Fund People Strategy” – c 2014;

5)  “Effective Executive Compensation, Creating a Total Reward Strategy,” c 2008;

6)  “Creating a Total Reward Strategy,” - c 2003;

7)  “Executive Benefits and Perquisites” – c 2018;

8)  “Board of Directors Governance” – c 2017;

9)  “Employee Total Rewards Strategy” – c 2018;

10) “Reasonable Compensation Expert Testimony” – c 2019;

11) “Sales Force Reward Strategy” – c 2019

12) “Private Equity People Strategy” – to be published in 2020

13) “Job Analysis” – to be published in 2020

14) “Organization Analysis and Design” – to be published in 2020


Publications – Research Studies Managed – He have authored and or contributed to the following studies:

The “2009 Executive Rewards Research Series of Reports” which analyze compensation of Named Executive Officers (NEO’s) in 1,000 publicly listed companies in 24 industries in the United States. The report was published by Grahall Research Institute in 2010 and consisting of 464 pages of information on the pay for CEO’s, COO’s, CFO’s and other top executives covering base salary, annual bonuses and long-term incentives such as stock options, stock appreciation rights, etc. These studies correlate organization size and organization performance to the pay for the top executives.

The “2011/2012 Board of Directors Governance and Compensation Study” – Which analyzes board of director’s governance and pay practices among 1,000 publicly listed companies in 24 industries in the United States. Published by Grahall Research Institute in 2013 and consisting of 328 pages information on board of director’s governance and compensation.


The “Hedge Fund Business, People, Rewards and Compensation” – A multiyear 236-page research series on the United States based hedge fund issues which was published by Grahall Research Institute in multiple years.


The “Private Equity/Venture Capital Compensation Study” – A multiyear comprehensive series of surveys on the United States and European private equity and venture capital finds business, organization, people and compensation levels which was published by multiple organizations such as Grahall Data and Survey, Thompson Reuters, etc.


The “2012 Consulting Industry Human Capital and Compensation Study” – A 254-page research study on the consulting industry covering business, human capital and reward strategy and pay levels which was published by Grahall Data and Survey Services.  


The “Research Consulting Industry Human Capital and Compensation Study” – A 170-page study of the Research Consulting/NGO business, people, reward strategies and compensation levels published by Grahall Data and Survey Services.


The “Investment Management Industry” – A study of publicly traded investment management company’s reward levels for key executives.




He has presented to many professional audiences such as the World@Work (formally known as the American Compensation Association) over the last 35 years on topics from Job Analysis, Job Evaluation and Executive Compensation and many other related topics.


Most recently he presented at the 2019 AAML Symposium of Northern California on the topic of Reasonable Compensation: Applications to Family Law.





Publications – Periodicals – He is a frequent contributor to various professional blogs and reports published on Grahall, LLC’s website, and have written articles for the “The People Strategy Exchange” an eMagazine, for World@Work Digest and other corporate magazines, and he has been a contributor and member of the Editorial Board of The Compensation and Benefits Journal the professional journal for the compensation and benefits profession.








  • Tamara Robinson v. Malcolm Robinson – Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Essex Court Docket No FM-07-229-08=
  • Mark S. Fife v. Greg S. Hymowitz
  • Serino, et al. v. Lipper, et al. - Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Gregory Parker v Windy P. Mrs. McCaw; Ampersand Holdings, Inc; Ampersand Telecom, LLC; and Does 1 through 100, inclusive – Santa Barbara Superior Court Case No. 1038424 Arbitration
  • Peter Lusk vs. Wilbur L. Ross, WLRoss & Co, LLC et al – Supreme Court of the State of NY County of NY, Index No. 603825/05
  • Merrill Cohen Chapter 7 Trustee v. Rehab at Work, Corp. et al – Montgomery County Circuit Court of Maryland
  • PRTM v Retired Partners Arbitration of reasonable compensation.
  • Conte v Conte – Superior court of the State of California Case No. FDI-10-773039
  • Nohra v Norha - State of California Superior Court - County of Santa Clara Petitioner, Case No. 6-14-FL013416
  • IRS v Taxpayer – Report on reasonableness of CEO Compensation for a four-year period.
  • Randi Becker A/K/A Randi Garber v Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania D/B/A Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania in Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County
  • Grover v Grover Superior Court of the State of California – County of San Francisco, Case No. FDI-12-778004
  • Drazan v Drazan – Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo Case number FAM 0132695
  • Raab v Raab - Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo Case number FAM 0131656
  • Molly Finn v Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc – Superior Court of the District of Columbia - Civil Action 000 6058 – 11
  • Shaw v Shaw - Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo Case number 16 FAM 00980
  • IRS v Taxpayer – Report on reasonableness of two executive’s compensation for a two-year period.
  • Larson v Larson - Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo Case number 18 FAM 01560
  • Felser v Felser – Superior Court of California, Marin County Superior Court Case No. FL1802336.
  • Zampella v Zampella - Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo Case number 631 797
  • Bower v Bower - Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Case number D556942
  • Johnson v Brandes - Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Case number 18 FL001027N





Allison Grace - Senior Vice President, Human Resources at EIG Global Energy Partners a $14 Billion Asset Management Company Specializing in the Energy Industry -  June 5, 2013, Allison was Michael Dennis Graham's client at  both EIG Energy Partners and Alexandra, LLC.

“Michael is my go-person in the field of executive compensation. He is intelligent, thoughtful, insightful, and creative and he delivers results. He works with a sense of urgency and develops tailored solutions to his client's specific issues. He has very deep knowledge not just in executive compensation and HR strategy, but also across a number of industries, and he provides unique market insight to help guide decisions. I continue to call on Michael and highly recommend him.”



Colleen Chambers - Director Global Compensation at AOL, one of the World’s Top Technology Companies - May 28, 2013, Colleen worked indirectly for Michael Dennis Graham at Wyatt (Currently Willis Towers Watson)  and in numerous clients where Colleen Chambers has held various executive positions.

“I am extremely fortunate to have begun my career under the brilliant intellect and exceptional leadership of Michael Graham. Additionally, I have had the pleasure of working with Michael several times throughout my career. He is an incredible coach, mentor and strategist. Countless businesses, of multiple industries, profited enormously from Michael’s brilliant ideas and sage advice. Without a doubt Michael is the leading expert in the rewards field, and I enthusiastically recommend Michael. Any organization would significantly benefit from his counsel.”



Patricia Smith - SVP, HR & Organization Development at The Leading Hotels of the World an organization of four hundred and fifty 5 Star Hotels in 30 Countries - May 27, 2013, Patricia was Michael’s client  at LHW.

“Michael has worked on a variety of complicated projects with me on many occasions over the last few years and has become my go-to person on all compensation-related matters. His expertise sets him apart from many, and his flexibility in working with organizations is unprecedented.”



Frank A. Casagrande - President: Casagrande Consulting; Managing Partner: CUEBS.com; SVP: The L. Warner Companies - May 3, 2013, Frank A. worked with Michael Dennis at Grahall, LLC and the Hay Group

“Michael is one of the most effective consultants and team leaders that I have met. I have had the pleasure of working with Michael in both his capacity as compensation practice leader in Hay Group's Metro New York office and as Chairman & CEO of Grahall Partners. Michael is able to quickly get to the heart of the issues that organizations are facing and decide what needs to be done first and will have the most significant impact. I trust Michael's business instincts and acumen and recommend him without reservation as a trusted advisor.”



Dan Carmichael - Director at Big I Reinsurance Corporation (BIRC) and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Allegany Corp. Currently Managing $17 Billion in Assets - May 2, 2013, As Chairman of the Compensation Committee Dan was Michael Dennis Graham’s client for 15 years.

“Michael provided our Compensation Committee and the Board a deep understanding of the executive compensation landscape for our industry and worked creatively to design incentive compensation programs that were measurable, easily understood and in sync with the company's financial results and the individual's performance. Thanks to Michael's work, our executive compensation programs motivated and rewarded our staff appropriately, with pay programs that encouraged  achieving our financial plans and providing additional incentive for stretch that was completely consistent with our corporate strategy. Michael always remembered that while he was providing counsel to the Compensation Committee and Board, he was always working with us for the best interests of our shareholders. He was always professional, a pleasure to work with and extremely knowledgeable and intelligent in his field.”



Busola Mosula - Human Resources at Comcast - April 30, 2013, Busola was Michael Dennis Graham’s Client.

“The two things that stand out about Michael are his brilliance and humility. It was a pleasure to work with him as we mapped out how to take on new, international markets and create a global brand. He helped us to form structure around ambiguity, was patient, thoughtful and most importantly listened, sometimes for hours on end. Michael worked with a sense of urgency d delivered time and time again. If you're trying to take on the world, Michael and his team are a good asset to have on your side.” 



Mark Hruska – CEO and Chief Technology Officer at Onset Computer Corporation a $50 Million Technology Firm - April 30, 2013, Mark was Michael Dennis Graham’s client at Onset Computer.

“Michael and his team were able get us through a few delicate executive compensation related matters, where prior firms we had tried to use for similar matters were not successful. Michael's expertise and creative solutions helped our business evolve to another level of maturity.”



David Ferreira - Lead Partner- Social Venture Partners-Boston - April 29, 2013, David was Michael Dennis Graham’s client at Abt Associates

“Michael combines deep subject matter expertise with a unique combination of superior intellect, creativity and pragmatism. The more complex the problem the more highly I recommend Michael.”









Shirley Gaufin - Currently Executive Consultant - Organization Assessment & Transformation, Talent Management, Operations Management, Governance - April 27, 2013, Shirley was Michael Dennis Graham’s client when She was the VP of Human Resources at Black & Veatch a $3 Billion Construction and Engineering Company

“Michael is an outstanding consultant in the field of executive compensation, and compensation in general. He is extremely intelligent, very creative, full of energy and fun to work with. His work products are consistently outstanding and tailored to his individual clients' needs.”



Skip Gast - VP, Director HR Black & Veatch - April 26, 2013, Skip was Michael Dennis Graham’s client at Black and Veatch  

“Michael was very insightful in helping develop a multi-tiered, competency based, incentive plan with performance metrics/scorecards for plan participants. Michael was able to provide relevant market data and cost analysis in the development, and communication, of the plan.”



Ted Teng - President, CEO at The Leading Hotels of the World - April 26, 2013, Ted was Michael Dennis Graham's client

“Michael is a true expert in the field of employee and executive compensation. He is highly objective with a great depth of knowledge. He provides structured data for comparison and analysis which leads to better executive decisions. He is concise and holistic in his recommendations. He is a great source of support for execution and implementation.”



Paul Klass - Vice President Operations, Strategy and Administration at Cablevision - April 26, 2013, Paul was Michael Dennis Graham’s client at New Power

“Over the past 10 years I had the opportunity to work with Michael on numerous high level complex Executive Committee sponsored initiatives ranging from compensation to culture. Michael is the most astute, creative, poised, and savvy strategic HR partner I had the opportunity to with over the course of my career to date. I recommend Michael without hesitation.”



Austin Lilling, Esq. - Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

“I worked with Michael at the commencement of my career and learned very quickly of his evident expertise in total rewards and compensation matters. Michael's advice to clients is creative, clear and thoughtful. Over the last twelve years, I have looked to Michael as a valuable resource. Each time we meet his passion for his field and his resource development achievements are contagious. Any company would be lucky to have Michael as a trusted advisor.”









Endorsement Knowledge Area

Number of Individuals Endorsing Michael Graham

Talent Management


Organization Design


Executive Pay


Deferred Compensation


Human Resources


Performance Management




Succession Planning




HR Transformation


Mergers & Acquisition


Employee Benefits


Management Consulting


HR Consulting


Strategic HR


Business Strategy


Strategic Planning


Job Evaluation


Executive Search


Workforce Planning


Change Management




Compensation & Benefits


Job Descriptions


Sales Effectiveness


Sales Force Effectiveness




Acquisition Integration




Total Endorsements