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Michael Esser

Managing Director
Los Angeles
Executive and Board Compensation and Governance
Pre-IPO, Private, and Private Equity/Venture-Backed Companies
Technology and Biotech/Life Sciences
Real Estate and REITs
Leasing and Logistics
BBA, Loyola University of Chicago
Certified Executive Compensation Professional

Commitment to Clients

My focus in working with clients is to develop a deep understanding of their long-term business strategy and challenges in order to craft executive compensation programs that best support their strategic direction. This involves understanding the perspectives of senior management and the board, and applying knowledge of market practices and shareholder advisor perspectives in their proper context to develop recommendations and advice tailored to the unique needs of their businesses.


Mike Esser is a managing director at Pearl Meyer. Mike has more than 25 years’ experience as an advisor to boards and senior management in executive and board compensation, compensation strategy, and annual and long-term incentive/equity plan design. His consulting experience covers a variety of industries and company organizational and developmental stages, including startup/pre-IPO, privately held, public, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations.

Prior to his current role, Mike was a consultant and senior manager with Arthur Andersen LLP. Previously, he was an executive compensation consultant and manager with Hewitt Associates, and managed business development for Hewitt’s annual compensation survey business and co-managed that firm’s total compensation measurement database.

He is a frequently published author on compensation topics and a sought-after speaker at numerous forums including the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), Directors Forum, NYSE Governance Services/Corporate Board Member West Coast Boardroom Summit, USC Corporate Governance Summit, the Forum for Corporate Directors, and the Corporate Directors Group.

Mike received his BBA with a concentration in finance from Loyola University of Chicago. He also holds the Certified Executive Compensation Professional (CECP) designation through the WorldatWork Society of Certified Professionals.

Publications and Presentations By Michael Esser

At Pearl Meyer, we work with boards and organizations to design and implement compensation and leadership strategies that build great management teams.
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