Associates Profile

Michael J. Busman

Michael Busman, Business ConsultantMichael J. Busman is a business consultant in the area of executive compensation and benefits.  With more than two decades of experience at IBM and Citigroup as an executive leading a wide range of executive compensation topics, his expertise is available for any publicly-held company exploring ways to increase the effectiveness of its compensation programs to attract, retain, and motivate their executive leaders.
Busman has designed annual incentive, long-term stock-based incentive, and deferred compensation plans.  He has developed and managed the global operational capabilities at both IBM and Citigroup, for plan administration and financial controls for stock plans covering more than $20 billion in equity value, and has deep expertise in delivering web-based communications for senior executive audiences to better understand and value the compensation and benefits plans under which they are covered.

In addition to design, global plan operations and management, and communications, he has led teams of information technologists in developing the internal applications and database tools used by executive compensation professionals and management to support executive programs. 

Michael Busman believes that all successful incentive programs need to be simple enough to clearly connect those plans with the specific objectives of the firm’s Chairman and Compensation Committee.   Plans that are needlessly complex usually confuse the key messages and cannot motivate the kind of leadership behaviors that CEOs desire and need to meet critical stretch goals.  Individual performance must be recognized through differentiation in a total rewards context, but not to the exclusion of powerful design elements that will generate a strong personal commitment by each senior leader to their peers, in order to optimize results for the entire enterprise.  This balance does not just “happen,” it must be designed into the plan and clearly communicated.

In the area of outsourcing of corporate services involving stock-based plans, Busman led the effort to vendor transactions and record-keeping under the strictest controls regime, and has designed and managed a number of major RFP efforts.  Moving to the service provider’s side after retiring from IBM, he managed a key segment of the corporate services group at Citigroup Smith Barney and has a broad knowledge of the top providers in the industry.

Busman has developed a proprietary design for a new stock-based award that can serve as an alternative to traditional stock options, which can deliver increased leverage or wealth potential for the same cost, but with less share usage. This award also has features designed to intensify the award’s retention power as well as deliver highly positive shareholder optics.

In addition, he has designed the framework for a Total Wealth Portal that a firm could develop under his direction, to present the value of each executive’s relationship with the firm enabling powerful modeling capability to project wealth accumulation based on assumptions that the executive, together with his or her financial advisor, could adjust and consider through a self-service iterative process.

Michael lives in Putnam County, one hour north of Manhattan with his wife and two children. He is proud to be associated with Amler Associates and has a long history of designing custom compensation solutions with Art Amler.