Equity Methods has assembled a world-class team of financial, accounting, equity compensation, and technology practitioners to provide a wealth of experience and in-depth guidance to clients on a variety of fair value measurement, equity compensation design, and financial reporting challenges. Our team is pleased to have provided cutting-edge services for over 10 years to over 450 clients, including 26 of the Fortune 100.
Below please meet a few of our key professionals responsible for serving many of our largest clients:
President & CEO
Takis Makridis is responsible for the strategy, sales, marketing and service delivery at Equity Methods. Takis leverages extensive consulting experience in overseeing the consulting practice at Equity Methods while remaining active in the firm’s research efforts. He works closely with finance and HR executives to address their equity compensation accounting, valuation, and financial reporting needs, and is critically engaged with thought-leaders from consulting firms, public accounting, and academia in addressing emerging issues. Equity Methods assists over 450 companies in properly valuing and accounting for their equity compensation instruments, with a particular focus on large and generally complex programs (strategically serving over 20% of the Fortune 100).
Takis is a nationally recognized speaker at industry conferences across the country and frequently leads executive briefing sessions and firm webinars to enhance knowledge sharing among client firms and disseminate best practices throughout the industry. Takis is the author of Advanced Topics in Equity Compensation Accounting and Accounting for Equity Compensation (third – fifth edition), both published by the National Center for Employee Ownership, which have been required texts for the Certified Equity Professional (CEP) designation. Takis has published articles in various technical publications and has also been cited in publications such as the New York Times and Compliance Week. Takis holds a B.S. in Economics and Finance from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. from Oxford University.
Vice President & Managing Consultant, Valuation Group
Nathan O'Connor heads the Valuation Services division of Equity Methods. An expert in the valuation of equity compensation instruments, he has consulted senior executives at several Fortune 50 companies and more than 100 companies of all sizes on the compliance requirements of FASB ASC Topic 718. Prior to joining Equity Methods, Nathan trained in the doctoral program in finance at the University of Arizona, where he instructed undergraduates in investment securities and financial management, and actively assisted professors with consulting and research projects. He brings a background of experience in financial analysis, programming, instruction, and data management to Equity Methods. His interests include econometrics and the application of Bayesian methods to economic problems. Nathan holds a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University, an M.B.A. in Derivatives from Loyola University Chicago, and an M.S. in Finance from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
CFO & Director of Operations
Grant Wright has spent the majority of his career in accounting and finance. His experience as a Vice President of Finance and Controller gives him a solid understanding of the fundamental operations within companies' financial departments and unique insight into the calculation and application of equity compensation. Grant leverages this experience in spearheading operational initiatives at Equity Methods that are geared toward streamlining processes and ensuring more rigorous execution on client engagements.
Prior to joining Equity Methods, Grant managed consulting engagements primarily consisting of large reconciliation projects. Most recently, he was recruited to supervise 26 senior level accountants responsible for reconciliation of over 2,800 balance sheet accounts after an ERP system conversion to ensure SOX compliance for a Fortune 500 financial services company with 47 subsidiary companies. Grant has experience in financial reporting, analysis, and planning, project management, process mapping and re-engineering, business combinations, and cost containment and reduction. Grant holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Missouri and an M.B.A. from the University of Florida.
Vice President of Sales and Business Development
With more than 20 years of diverse management and entrepreneurial experience, Mark Clem is responsible for new business development and acquisition, sales operations, marketing, and industry relationships at Equity Methods. Prior to joining Equity Methods, Mark served as founder and CEO at Vehlo Virtual, where he advised Fortune 100 companies and professional associations on virtual strategy and implementation. Previously, Mark served as Director of Industry Relations for Charles Schwab Corporate Services, where he conducted industry research and campaigns related to issues facing equity professionals. As former director of the Certified Equity Professional Institute, Mark turned a little-known program into the credential-to-have for equity compensation professionals. He was a leader in facilitating collaborative relationships between major industry organizations, including the Global Equity Organization, the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, the National Center for Employee Ownership, and the CEP Institute.
Mark frequently speaks on equity compensation topics. He has served on the NASPP advisory board, as a director on the NCEO board, and as treasurer for the GEO board of directors. He holds an M.A. in Organizational Communication and B.S. in Business Administration.
Manager, Technology & Innovation
Paul is responsible for the efficient and accurate productization of Equity Methods intellectual capital, which includes designing and building the automated technology processes that power end-to-end compliance solutions. Paul’s area of focus involves emerging client needs and customized client solutions, and in 2010 and 2011 is focused on driving new capabilities related to IFRS, Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) compliance, and dynamic report customization.
Since joining Equity Methods, Paul has provided critical support to the advancement and development of the Professional Services Group. Well versed in the theoretical underpinnings of valuation and derivatives pricing, Paul has an applied financial economics background that includes research on modeling techniques ranging from Monte Carlo simulation to fixed-income valuation methods. Paul combines his extensive theoretical background and understanding of applied economics with a deep understanding of the technicalities of ASC 718 to assist companies in their ASC 718 compliance efforts. Paul holds a BS in Finance and a Masters in Finance (MMF) both from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.
Dr. John Bizjak
Academic Affiliate, Equity Methods
Associate Professor and Gerry and Marilyn Cameron Endowed Professor of Finance, Portland State University
Over his career Dr. Bizjak has conducted research over a broad number of issues in corporate governance and managerial compensation. A large body of his work is focused on modeling and estimating the value of performance based pay. In addition to his academic and consulting work he has served as a visiting economist at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. While at the Securities and Exchange Commission he provided economic analysis on a broad range of corporate governance issues including the reporting and expensing of employee stock options. Dr Bizjak was also part of the Option Valuation Group put together by Financial Statements Accounting Board to provided recommendations for their proposal on expensing employee stock options. His research has been published in the American Economics Review, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Banking and Finance, among others. His work has also regularly appeared in the popular financial press such as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week. He graduated with distinction with an Economics B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, has an ABD in Economics from University of Utah, and a Finance Ph.D. from the University of Utah.
Dr. James Boatsman
Academic Affiliate, Equity Methods
KPMG Professor of Accounting, Arizona State University
James R. Boatsman, CPA, recently retired from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, where he was the KPMG Professor of Accounting. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Boatsman previously taught at Oklahoma State University and Northwestern University and was an Academic Fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has published articles on financial accounting, auditing, and taxation in such journals as The Accounting Review, Journal of Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting and Economics, Journal of Accounting Literature, Abacus, Journal of Accounting Auditing & Finance, Journal of Management, and The Journal of the American Taxation Association, and is co-author of an advanced accounting text. Professor Boatsman is associate editor of the Journal of Accounting Literature and has been associate editor of The Accounting Review. He is a member of the American Accounting Association. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and Financial Executives International. He has served on various committees of the American Accounting Association, editorial boards, and has been involved with the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business on accreditation matters.
Valuation Associate, Equity Methods
Edward works with Equity Methods as a subject matter expert in the area of business valuation. Edward’s experience includes nearly twenty years of providing a variety of financial and strategic consulting services. His recent experience was as a Managing Director, Pacific Southwest Valuation Practice Leader, and member of national valuation leadership team at Grant Thornton. Previously, he was with Deloitte where he his roles included serving as the West Region leader of corporate development advisory services, the Pacific Southwest leader of complex instruments valuation, and the co-head of the Orange County valuation practice. Prior to Deloitte, Edward founded the valuation consulting practice at a venture incubator, was as a Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions with Citigroup Global Capital Markets, and was an Engagement Manager with the strategy and operations practice of KPMG Consulting. Edward is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) of the American Society of Appraisers. He is an experienced speaker and author for various industry and trade conferences and publications. He served as an “Ask the Expert” contributor for Inc. magazine, developed courses and instructed at internal training sessions for Deloitte, Salomon Smith Barney and KPMG, and developed and taught executive-level corporate finance, valuation and value creation seminars for USC’s Family Owned Business Center, UCLA’s Entrepreneurial Studies program, the SBA, and other organizations.
Ellie Kehmeier, CPA
Accounting Research Consultant, Equity Methods
Ellie Kehmeier is a CPA with over twenty years of experience consulting on the tax aspects of equity compensation. Prior to starting her own company, Creekview Consulting, Ellie was a tax director at Deloitte Tax LLP. With a background in stock option taxation and corporate tax provisions, Ellie has significant experience helping companies with the tax accounting treatment of equity compensation, including tax accounting for options assumed in an acquisition, backdated options, underwater option exchanges, and changes required under IFRS2.
Ellie is a regular speaker and author on tax issues relating to equity compensation. She recently co-authored an article entitled Underwater Option Strategies for Global Companies, and has been quoted in numerous publications. Recent presentation topics include the final ESPP regulations, new information reporting regulations for ESPPs and ISOs, tax accounting under IFRS2, underwater option exchanges, and the tax and accounting treatment of Restricted Stock awards. In addition, she has guest-lectured in the graduate tax program at San Jose State University and at UC Berkeley.
Ellie earned her Bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Accounting, and her Masters degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University.
Dr. Jose Suay
Academic Affiliate, Equity Methods
Clinical Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Dr. Suay served as the Senior Financial Economist at Equity Methods through 2009, and after returning to academia, now serves as an academic affiliate to Equity Methods.
Dr. Suay received his Ph.D. in Economics in 1990 and his Ph. D. in Finance in 1993, both from the University of Utah. His research has been published extensively in top-tier academic and practitioner journals, including the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Quantitative Financial Analysis. Jose’s research includes theoretical and empirical investigation into asset pricing, particularly stock options. This has led him to conduct research into the effects of estimation risk (model parameter uncertainty), both at the theoretical and empirical level, also enabling him to lend immense expertise to option valuation exercises that model employees’ risk aversion. Jose is a seasoned financial engineer who provides thought-leadership in the development and programming of Equity Methods’ variety of lattice models. Jose has taught courses in investments, financial derivatives, financial institutions, and corporate finance at the University of Utah and the University of Arizona.