Cowden President and CEO Elliot Dinkin is equally comfortable whether he is in a courtroom providing expert witness testimony or in a CFO’s office providing strategic counsel. A 35-plus-year veteran of the actuarial, compensation, and employee benefits field, Elliot possesses an exceptional ability to view issues in the framework of a total compensation philosophy, providing clients with a unique perspective as they search for creative ways to address their compensation, benefits, and retirement obligation challenges.
Elliot’s depth and breadth of experience enabled him to successfully lead a complex pension-freeze process for a client; although the plan was initially underfunded by about $50 million, the freeze resulted in a fully funded $250 million pension plan. He was also instrumental in creating a new executive compensation program for a bank holding company, as it prepared to change ownership. This process involved the skilled handling of both current and future owners, while creating an effective, total compensation package that would reward and motivate key executives. Due to his unique understanding of business finance, benefits, retirement plans, and C-suite issues, Elliot frequently acts as an expert witness in legal proceedings on topics ranging from compensation and collective bargaining issues to retirement.
Markets Insider, Industry Week, CEO World, Employee Benefits News, WorldatWork Benefits & Work Life Focus, Law360, Newsmax, and Corporate Compliance Insights are among the publications that have tapped Elliot’s expert knowledge for articles and interviews. His speaking engagements include WorldatWork, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS), National Association of Health Underwriters, WPA Chapter of American Payroll Association, Pittsburgh Total Rewards Association, and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
Elliot earned his MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor’s in economics (cum laude) from Dickinson College. Elliot serves on the local National Kidney Foundation Board of Directors and is a board member of the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh. Previously, he served as the vice chair of finances for the Hillel Jewish University Center at the University of Pittsburgh.