2016 Articles


How Will the Changes to ASC 718 Impact the Way Your Company Expenses Its Equity Awards?

On March 30, 2016, FASB released the final version of the updates to Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718: Compensation-Stock Compensation (“ASC 718”). The update includes an option on how a company may account for forfeitures in its expense amortization.

Published: December 2016
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The Shrinking Pools

Burdened by low oil prices and macroeconomic instability, the regional banking sector is suffering from squeezed earnings as liquidity tightens and credit growth remains tepid. Given these conditions, many banks across the GCC will not meet profit targets, subsequently reducing bonus pool funding. How should banks in the region respond to the new economic climate and can they somehow convert this into an opportunity to derive competitive advantage?

Published: December 2016
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ISS and Glass Lewis Issue Final 2017 Policy Updates

ISS and Glass Lewis have both released their final 2017 policy updates. Key changes include amendments to director pay and governance policies in the US, and pay-for-performance and director grant policies in Europe and Canada. Read our full analysis in our new client alert.

Published: December 2016
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ISS Adds Metrics to Qualitative Say-on-Pay Screening, But Not All Industries Will Benefit

ISS has added six new financial metrics to its qualitative pay-for-performance assessment. While many of our technology and life sciences clients will welcome a more diverse view on measuring performance relative to pay, pre-commercial biopharma companies won’t find these new metrics a relevant measurement of company success. In this client alert, we discuss actions companies can take now to prepare for changes in the upcoming proxy season.

Published: November 2016
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Scaling Your Sales Compensation Plan for High Growth Business Opportunities

As your business begins to scale rapidly, it can be a challenge to take your existing sales team and sales incentive plan along for the ride. In this article, we examine how sales roles and incentives evolve by stage of development, and we offer a 7-step process of approaching the redesign of your sales compensation plan.

Published: November 2016
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ISS Releases Proposed Policy Updates; Excludes Changes to US Executive Pay Issues

ISS just released its proposed 2017 policy updates, and while it appears that ISS has punted on a number of executive compensation issues in the United States, the firm is proposing a number of compensation changes in Europe and Canada. Read our summary of the policy updates and submit your comments to ISS by November 10.

Published: November 2016
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The Kingdom Reforms (Part II)

Saudi Arabia has announced a spate of cuts around compensation within the government and the public sector. While there may not be immediate ramifications of these curbs for the private sector, firms irrespective of their ownership structure, should be wary of these changing times. In this second part of the series, we explore what organizations in the Kingdom could do to effectively adapt to these circumstances.

Published: October 2016
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White Paper: The Quiet Corner of Financial Services

Past sales practices within many banks are no longer tenable given the lack of transparency, risks, administrative burden, and confusion most incentive plans have instilled. This white paper explores the complex landscape of retail banking, including the values of the firm and the HR systems that support them. We have provided recommendations for navigating the gaps that exist. 

Published: October 2016
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White Paper: Why Work?

If you won the lottery, would you quit your job? Our latest white paper draws on insight derived from interviews with CEOs at leading financial services firms and academics, to investigate the role pay plays in how and why executives work, especially in the absence of economic needs, and how this can help you retain and engage your top performers across your organization. 

Published: October 2016
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The Troubled Waters for Retail Banking

Incentive opportunities and the mix of pay continue to be examined as the effectiveness, administrative burden, and risks of low dollar programs are under scrutiny in retail banking.

Published: October 2016
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Not all Sales Plans are Created Equal. Effective Employee Communication Is.

In the September 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how to get buy-in from your sales team when rolling out a new sales compensation plan.

Published: October 2016
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Results from ISS' Annual Policy Survey Show Support for Alternative Performance Metrics

ISS' 2016 Global Policy Survey asked questions on a range of issues, from executive and director pay to dual-class share structures for IPOs. In our new client alert, we examine all of the potential policy changes that could have the biggest impact on our clients in 2017 and beyond.

Published: October 2016
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More Technology and Life Sciences Companies Are Turning to Market-Based Salary Structures

When thinking about the right approach for establishing employee salaries, many of our clients in the highly-competitive technology and life sciences sectors are embracing market-based salary structures. This method allows hiring managers to keep a pulse on the market while adhering to acceptable upper and lower limits set by the company.

Published: October 2016
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New Overtime Rules are Almost Here; Understand Your Options

Companies can adopt a number of approaches to comply with new federal overtime rules in the United States, which go into effect at the end of 2016. Our new article discusses your options, weighing the pros and cons of each, and provides a roadmap for executing an effective employee communications plan discussing the changes you make.

Published: October 2016
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2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Technology Companies Receive Steady Support From Shareholders Despite Lower Performance

As executive compensation planning season kicks off, and another proxy season looms, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for technology companies, including insights on key lessons learned from companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

Published: September 2016
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Further Ramifications of New DOL Fiduciary Ruling on FA Training

In addition to the compensation implications discussed previously, another area demanding firms' attention will be roles and training. Compliance departments will require additional staffing, including new roles dedicated to all things fiduciary.

Published: September 2016
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2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Life Sciences Companies Receive Increased Shareholder Support Even as Volatility Climbs

The life sciences sector continues to face high levels of market volatility, which could impact next year’s Say-on-Pay results. With this in mind, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for life sciences firms, including insights on key lessons learned by companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

Published: September 2016
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To Fuel Growth, Companies Make a Case for Using Inducement Grants More Often

At the high-growth companies we work with, the use of new-hire "inducement grants" is on the rise. Our latest white paper, co-authored with Cooley LLP, presents new research on how technology and life sciences companies can best leverage inducement grants to compete for increasingly scarce talent, and the effect this has on equity burn rates.

Published: September 2016
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Turnover Rates for Sales Employees Reach a Five-Year High

Voluntary turnover for sales employees at technology and life sciences companies is, once again, at a five-year high. With US companies reporting aggressive hiring plans, sales managers and HR professionals need to assess whether their current compensation plans can remain effective in an ever more competitive market for talent.

Published: September 2016
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Implications of New FLSA Minimum Salaries and DOL Fiduciary Ruling

It's certainly not a stretch to call 2016 a very challenging year for HR / Compensation professionals in the financial services industry as they respond to two sweeping regulatory changes: the Department of Labor's new fiduciary standard for Financial Advisors and new FLSA minimum salary rate for exempt employees.

Published: September 2016
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Using Workforce Analytics to Solve Broader Business Challenges in the Life Sciences Sector

All biopharma companies face rising competition, an increasingly turbulent regulatory landscape, and the need to remain on the edge of innovation. Amidst the chaos, harnessing workforce analytics data has the potential to make HR and compensation leaders an indispensable partner in guiding long-term business strategy.

Published: September 2016
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Hot Topics Excerpt: Life Sciences Companies Turn to Retention Bonuses to Reduce Turnover

In key life sciences markets around the world, the use of retention bonuses is up sharply from three years ago. With employee turnover on the rise and many companies reporting aggressive hiring plans, retaining high performers is a top priority for life sciences companies.

Published: August 2016
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CEOs Sign Voluntary Governance Principles, but Emphasize Flexibility in Executive Pay

A set of high-level compensation and governance principles were released last month by a select group of business leaders representing a handful of America’s largest companies and mutual funds. The principles highlight the importance of individualized and well-articulated compensation plans but also take a position on a number of issues.

Published: August 2016
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SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule Requiring Disclosure of "Golden Leash" Arrangements

The SEC recently approved a new Nasdaq rule, requiring disclosure of "Golden Leash" director compensation arrangements, which took effect August 1, 2016. Nasdaq's new rule requires disclosure of special payments to third party nominees to boards. It focuses largely on activist hedge fund nominees, and explicitly exempts most venture capital directors.

Published: August 2016
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ISS Releases 2017 Policy Survey, Comments Due by August 30

ISS has opened up its annual policy survey for comments from the corporate community. The survey indicates ISS is considering several changes to its compensation voting policies across the globe. Issuers have until August 30 to submit comments.

Published: August 2016
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Regulatory Update: Solvency II – Remuneration Requirements

Our consultants have summarized the Supervisory Statement (SS) on Solvency II remuneration requirements, released today by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and what it means for insurance firms in the UK.

Published: August 2016
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Reliable Market Data is Critical in Wake of Massachusetts "Fair Pay" Law and Others Like It

Massachusetts recently became the first state to ban employers from asking job candidates for their salary history, including benefits and other compensation, which increases the importance of accurate market data as well as the benefits of a formal pay program.

Published: August 2016
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Illiquidity Discounts for Mandatory Holding Periods: Fact vs. Fiction

Recent statements by an SEC official triggered erroneous media accounts that companies might be overstating illiquidity discounts for equity awards with mandatory holding periods. We sought clarification from the SEC and separate fact from fiction in our latest client alert.

Published: August 2016
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Hot Topics Excerpt: Around the Globe, More Tech Firms Are Granting Retention Bonuses

In multiple markets around the world, the use of retention awards at technology companies is up dramatically from three years ago. As employee turnover, market volatility and competition from outside the technology sector continue to rise, creating long-term retention strategies will be key.

Published: July 2016
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House Financial Services Committee Revives Bill that Would Regulate ISS, Glass Lewis

The House Financial Services Committee passed two separate bills this month that would have a direct impact on executive compensation voting policies and disclosure regimes. While there is a good chance neither bill will make it out of the full House during this election term, the bills shed insight on the political focus of the Committee.

Published: July 2016
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