2018 Articles


What Public Companies Should Know About New Standards for ESG Disclosure

A significant number of investment managers have pledged support for new industry-specific environmental, social and governance reporting standards for public companies that were recently published by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. At a minimum, a company should be conversant in the SASB standards for its industry and assess to what extent it believes the standards are relevant to the company.

Published: December 2018
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Location Strategy Analysis: Moving Your Firm Forward

A robust assessment of potential location strategies lies beyond just evaluating compensation differentials. When exploring relocation or building in new locations, it is important to look across multiple factors – especially the availability of quality talent – to inform decisions that will create financial impact and fit your business strategy. This article provides insights from our work comparing potential locations for clients and addresses some of the nuances when approaching location strategy analysis.

Published: December 2018
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Year-in-Review: Top 5 Rewards Articles of 2018

So much has happened in 2018 – have you taken the time to sit back and reflect? As the year winds down, we’ve compiled this list of the top rewards-related articles your peers have been reading so you can dive in and catch up (if you haven’t already).

Published: December 2018
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8 Ways to Simplify Your Executive Compensation Planning Season in 2019

If you’re not careful, you might wind up spending so much time pulling data from multiple sources and crunching numbers that you don’t have the time to step back and think strategically about your executive compensation plans.

Published: December 2018
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The Spotlight: Ray Everett, President, McLagan

Ray Everett is the president of McLagan, responsible for overseeing the firm globally. Previously, Ray led our Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa practices, where he conducted executive compensation consulting assignments, managed the regions’ survey programs, and worked with key clients. Ray has significant experience designing and implementing annual and long-term incentive plans, carried interest plans, performance management systems, and job architecture. He also advises the boards, remuneration committees, and management of many of our global clients.

Published: December 2018
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Simplify Executive Compensation With Must-Know Insights on Incentive Plan Design

As companies begin to develop incentive plan performance targets and ranges for the next cycle, it is important to recognize that aligning incentive plan payouts with a range of performance measures requires extensive and thoughtful analysis. 

Published: December 2018
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ISS Clarifies 2019 Compensation Policy Updates

Recent FAQs provide clarification on how ISS will implement changes to its equity plan scorecard methodology, director pay evaluation, equity dilution concerns, and more. While not fully comprehensive at this point, the FAQs address several important compensation policies, which we summarize in this alert.

Published: December 2018
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Cost Analytics: How to Uncover the Opportunities that Drive a $1 Billion Cost Optimization Program

Following the latest set of quarterly earnings results from major banks, it’s clear that there is a renewed focus on cost management. Prior to the results, analysts closely studied how banks are performing on costs, with some banks announcing or reiterating forward guidance on efficiency ratios. As we near the end of the economic cycle and macro risks continue to emerge, we anticipate that this renewed focus on cost will only intensify. Across our own client base, we are seeing heightened activity around assessing support costs.

Published: December 2018
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What We Learned from CEO Pay Ratio Exemptions

Months before the first CEO pay ratio disclosures were filed, the SEC issued guidance around the types of individuals that could be excluded from a firm’s median identification analysis. With the first year of disclosures now mostly behind us, we decided to take a closer look at how those exemptions were used—and whether they proved to be beneficial for companies.

Published: November 2018
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ISS Clarifies 2019 Compensation Policy Updates

Similar to prior years, ISS has provided clarification regarding several of its compensation-related policies through a supplemental FAQ document. The FAQs address several important compensation policies, which we summarize in this alert.

Published: November 2018
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Hiring Tips for the Hottest Cyber Security Jobs

Aon's 2018 Global Cyber Security Talent Survey sheds light on the latest trends and insights impacting the hiring of cyber security talent around the world.

Published: November 2018
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Mandatory Post-Vest Holding Periods on ESPPs

Despite potential drawbacks, some companies have expressed an interest in adopting mandatory holding periods for their employee stock purchase plan because it gives them the ability to apply a discount for illiquidity to the fair value of the ESPP. We explain how to estimate the fair value for an ESPP with a mandatory holding period.

Published: November 2018
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Market Rationalization in the Middle East

The banking sector in the Middle East has enjoyed a steady recovery and will post solid results in 2018. The Governor of the Central Bank, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori, emphasized that the industry is liquid and strong, with credit growth for the private sector increasing 6.5% during the first 9 months.

Published: November 2018
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To Truly Assess Gender Pay Gaps, Companies Must Dig Below the Surface

In most cases, you can’t begin to fix a problem until you understand why it exists in the first place. This is certainly true for the complex challenge of addressing gender pay equity. It’s time for companies to carefully examine their data and work outside the confines of basic pay comparisons to find and fix specific root causes. Once organizations actually start to dig deeper, we’ve found that the following issues are the most significant drivers of both real and perceived gender pay gaps.

Published: November 2018
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Equal Pay Laws Shine Light on Difficulty of Defining “Equal”

The principles around gender pay equity sound basic: men and women should receive the same amount of pay for equal or similar work. However, when examining the California Fair Pay Act— one of many pieces of equal pay legislation that has swept the globe— it turns out that the implementation of this idea is anything but simple.

Published: November 2018
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How to Save Money on Your ESPP

Employee Stock Purchase Plans are gaining in popularity, however, the valuation techniques used to derive accounting fair values can be complex and often misunderstood. Fortunately, with a better understanding of the valuation mechanics, there are ways to more accurately value ESPPs that also reduce the expense. 

Published: November 2018
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What We Learned from CEO Pay Ratio Exemptions

The CEO pay ratio rule allows three types of employee exemptions from calculating the pay of the median employee. With the first year of disclosures mostly behind us, we take a close look at how these exemptions were used and whether they proved beneficial for companies.

Published: November 2018
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Determining the Fair Value of Your ESPP

Companies’ Employee Stock Purchase Plans can have myriad structures and features. The fair value of an ESPP depends on both the structure of the plan and the economic assumptions used in the valuation model. We explain how to get started calculating the fair value of your ESPP.

Published: November 2018
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A Glimpse Into the Rising Popularity — and Shifting Nature of — Variable Pay Plans

Variable pay plans continue to be a critical component of many organizations’ total rewards package as traditional merit increase budgets remain at record low levels. 

Published: November 2018
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Bank Compensation Trends: What You Need to Know

The end of the year is just around the bend and many firms are already knee-deep in their year-end planning. However, before fully diving in, it’s important to evaluate all the changes and resulting outcomes that occurred in 2018 to ensure you have the right reward plans and practices in place. To help this process along, we've used our 2018 Regional & Community Banking Compensation Survey and McLagan proxy database results to share an overview of the major topics and trends that are shaping the sector today and in the future.

Published: November 2018
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ISS Replaces Financial Metrics in Favor of Economic Value Added in Evaluating Pay for Performance in 2019

ISS' newly released draft policy updates for 2019 would swap GAAP metrics for EVA and adopt a voting standard around board diversity. Glass Lewis’ final policies are extensive in both compensation and corporate governance topics. We explain what the updates entail.

Published: November 2018
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Fewer Sales Organizations are Offering Car Allowance Plans Across the Globe

Even while declining in popularity, car allowance plans for sales employees are still a majority practice in many markets. We examine the latest trends in plan prevalence and eligibility using Radford Global Sales Survey data and offer tips for technology and life sciences companies reconsidering their car policies. 

Published: November 2018
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ISS, Glass Lewis Issue 2019 Policy Updates with Focus on Pay-for-Performance and Diversity

ISS' newly released draft policy updates for 2019 would swap GAAP metrics for EVA and adopt a voting standard around board diversity. Glass Lewis’ final policies are extensive in both compensation and corporate governance topics. We explain what the updates entail. 

Published: November 2018
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How Long-Term Performance Plan Metrics Are Evolving in the Technology Sector

The elimination of 162(m) in the tax bill provides an opening for a new era in long-term incentive metrics. We analyze the direction incentive metrics are headed and what companies in different technology industries should think about with an eye toward the future.

Published: November 2018
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A Side-by-Side Look at Talent and Rewards in Financial Services and Technology

Financial services firms are challenged to imagine and operationalize the talent and rewards strategies required to transform their workforces for the digital age. No matter what technology initiatives firms are focused on, adapting longstanding practices to attract and retain technology talent is key. McLagan and Radford have teamed up to help financial services firms navigate this changing landscape.

Published: November 2018
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Attract and Retain Seasonal Non-Exempt and Hourly Workers Using Micro-Market Pay Data

It’s more crucial than ever to understand how to attract and retain non-exempt and hourly workers for the busy holiday season and beyond using micro-market pay data.

Published: November 2018
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The Spotlight: Adam Barnett, Partner, Asset Management

Adam Barnett is a Partner in McLagan’s asset management practice, providing performance and reward consulting services to various investment management organizations. Adam’s areas of expertise include designing annual and long-term incentive plans and sales compensation programs, conducting sales and financial performance benchmarking studies, and analyzing competitive compensation practices and levels.

Published: November 2018
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Understanding the Impact of Performance Ratings in Differentiating Pay

With an increased focus both internally and externally on pay for performance, we examine how companies with different performance ratings systems are optimizing their merit budget.

Published: October 2018
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Career Frameworks: Your Most Important HR Tool for the Era of Increased Transparency

The human resources function is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Designing approaches that fit the needs of a multi-generational workforce and an emerging job market adds tremendous pressure to HR strategies. Companies are attracting and retaining talent by using more customization and adaptability in their role profiles and job descriptions. However, having so much customization, and ultimately so many unique job profiles, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to addressing the current industry-wide need for more transparency. And often, the result can be a lack of clarity into what career paths are available within your organization.

Published: October 2018
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2018 Global Mobility Survey Sheds Light on the Future of International Assignments

Here are seven key findings from the study that will help as you build or evolve your own company’s global mobility strategy and policies.

Published: October 2018
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