general Articles


Seeking a New Share Authorization? Don't Ignore the Shifting Governance Environment.

ISS' new method of evaluating employee equity plans, in additional to evolving institutional investor policies, could make passage of your plan more difficult. We analyze the issues around share authorization plans that matter to various constituents.

Published: November 2015
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New Options for Share-Based Payment Accounting May be Attractive to Some Issuers

New accounting guidelines from FASB allow companies to opt out of estimating forfeitures of employee stock awards, which can be a particularly attractive option for some smaller, private companies.

Published: October 2015
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Rising Market Volatility Doesn't Always Mean Your Equity Plan Costs Have to Go Up

The recent drop in the stock market created by global economic uncertainty can drive up volatility assumptions— resulting in a greater cost to companies' equity plans. We explain alternative methodologies to mitigate this risk that can help offset the impact of market volatility and ultimately reduce the cost to companies.

Published: September 2015
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Getting to Know Your Peers: Who is Alphabet Inc.?

A complete corporate restructuring like Google's creation of a new holding company would normally trigger peer group changes. However, companies that list Google as a peer for their equity performance plans may want to rethink making any changes.

Published: August 2015
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Measuring the Health of Your Equity Program as Your Private Company Matures

All private companies in the technology and life sciences sectors struggle with how much equity to grant employees. As companies prepare for an IPO, stock plans fall under greater scrutiny. We take a look at how well companies are managing their equity programs based on factors such as the age of the company and level of outside investment.

Published: August 2015
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Radford Methodologies: How to Value and Apply Equity Compensation Market Data

Designing effective equity programs is one of the most important roles for human resources and compensation professionals. But before companies can design an effective equity program they need to gather market data and have a common methodology for valuing that data.

Published: July 2015
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Risky Business: What to Expect as Treasury Rates Rise

Historically low interest rates won't last forever. Compensation professionals that understand the effects that the inevitable increase in risk-free rates will have on equity compensation valuations will be ahead of the game.

Published: July 2015
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The SEC Proposes Pay-versus-Performance Disclosure Rules. Now What?

The SEC has issued a long-awaited rules proposal on how companies should disclose the alignment between executive pay realized in a given year relative to total shareholder return. We expect the proposed rules to have special implications for our clients in the technology and life sciences sectors.

Published: May 2015
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Switzerland Reminds us of the Importance of Currency Conversions for Global Relative TSR Plans

When the Swiss Bank decided it would no longer tie the Swiss Franc (CHF) to the Euro, the value of the Swiss Franc skyrocketed, immediately impacting equity markets and foreign exchange traders. However, bankers were not the only ones affected by this move. The results of your global relative TSR plan could change as well. To find out why, read our latest expert insight.

Published: March 2015
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Taking Stock of 13th and 14th Month Bonus Requirements in Latin America, Europe, and Asia

Global HR administration is hard work, especially when it comes to navigating the labyrinth of rules and regulations governing 13th and 14th month bonuses in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Fortunately, our colleagues in Aon Hewitt's Legislative Reporting practice have just published a fantastic summary of the global requirements you need to know.

Published: March 2015
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ISS Releases Details of Scoring System Under New Equity Plan Scorecard Approach

This year, ISS is adding a number of factors to how it evaluates equity pay plan proposals beyond the cost of plan administration. Technology and life sciences companies, which often rely more heavily on equity for their overall pay mix at all levels of the organization, should be aware of how ISS's new scorecard approach could impact a favorable proxy vote.

Published: March 2015
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SEC and FASB Disclosure Requirements for Holding Periods and Illiquidity Discounts

The adoption of mandatory post-vest holding requirements is on the rise, yet disclosures relating to illiquidity discounts associated with this governance practice are often lacking. Companies that fail to appropriately address the methods and assumptions used to quantify discounts could soon face more scrutiny.

Published: January 2015
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Mandatory Post-Vest Holding Requirements: A New Approach for Mitigating Your Company’s Equity Compensation Expense

Companies often adopt mandatory post-vest holding requirements to achieve governance benefits, including the creation of a pathway for executives to meet ownership guidelines. However, holding periods, when designed to meet accounting standards, have significant potential to deliver valuation savings.

Published: January 2015
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The Many Governance Benefits of Mandatory Post-Vest Holding Requirements

Although ownership guidelines and holding periods are increasingly common, few companies understand and take advantage of the full breadth of governance benefits associated with holding requirements. From building an ownership culture to enforcing clawbacks, there's more than meets the eye.

Published: January 2015
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Maximize Your Investment in Equity Compensation and be a Good Corporate Citizen at the Same Time

Mandatory post-vest holding requirements are a rare find; they allow companies to maximize their investment in equity compensation while being a good corporate citizen at the same time. From numerous governance benefits to reduced accounting costs, holding periods are worth the investment.

Published: January 2015
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Disclosure Requirements for Relative TSR Plans: SEC Requirements for Form 10-K and Form 4 Filings

As the popularity of performance-based equity awards with relative TSR metrics surges, regulators, shareholders and proxy advisors are sure to pay closer and closer attention to plan disclosures. This article examines key disclosure requirements.

Published: August 2014
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Percentile Rank: A Big Problem for Relative TSR Plans with Small Peer Groups

There's more than one way to calculate percentile rank, and the methodology choices you make could have a big impact on the results of your next performance-based equity grant with relative TSR metrics. Read this article to find out why.

Published: August 2014
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Avoiding Relative TSR Plan Design Oversights

Performance-based equity awards with relative TSR metrics have a simple mission: to align managing-pay and performance. However, that doesn't mean the plans themselves are simple. This articles explores common design oversights and creative fixes.

Published: August 2014
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Your Indexed Relative TSR Plan Just Got More Complex

Pop quiz: How many stocks are included in the S&P 500? How about the NASDAQ 100? It might seem obvious at first, but as of Wednesday, April 2, 2014, the answers are 501 and 101 respectively. As a result, life just got slightly more complex for everyone using performance equity awards with an indexed relative total shareholder return metric. Read our Expert Insight to learn why.

Published: April 2014
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EITF Issue 13-D Explained

Seeking to address gray areas in the expensing of performance awards, the Financial Accounting Standard Board's ("FASB") Emerging Issues Task Force ("EITF") issued new guidance on March 13, 2014 covering situations where a performance target can be achieved after an employee provides the requisite service. The new ruling should simplify US GAAP expensing, but remains at odds with commentary from IFRS on the same topic.

Published: April 2014
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