life sciences Articles


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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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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Why a Mid-Year Sales Plan Assessment Will Ultimately Save Time

In the May 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how utilize a mid-year review to spot pain points in your sales compensation plan before real turbulence emerges.

Published: June 2016
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How to Maintain a Relevant Peer Group in Fast-Moving Industries and Unstable Markets

Reviewing compensation peer groups is usually treated as a routine exercise. However, when your company or industry experiences significant changes or the stock market is highly volatile, a more rigorous review is prudent. Read our five tips for staying on top of your peer group game.

Published: June 2016
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What Companies Should Know About New Employee Overtime Rules in the United States

New federal rules will greatly expand the percentage of US employees eligible for overtime pay. While technology and life sciences companies tend to have fewer employees who qualify as non-exempt relative to other sectors, the rules create unique challenges for every organization. Our latest client alert explains the rules and the types of questions HR managers should be asking.

Published: May 2016
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Benefits Costs are the Missing Link between Compensation Spend and Total Rewards

The Radford Global Technology Survey now includes information on the total cost of benefits by job level in multiple countries. Our new article explores how this data helps HR professionals bridge the gap between measuring compensation spend and assessing the true cost of total rewards.

Published: April 2016
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Will Today's Volatile Markets Bring Option Exchanges Back? What You Need to Know

Depending on what the markets do next, underwater stock option exchanges could be poised for a big comeback. Exchange programs are already quietly on the rise, but the governance landscape isn't as forgiving as it was in 2008 and 2009. Before taking action, it's important to take stock of where your company stands in a number of critical areas.

Published: March 2016
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Down Rounds are on the Rise, Forcing Pre-IPO Firms to Explore New Retention Strategies

As more pre-IPO companies face down investment rounds and falling valuations, it's incumbent on HR leaders to explore new retention strategies, including underwater option exchanges, special equity awards, retention bonuses and formal bonus plans. Our new article weighs the pros and cons of each of these measures.

Published: March 2016
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Car Allowances Remain Common in Europe, Even as Perks are Increasingly Questioned

As European economies continue to struggle with low growth rates, perquisite practices face greater levels of scrutiny. Yet, new data from Radford shows that at least one long-time perk in Europe— the car allowance— remains fairly commonplace. And even where changes in practice are occurring, the rate of change is moderate.

Published: February 2016
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Are Nordic Biotech Companies Under-Utilizing Equity in the Search for Top Executive Talent?

Biotechnology firms in the Nordic region of Europe grant significantly less equity to their employees and executives than peer companies in the rest of Europe and the United States. As Nordic-based firms seek to recruit more global talent, it's time to ask if their equity practices are competitive on the world stage.

Published: February 2016
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Director Pay Settlement Results in an Unprecedented "Director Say-on-Pay" Vote

Facebook recently settled a lawsuit on its director pay practices, and the terms of the settlement include an unprecedented agreement to hold regular director say-on-pay votes. Now we're all left to wonder if this will kick-off a new governance trend.

Published: February 2016
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Right-Sizing Stock Option Grants at High-Growth, High-Volatility Biotech Firms

Compensation professionals at high-growth, high-volatility biotech companies face difficult decisions when it comes to determining the size of employee stock option grants. For them, traditional share-based and value-based approaches don't always stand up to scrutiny. In this article we explore an alternative model based on annual ownership opportunity.

Published: January 2016
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The Art & Science of Benchmarking: What Happens When Pay Doesn't Progress?

You might be surprised to know that market data on compensation doesn't always increase with each successive job level. When data "misbehaves" in this fashion, it's important to know how to diagnose the root cause and find an appropriate solution.

Published: January 2016
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Glass Lewis Opens Data Verification Program to Issuers on First-Come, First-Serve Basis

Glass Lewis has opened corporate enrollment for its free data verification program, which allows issuers to verify the data that the proxy firm uses to make its proxy voting recommendations. Participation is limited so early enrollment is encouraged.

Published: January 2016
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How Boards Can Guard Against Lawsuits Alleging Excessive Stock Awards

Shareholder lawsuits alleging that boards have awarded themselves too much equity got a boost this year from the Delaware court, which now says the business judgment rule may not apply. However, there are a number of steps directors can take to help protect themselves against a lawsuit.

Published: December 2015
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Mind the Gap: Companies Frequently Exceed Merit Increase Budgets for Top Performers

The difference between companies' merit budget and overall higher salary budget is often cash reserved for exceptional raises for top performers. Yet, this figure is often underreported. This article explores the reasons why.

Published: November 2015
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Use These HR Disciplines to be an Essential Part of Sales Force Effectiveness

In the September 2015 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how HR can be more involved in maximizing sales force effectiveness and productivity through three key areas of talent management.

Published: September 2015
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Private Companies Redesign Their Employee Equity Plans as IPOs Near

Our latest study of shifts in compensation plans before and after technology and life sciences go public reveals interesting insights into pay strategies and reflects perceptions of good governance in the public markets.

Published: September 2015
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Decoding the Meaning of Pre- and Post-IPO Equity Overhang Rates

Equity overhang rates at recently public companies are a clue to the overall health of equity compensation programs. Our five-year study provides valuable insight on how overhang levels shift as companies transition from a private to public company.

Published: September 2015
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Getting a Grip on Sales Compensation Pay Mix

In the July 2015 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses what to consider when setting pay mix for job levels and how the ratio of guaranteed to at-risk pay influences quota achievement and total target compensation.

Published: September 2015
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What the SEC's Final CEO Pay Ratio Rules Mean for Companies

The SEC's final CEO pay ratio rule as adopted earlier this month has some key departures from the proposal, including a delayed implementation period and flexibility on calculating median employee pay.

Published: August 2015
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Hot Topics Excerpt: Life Sciences Firms Seek Competitive Edge in Equity Awards

While we know life sciences companies deliver a larger mix of equity incentives compared to many other sectors, our recent workforce trends survey revealed they are also more likely to benchmark their long-term incentives above the median compared to all other forms of pay. That's having an impact on actual award value in many of the major global markets.

Published: July 2015
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A Comparison of Executive Compensation Practices at Nordic and US Biotech Companies

The biotech industry is experiencing its own renaissance in the Nordic region, but differences in executive compensation practices compared to the US could present recruiting challenges. To attract biotech talent from abroad and comply with increasingly vocal investor activists, Nordic firms may want to consider making key changes to their equity plan design and pay mix.

Published: July 2015
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2015 Say-on-Pay Review for the Life Sciences Sector

In this report, Radford examines five years of say-on-pay voting results for the life sciences sector compared to the broad Russell 3000. We also review the influence of proxy advisors, industry performance and top governance concerns.

Published: July 2015
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Is Your Employee Equity Plan IPO-Ready?

In preparation for an upcoming IPO, one of the most important considerations for compensation and HR professionals is evaluation their employee equity incentive plan— which is strikingly different for public vs. private companies. In this article, we outline the top five areas of equity plans for employers to consider as they prepare for a public offering.

Published: July 2015
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In a Competitive Market, Biotech Firms Proving Effective in Retaining Employees

Biotech companies have higher salary increases compared to the general life sciences sector and have increased their target cash positioning. This has allowed companies to keep voluntary turnover at bay and attract new talent to fuel their rapid growth. Our article examines the latest data for the red hot biotech industry.

Published: June 2015
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Accelerating Sales without Breaking the Bank

Most companies have sales commission accelerators in place. However, few are well-equipped to know if their accelerators are optimized to meet business needs. In this article, we explain how a data-driven approach can be used to design accelerator programs in-tune with both market trends and sales team performance.

Published: April 2015
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As the Life Sciences Sector Soars, It's Time to Examine the Risks and Rewards of Your Annual Incentive Plan

Valuations for life sciences companies continue to soar, boosting stock prices and outside investment. For employees, the good news does not end there— annual incentive payouts are also on the rise. However, as above-target payouts become more prevalent, companies may want to consider raising the bar.

Published: March 2015
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Boards Face Pressure to Ban Accelerated Vesting, but Market Practices Tell a Different Story

The number of shareholder proposals calling for bans on the acceleration of equity after a change-in-control is on the rise. So, too, is shareholder support for these initiatives. Radford's recent survey of severance practices at technology and life sciences companies shows that equity acceleration is still the norm, but policies in this area are slowly evolving.

Published: March 2015
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