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The Unexpected Tax Benefits of Post-Vest Holding Requirements in Canada

Share awards subject to post-vest holding requirements are an emerging trend in the US, and we think it won't be long before the practice takes root in Canada. In Canada, companies aren't the only ones who stand to save money from post-vest holding requirements— employees are also eligible to receive additional tax benefits. Our article explains how these tax benefits are applied under multiple scenarios.

Published: May 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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Senior Technical Jobs that Offer an Alternative to Management Tracks are Evolving

Technology firms frequently create special executive-level positions, called Fellows or Senior Fellows, for key technologists who don't want to manage people. However, a number of companies are re-imaging these roles, and our data now shows that roughly half of Fellows and Senior Fellows actually manage employees.

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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How to Calculate Pay vs. Performance under the SEC's Proposed New Rules

It's been a year since the SEC proposed pay-vs-performance disclosure rules. While the rules haven't been finalized, it's not too early to think about model disclosure. Laying the groundwork will make implementation easier and can enhance the narrative around what the new figures mean. In our article, we explain what the proposed rules would require and pathways toward compliance.

Published: April 2016
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Defining What's 'Good' in a Sales Comp Plan

In the March 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how to define success for your sales team and put in place the right mechanisms for testing your sales compensation plan around those performance benchmarks.

Published: April 2016
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Is it Time to Ditch Your Salary Structure for Market Pricing? We Debate the Pros and Cons.

At the moment, most technology companies favor formal salary structures for administering base pay. However, in the hyper-competitive technology space, some of our clients forgo structures in favor of market-pricing. This allows them to be far more precise in setting pay, but there are clear pros and cons.

Published: March 2016
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Before Expanding in a New Market, Take Time to Assess the Available Labor Pool with Analytics

In the technology sector, the distribution of workers by job function can vary significantly from one country to the next, and often by far larger degree than one might expect. This has huge implications for businesses looking to enter new markets and hire staff. Understanding the makeup of local talent pools is essential for companies thinking about growth.

Published: March 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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A New S&P Policy Change Requires Vigilance in Measuring Indexed TSR Plan Performance

The prevalence of indexed performance equity plans has skyrocketed in recent years, but a new policy change by Standard & Poor's means that the number of stocks companies benchmark against can exceed the number of companies in the S&P 500. The requires companies to review their indexed plans if they want each company to receive equal weighting.

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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More Companies Are Taking Steps to Protect Employee Earnings in Uncertain Markets

A growing number of technology companies in Russia, and neighboring countries, took meaningful steps in 2015 to assist employees with rising economic uncertainty, including one-time salary adjustments and special allowances. Read about our latest special survey results to learn more.

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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The Link Between Employee Communication and Equity Plan Performance

Performance-based equity plans, especially those with Relative TSR metrics, can be complex. This makes effective employee communication a key ingredient for success. To test this premise, our Equity Services team has once again surveyed PeerTracker clients to explore the link between plan communication and performance.

Published: January 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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The Aon Hewitt Multiple-Point Binomial Model: A More Precise Approach to Option Expensing

Rather than assuming that all employees have homogenous option exercise behaviors, the Aon Hewitt Multiple-Point Binomial Model considers the unique exercise activity of employee groups. This results in greater modeling flexibility and more accurate fair value calculations.

Published: December 2015
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Navigating ISS' 2016 Compensation and Governance Policy Changes

ISS' updated 2016 policies have arrived. The proxy advisory firm made modifications to its equity plan scorecard system, limited the number of outside boards it recommends directors and CEOs can serve on, and implemented new governance recommendations for recently public companies.

Published: December 2015
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Glass Lewis Clarifies Its Approach to One-Off Equity Awards for Executive Officers

In recent years, off-cycle equity grants for executives have received increased scrutiny from proxy advisory firms. Glass Lewis' latest proxy voting policies finally provide issuers with much-needed guidance on how Glass Lewis intends to evaluate such awards going forward. This could have a big impact on upcoming say-on-pay votes.

Published: November 2015
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Glass Lewis Updates Its US Compensation & Governance Policies for the 2016 Proxy Season

On November 13, 2015, Glass Lewis released its 2016 proxy season policy updates for the US market. In this client alert, we summarize key compensation and governance updates, and provide commentary from experts across Aon Hewitt on potential challenges for issuers.

Published: November 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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ISS Seeks Lower Limits on Number of Boards on Which Directors and CEOs Can Serve

If implemented, ISS's new limits will have a big impact on CEOs who sit on more than one outside board, and professional directors who serve on four or five boards.

Published: November 2015
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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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From Asia to Europe to the US, Expect to Pay an Equity Premium for Technical Talent

Across major global markets, employees in technical positions are more likely to be eligible for and receive long-term incentives compared to their colleagues in non-technical roles. And when it comes to the actual amount value, we also see a clear technical premium exists.

Published: October 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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Data Digest: How China's Economic Situation Is Impacting Its Technology Workforce

China's economic slowdown is negatively impacting some industries, but we find the technology sector has remained resilient. A growing domestic field of companies has ramped up competition with multinationals — affecting workforce growth, employee turnover and salary increases.

Published: September 2015
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