valuation solutions Articles

The Era of Low ESPP Participation Is Over

Aon has partnered with Carver Edison to aid plan sponsors in understanding the impact to financial reporting, tax accounting and company balance sheet of a Carver Edison ESPP as compared to a traditional ESPP.

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.

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. 

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.

Radford’s Approach to Valuing Equity Compensation

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.