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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Is Your Global Account Sales Strategy Truly Global?

One of the biggest challenges for large, multi-national companies' sales operations is executing on an effective global account strategy. However, aligning different territories around a common global goal can be challenging, and having the right structure in place is tantamount to executing on your sales strategy.

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.

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.

Data Digest: Tech and Life Sciences Sectors Diverge in LTI Design

The inaugural article in our new Data Digest series explores a distinct but little talked about way that technology and life sciences companies are different in their design of long-term incentive plans. Data Digest explores the latest trends in Radford's extensive data from across the world.

With More Retirement-Ready Employees, Tech Companies Address Gaps in Plans

The wave of tech companies that went public in the 1990s with an emphasis on employee equity are seeing more and more of their employees reach retirement age. Against that backdrop, companies are facing a tough decision about what to do about unvested shares — and the decision isn't an easy one.

 

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