general Articles

UK Gender Pay Reporting Law Provides an Opportunity to Strengthen Rewards Programs

In an effort to close the gender pay gap, the UK government’s Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations go into effect in April 2017. Our new client alert provides tips for compliance as well as voluntary measures all companies can take to proactively address potential inequalities in their rewards programs.

How to Approach Peer Groups below the C-Suite

Developing peer groups for non-executives and executives isn’t an apples to apples exercise. When looking at your broader employee population, market dynamics, such as industry convergence, telecommuting, and casting a wider geographic net to fill hot jobs, requires you to have a deep understanding of regional pay differences and practices.

CEO Pay Ratio Rule in the Crosshairs of Congress, SEC; Relief Could be Slow

The future of the Dodd-Frank CEO pay ratio rule grows less certain by the day. The SEC recently opened a 45-day comment period for issuers to report on difficulties encountered while trying to comply with the rule. The agency said it was considering delaying or amending the disclosure, and meanwhile, Congress is working toward a full repeal. But the clock is ticking until the rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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.

Not all Sales Plans are Created Equal. Effective Employee Communication Is.

In the September 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how to get buy-in from your sales team when rolling out a new sales compensation plan.

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.

House Financial Services Committee Revives Bill that Would Regulate ISS, Glass Lewis

The House Financial Services Committee passed two separate bills this month that would have a direct impact on executive compensation voting policies and disclosure regimes. While there is a good chance neither bill will make it out of the full House during this election term, the bills shed insight on the political focus of the Committee.

Employee Turnover Slows in Brazil, Even as the Tech Sector Remains an Economic Bright Spot

Voluntary employee turnover at technology companies in Brazil has slowed for the past four years, suggesting limited job opportunities amid the country's political and economic crisis. However, if we peel back the layers, we find sales employee turnover has rebounded in the past year and the Brazilian startup scene is attracting government support and foreign investment.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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