life sciences Articles

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Global Job Leveling at Radford: A Tailor-Made Approach for Companies Driven by Innovation

Our clients in the technology and life sciences sectors share many traits in common: they are innovative, they grow fast, and they need to be flexible. These traits demand a new approach to global job leveling, one that easily scales as companies mature and also evolves as firms add or acquire new types of talent.

Getting Severance Right: An Overview of Current Policies and Practices at US Life Sciences Companies

Radford's 2014 Severance & Change-in-Control Practices Survey provides detailed information on how technology companies treat involuntary termination and change-in-control (CIC) scenarios on an organization-wide basis. At their core, severance programs did not change dramatically since our 2011 survey; however, we still observed several meaningful trends worth noting.

Like "Check Engine" Light, Use Compensation Cost of Sales to Look for Trouble

In the January 2015 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how key business metrics can be used to determine if your sales incentive plans are properly designed and functioning at maximum efficiency. Measuring the rate of change in sales costs vs. revenue growth is a simple step that can open up a world of insight.

Life Sciences Companies Are Increasingly Divided Over the Use of Salary Structures

Although a majority of life sciences companies still have salary structures, it's no secret that the use of formal salary systems is on the decline. New research from Radford shows this trend in action, but also points to why it could start to slow down soon.

Relative Total Shareholder Return (TSR) Plan Design Across the Atlantic

Performance-based equity plans with Relative TSR metrics arrived in Europe well before they showed up in the US. As plan design practices begin to mature in the US market, it's time to take a fresh look at what we can learn from the European experience.

Time is Money: Exploring the Costs of Hiring a CFO in Preparation for an Initial Public Offering

For private technology and life sciences companies on the path to an IPO, does it matter when you hire a CFO? When it comes to their pay, the surprising answer is that it all depends on how you look at it. Read our latest article to find out why.

Linking a Broad-Based Equity Strategy to Higher Returns at US Biopharmaceutical Companies

While companies face intense outside pressure to reduce the costs of administering broad-based equity plans, new research from Radford indicates that high-performing biopharmaceutical companies are actually aggressive users of equity, both in terms of grant values and participation rates.

Equity Strategy Across the Atlantic: Comparing and Contrasting Equity Practices at Big Pharma Companies in Europe and the United States

In this article, Radford's team in Europe conducts an in-depth, side-by-side comparison of big pharma equity practices in Europe and the US. The results reveal a few important similarities in equity strategy, and several striking differences, all of which point to new viewpoints on how best to attract and retain talent across the Atlantic with equity.


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