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2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Technology Companies Receive Steady Support From Shareholders Despite Lower Performance

As executive compensation planning season kicks off, and another proxy season looms, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for technology companies, including insights on key lessons learned from companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

2016 Say-on-Pay Review: Life Sciences Companies Receive Increased Shareholder Support Even as Volatility Climbs

The life sciences sector continues to face high levels of market volatility, which could impact next year’s Say-on-Pay results. With this in mind, our consulting team decided to take a look back at this year’s Say-on-Pay results for life sciences firms, including insights on key lessons learned by companies facing high levels of shareholder opposition.

To Fuel Growth, Companies Make a Case for Using Inducement Grants More Often

At the high-growth companies we work with, the use of new-hire "inducement grants" is on the rise. Our latest white paper, co-authored with Cooley LLP, presents new research on how technology and life sciences companies can best leverage inducement grants to compete for increasingly scarce talent, and the effect this has on equity burn rates.

Turnover Rates for Sales Employees Reach a Five-Year High

Voluntary turnover for sales employees at technology and life sciences companies is, once again, at a five-year high. With US companies reporting aggressive hiring plans, sales managers and HR professionals need to assess whether their current compensation plans can remain effective in an ever more competitive market for talent.

Using Workforce Analytics to Solve Broader Business Challenges in the Life Sciences Sector

All biopharma companies face rising competition, an increasingly turbulent regulatory landscape, and the need to remain on the edge of innovation. Amidst the chaos, harnessing workforce analytics data has the potential to make HR and compensation leaders an indispensable partner in guiding long-term business strategy.

Hot Topics Excerpt: Life Sciences Companies Turn to Retention Bonuses to Reduce Turnover

In key life sciences markets around the world, the use of retention bonuses is up sharply from three years ago. With employee turnover on the rise and many companies reporting aggressive hiring plans, retaining high performers is a top priority for life sciences companies.

CEOs Sign Voluntary Governance Principles, but Emphasize Flexibility in Executive Pay

A set of high-level compensation and governance principles were released last month by a select group of business leaders representing a handful of America’s largest companies and mutual funds. The principles highlight the importance of individualized and well-articulated compensation plans but also take a position on a number of issues.

SEC Approves Nasdaq Rule Requiring Disclosure of "Golden Leash" Arrangements

The SEC recently approved a new Nasdaq rule, requiring disclosure of "Golden Leash" director compensation arrangements, which took effect August 1, 2016. Nasdaq's new rule requires disclosure of special payments to third party nominees to boards. It focuses largely on activist hedge fund nominees, and explicitly exempts most venture capital directors.

ISS Releases 2017 Policy Survey, Comments Due by August 30

ISS has opened up its annual policy survey for comments from the corporate community. The survey indicates ISS is considering several changes to its compensation voting policies across the globe. Issuers have until August 30 to submit comments.

Reliable Market Data is Critical in Wake of Massachusetts "Fair Pay" Law and Others Like It

Massachusetts recently became the first state to ban employers from asking job candidates for their salary history, including benefits and other compensation, which increases the importance of accurate market data as well as the benefits of a formal pay program.

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.

Hot Topics Excerpt: Around the Globe, More Tech Firms Are Granting Retention Bonuses

In multiple markets around the world, the use of retention awards at technology companies is up dramatically from three years ago. As employee turnover, market volatility and competition from outside the technology sector continue to rise, creating long-term retention strategies will be key.

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.

Sales Compensation is Rising, but Performance is Tracking Lower. What's Going On?

Since 2010, the compensation cost of sales as a percent of revenue has increased significantly at software companies, but fewer sales people are hitting their quotas. It's not a good look, and companies continue to increase quotas to justify rising expenses. We explain how to bring cost and performance back in balance.

Why a Mid-Year Sales Plan Assessment Will Ultimately Save Time

In the May 2016 issue of WorldatWork's Sales Compensation Focus newsletter, Radford's Scott Barton discusses how utilize a mid-year review to spot pain points in your sales compensation plan before real turbulence emerges.

How to Maintain a Relevant Peer Group in Fast-Moving Industries and Unstable Markets

Reviewing compensation peer groups is usually treated as a routine exercise. However, when your company or industry experiences significant changes or the stock market is highly volatile, a more rigorous review is prudent. Read our five tips for staying on top of your peer group game.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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