Participant Issues: Using Stock Options to Meet College Costs

Justin, a mid-level operations executive, pops into Carol’s office one day. Justin is seeking advice from the company’s long-time stock plan administrator about tapping funds for his son’s college tuition next fall. While Justin has several options for meeting college costs for his son, Aaron, he’s trying to understand the net after-tax proceeds if he used options to fund tuition costs.

How Does Your Stock Plan Team Stack Up?

More than 200 public and private companies recently participated in our stock plan administration benchmark survey. From technology providers to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, there was a wide range of participation across industries and equity plan design. Here is what we found to be true around how teams are spending their time, weaknesses and strengths in regards to technical skills, and a few ideas on how you can improve processes.

Requirements of a 10b5-1 Trading Plan

During our recent thought leadership webinar, 10b5-1 Survey Results: What do They Tell Us?, Christine Cognetti McCasland, Executive Director within Morgan Stanley’s Corporate Equity Solutions unit, and Mike Andresino, Partner at Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP, reviewed results from a joint survey conducted by Morgan Stanley and the NASPP. During the presentation, McCasland and Andresino laid out key requirements of a 10b5-1 plan. We’ve recapped them for you.

Certent Marks One Year Brand Anniversary

We’re celebrating, and you may have missed the reason why! One year ago, our company made the transition from Equity Administration Solutions, Inc. (EASi) to Certent, Inc. – and this month we’re celebrating our one year anniversary. Our acquisition of Rivet Software in 2014, marked the expansion of our technology and service offerings further into financial compliance and SEC reporting. That meant that we no longer ONLY offered equity administration and reporting solutions – and we needed to change our name and broaden our brand to reflect that change.

Glass Lewis Clarifies Its Approach to “One-Off” Equity Awards for Executive Officers

In mid-November, Glass Lewis released its final proxy voting policies and methodologies for the upcoming year. While most compensation policies remained largely intact from prior years (see our complete summary of compensation and governance policy changes here), this year’s release includes much-needed guidance on Glass Lewis’ approach and requirements for reviewing the use of off-cycle equity grants.

2016 ISS Policy Updates

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released their 2016 proxy voting guideline policy updates. These updated policies are anticipated to be applied to shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2016. A few of the most important U.S. benchmark policy updates include changes to the director overboarding policy, updates to policies around unilateral board actions which adversely affect shareholder rights, and a policy change addressing insufficient disclosure of compensation arrangements for executives at an externally-managed issuer.

7 Critical Areas for IPO Success

In one of our most watched on-demand webinars, Getting IPO Ready: Preparing Your Strategy and Equity Plan, experts discuss what it takes to gear up for your IPO and outline essential success factors across the finance organization. Preparing for an IPO takes resources, expertise, and coordination across departments, and the best time to begin the preparation process is now! Below you will find seven key areas affected by an IPO as presented by Nicole Irvin, Vice President, Morgan Stanley Investment Banking Division. Irvin provides detailed information about who from your organization should be involved, what key things you need to be thinking about, and what can you do now – even if you are well in advance of an IPO – to start to prepare.

Beware of the Modification

A modification is a change in any term of an award that is not included in your original equity compensation plan such as a change in number of shares, exercise price, transferability features, settlement provisions, or vesting conditions. Modifications to awards can result in additional compensation expense for the company. Below are a few examples of common events that trigger modification accounting, as well as those that do not.

Save Time with These Year-End Equity Plan Tips

In a recent poll, Certent surveyed a cross section of public and private company webinar attendees to find out what participants felt was their biggest challenge associated with year-end close. Over a quarter of all attendees agreed that the time crunch makes navigating year-end close significantly more challenging. In order to beat the year-end squeeze, there are a few activities that you and your team can plan ahead of time.