Equity Compensation and COVID-19

Surrounded by a rapidly-unfolding humanitarian crisis, professionals all over the country — and around the world — are adapting to COVID-19 pandemic conditions. This has put us in uncharted economic territory. Equity compensation is no exception.

Throughout this extraordinary period, we’ll be monitoring new developments and offering our take on what it all means. We’ll also explore actions companies can take as they relate to new and outstanding awards, equity compensation accounting, the proxy, and more. Check back often for updates, and know that — as always — we’re here to help.

10 Themes Shaping the Decision to Restore Underwater Equity Incentives

Takis Makridis and Yudian Tang · 11/21/2020

With the economic fallout of COVID-19 making its way to equity and executive compensation, these themes should be on your radar now.


Incentive Restoration Strategies in 2020: The Brazen, the Bold, and the Basic Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 10/21/2020

Tune in for case studies of different incentive restoration initiatives companies adopted in 2020, pros and cons included.


Understanding Peer Volatility: Breaking Down the Drivers

Josh Schaeffer and JP Damron · 10/19/2020

Private and newly public companies who grant options rely on leverage adjusted peer volatility for fair value calculations. Here are four key criteria for selecting a peer group.


2020 Group Five Stock Plan Administration Benchmarking Results and What’s Ahead in Stock Compensation Reporting

Takis Makridis · 9/28/2020

See Equity Methods’ results from this year’s survey of plan sponsors and get our take on the issues that are top of mind for stock-based compensation.


Q&A Session on Discretion and Modifications Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 9/10/2020

We answer your burning questions about discretion, modifications, and other award adjustments in this 30-minute conversational follow-up to our Restoring Underwater Incentives webcast.


Restoring Underwater Incentives: Discretion, Modifications, and More Webcast

Takis Makridis and David Outlaw · 9/2/2020

In this webcast, we discuss the lasting effects COVID-19’s has had on demand and supply. Many companies are taking or considering action to restore underwater performance metrics. They have a wide array of potential strategies to choose from, beginning with the decision to adjust performance outcomes by exercising discretion on the results or modifying the goals altogether.


Equity Methods in Employee Benefit News

Market volatility can wreak havoc on equity plans. To insulate them, Nathan O’Connor tells Employee Benefit News, consider “shock-proofing” your metrics.


Modifications and Discretion FAQ

Takis Makridis · 7/31/2020

The soon-to-be-published Modifications and Discretion FAQ offers our take on how efforts to restore broken incentives are shaping up in a coronavirus-battered economy.


Case Study: ESPP Performance Across Economic Cycles

David Outlaw and Nick Faris · 6/15/2020

We explore some of the costs and benefits that different ESPP types can deliver to help employees ride out economic volatility.


Tax Settlement Forecasting During High-Volatility Periods

Daniel Hunninghake and Matt Gabrielson · 6/10/2020

COVID-19 is a reminder that scenario modeling across a range of possible outcomes is essential to avoiding surprises on the income statement.


Equity Award Modifications in Down Markets

Daniel Hunninghake, Yudian Tang, and Bradley Hayes · 5/28/2020

From adjusting the terms of equity held by terminated employees to restoring incentives for key talent, we examine the modifications that are most common during turbulent economic periods.


Relative Performance Equity Awards—A Port in the Storm?

Takis Makridis and Therese Sebastian · 5/13/2020

If economic turbulence has you examining relative performance equity for the first time or giving your existing relative metrics a 50,000-mile checkup, this webcast is for you.


Keeping Your Share Pool Clean in a Messy Economy

David Outlaw and Alec Katric · 5/7/2020

In this webcast, discover share pool conservation and management strategies you can implement immediately.


Taking Bold and Thoughtful Compensation Action Under the Watchful Eye of ISS

Takis Makridis · 5/2/2020

Five experts weigh in on COVID-19 guidance from ISS and what it means for restoring incentives in long-term incentive plans.


Summarizing the CARES Act’s Impact on Executive and Equity Compensation

David Outlaw and Amanda Tan · 4/29/2020

CARES Act assistance has total compensation limits. Here’s what you need to know—and what we still don’t know—about these limitations.


Restoring (Underwater) Compensation Incentives in a Post-Pandemic Economy

Takis Makridis · 4/22/2020

Here’s what management teams need to know when weighing potential modifications to outstanding incentive awards—including incentive restoration solutions, implications, and accounting and proxy rules.


Addressing the Impact of COVID-19 on Performance-Based Compensation

Takis Makridis and Daniel Hunninghake · 4/10/2020

Learn how companies can take COVID-19 into account when setting new performance goals and evaluating progress on outstanding performance awards.


It’s All Relative: A Primer on Implementing Relative Financial Metrics in Your LTIP

Takis Makridis, Josh Schaeffer, PhD and David Outlaw · 4/6/2020

The one-two punch from COVID-19 and the March 2020 oil shock is a reminder of why relative metrics belong in virtually every long-term incentive plan.


The Emerging Impact of COVID-19 on Equity Compensation

Takis Makridis · 3/27/2020 and 4/2/2020

Amid the human toll and rising economic uncertainty, COVID-19 is having a profound impact on equity compensation. In this webcast, we examine what it all means and potential actions to take now.


Secular Shocks and Executive Compensation—Lessons from COVID-19

Takis Makridis and Therese Sebastian · 2/28/2020

How does COVID-19 make the case for relative performance metrics? Here’s what total rewards leaders and compensation committees can learn.