According to a recent Mercer Analysis the granting of a single type of equity awards is distinctly a minority practice among companies in the S&P 500, with just 3% of CEOs receiving options only, 3% receiving restricted stock only and 9% receiving performance shares or performance cash only. Approximately one-third of the CEOs were granted a combination of all three, with an average weighting of 28% options, 30% restricted stock and 42% performance awards. Typically, performance awards account for the greatest proportional value when they are granted in combination with another type of long-term vehicle.
The utilization of time-vesting restricted stock has been relatively steady over the past three years (22% of the sample companies granted them in 2013). Performance shares, used by 41% of S&P 500 companies in 2011, became a majority practice in 2013 used by 51% of companies surveyed. The prevalence of stock options continued to fall in 2013 with just 25% of S&P 500 CEOs receiving option grants (down 10% since 2011).