As part of the 15th anniversary of in June 2015, their staff wrote an article that reviews, in rough chronological order, some of the major issues and developments in equity compensation that it has witnessed.  Here’s a brief summary of the full article.

From The 1990s Through 2000: The Democratization Of Stock Options In The Dotcom Boom….

“The tech boom democratized stock options, bringing them down from the lofty heights of Mt. Executive into the workaday foothills of middle-class people.”

2001–2006: Underwater Options, Mandatory Option Expensing, And The Rise Of Restricted Stock And RSUs….

“From the ashes of the post-dotcom downturn, restricted stock and RSUs rose up and started to gain widespread favor.”

2004–2008: The Backdating Scandals….

“The backdating scandals shook the world of stock options, which became a media dartboard on which everybody could pin the blame for executive greed.”

2005–2015: The Rise Of Pay For Performance….

“The answer to the ‘pay for pulse’ gripe has become ‘pay for performance.'”

2006–2015: The Surprising Resilience Of Employee Stock Purchase Plans….

“Tax-qualified ESPPs with meaningful discounts and look-backs have shown remarkable resilience in spite of the accounting expense that they incur.”

2003–2012: The Politics Of The Alternative Minimum Tax….

“The issue of paying for AMT patches became an annual tug-of-war between Democrats and Republicans in Congress.”

Dodd-Frank Act Of 2010: Ongoing Equity Comp Impacts For Senior Executives….

“The Dodd-Frank Act requires clawbacks for a restatement even without misconduct by executives. Companies must recover gains received by any implicated current or former executive officer that stem from incentive-based compensation (including stock options, restricted stock, and performance shares).”

2011 To The Present: New IRS Tax-Return Forms And Cost-Basis Reporting….

“Major recent changes in basic IRS tax-return reporting and forms have had a historic impact on equity compensation.”

From 2015 Into The Future: What’s Next?

“Performance features in long-term incentives are not just here to stay but continue to gain prominence.”

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