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Current Practices in Stock Option Plan Design

Current Practices in Stock Option Plan Design

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Who gets stock options? How many? How often? And when? Many companies and professional advisors are familiar with how employee stock option plans work, but they lack detailed information on how companies are actually designing and using their plans. This498-page book describes and analyzes the results of a pathbreaking survey of 247 U.S. companies conducted by the leading research and information organization in the field. The book is the most comprehensive resource available to the public on how companies design stock option plans. It mainly focuses on broad-based stock option plans (i.e., those covering most employees), but also addresses executive-only plans and employee stock purchase plans.

The results presented here allow readers to make comparisons on allocation, vesting, and eligibility issues, as well as on corporate-level issues of dilution, the percentage of total option awards going to certain kinds of employees, the basis on which options are awarded, and other issues. The book provides extensive breakdowns of data by company size, industry, and region. These breakdowns provide overall plan data and also present information for various classes of employees. The results for executive plans and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) are presented separately in these breakdowns. Other chapters discuss the data on private vs. public companies, technology companies, companies offering one-time grants, ESPPs at companies with broad-based option plans, and how companies communicate their plansand get employees involved. Finally, the closing chapter summarizes other research in the field.

With its clear summary and analysis of overall results; its detailed breakdowns by industry, company size, and region; and its comparisons of public and private companies, this book is an essential tool for any company or consultant involved with employee stock options or related plans. It is spiral-bound for ease of use.