The ABCs (and ESPPs, RSUs, SARs, ISOs, and NSOs) of Equity-Based Compensation
One of the most overlooked, but most important, areas of executive financial planning involves taking advantage of stock-based grants and ownership. Many executives, like David, don’t take the opportunity to understand these opportunities fully until a company, career, or personal event forces them to look more closely. The authors consider planning techniques for maximizing the benefits associated with: directly owned company stock; employee stock purchase plans; qualified benefit plans; deferred compensation plans; restricted stock; restricted stock units; stock appreciation rights; incentive stock options; and non-qualified stock options. While the tax rules are important, it also is important to take into account: current holdings; company and market risks; career plans; and risk tolerance. Special situations, hedging strategies, trading plans, and rules for insiders are also considered.