In a Nutshell: Computershare helps companies of all sizes develop and implement employee equity plans. Those equity plans can be critical for many startups looking to hire top talent with limited funds. Employees can sign in to Computershare’s online platform to view stock allocations and monitor their funds. Computershare also helps companies navigate IPOs with a wealth of resources and global partners who have been through the process.
Equity-based income plans have become commonplace for startups — especially in areas like Silicon Valley in California. The process allows employees to earn shares of the company they are helping build while typically earning a more modest base pay.
Workers are often excited about earning shares in a startup company for many reasons. One artist who was paid in Facebook shares to paint the company’s headquarters saw his net worth spike to $200 million as soon as the company went public.
But startups and established companies hiring talent for remote work from other states and countries often find it challenging to offer an equity-based compensation plan that complies with laws and regulations. Computershare eliminates those complications for growing and established organizations.
Computershare offers a stock management platform that helps companies administer shares to employees. Companies of all sizes are welcome to sign up for the stock management service.
Computershare’s history with equity plans goes back to 2010, and the company is filled with experienced professionals with decades of experience in employee equity.
The plans are a win-win for companies and their employees. Companies can avoid tapping into vital funding reserves to hire top talent, and employees become even more invested in their own (and by extension the company’s) success.
“Employees are willing to work harder at the company,” said Sheila Frierson, Computershare’s President of North American Employee Share Plans. “That’s a big benefit that employees and employers see from these plans.”
Equity Can Increase Retention and Boost Output
Offering equity as compensation for getting in on the ground level of an exciting startup can entice talented workers to join a company. Companies risk missing out on new hires based on their employee equity plans.
“People look into whether a company has an equity-based employment plan,” Frierson said. “If a company doesn’t have one, workers will look at how they stack up against competitors.”
While not a new concept, equity plans are more relevant now than ever. A study from Morgan Stanley shows 80% of equity leaders believe equity is an important recruitment and retention tool.
The study also reveals that companies are reevaluating their equity plans to stay in line with employee expectations. Computershare’s robust equity plan management allows companies update and customize their plan exactly to their liking.
Computershare’s equity management plans focus on increasing a worker’s sense of financial security while strengthening their connection with the company.
Computershare said that stock programs are among the perks potential employees consider significant. Workers are more likely to stay with a company if they know their work will go toward building wealth in the future.
“If a company is performing well, then the stock price will be performing well,” Frierson said. “As an employee, you can see how your contributions lead to this. And that’s a great feeling.”
Employees are no longer just working for the company; they are also working for themselves. Computershare also provides relationship management teams that communicate with employees to determine how to improve their equity-based plans based on their comments.
Global Connections Help Companies Navigate IPOs
Whether a company is based in the U.S. or features offices worldwide, Computershare’s system works with them. Companies can have plans based wherever they have offices.
Computershare’s system makes it easy for companies to have a U.S. plan in its system and a United Kingdom plan in its system at the same time. The company’s vision is to make it the one-and-only stop for companies offering equity-based programs.
Computershare works for the company every step of the way, even after the company decides to go public. The transition team works closely with companies to go from offering privatized shares to public shares.
IPOs can be complicated and burdensome to navigate. Computershare ensures its partners are compliant with government regulations and provide certification with the stock exchange for the issuance of shares.
Many businesses that take advantage of Computershare’s services are in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia. Computershare helps all of its global business partners benchmark their value when preparing to go public.
Computershare offers a wealth of resources to help businesses navigate employee equity plans. The company holds an annual Employee Stock Payment Plan educational symposium featuring experts with years of experience.
“Companies want to make sure that their plan is still valuable and competitive,” Frierson said. “They want to come and see what others are doing and make plan improvements.”
Hundreds of businesses, including those not even affiliated with Computershare, attend the symposium. Businesses share information and learn from each other on the success of employee equity plans.
“Over the last several years, we continue to see more mature companies coming to us to ask about these plans,” Frierson said. “Especially now with the competitive nature of hiring employees, it’s now part of the conversation people are having when looking for a job.”
A Seamless and Intuitive Employee Interface
Employees with company equity receive easy access to their stock plan through Computershare’s portal. Employees can manage their equity and see the value of the stock when they log in.
Computershare created the portal with the employee in mind, ensuring it’s straightforward and easy to understand. The company said that, if the portal doesn’t show users its benefits, then they can’t gauge the portal’s value.
“We want to provide a platform where the employee feels very engaged with the plan,” Frierson said. “They can log in and see what their company is offering them and the value of the stock. They can transfer or even change their election.”
Computershare’s digital app lets users see and manage their equity on the go. The company offers an online chat to help users work through any issues.
“What Computershare is offering to the market is a single platform where, regardless of where your company is, all the equity will be in one place,” Frierson said. “Global employees can log on to one site to see all of that in one place, which is pretty unique for our industry.”
The company said it’s always working on ways to develop services to help employees stay in touch with their plans.
Computershare wants to help people understand the benefits of stock options and said employees who don’t take advantage of company stock discounts are losing out on additional gains.
“Like your father might have said, you’re leaving that money on the table,” Frierson said. “We’ve been impressed to see that people are becoming more knowledgeable about stock options.”