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Comp Talks – ESPP Design, Administration, Tips and Traps

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Comp Talks is a monthly program designed to address hot topics in executive pay and equity compensation for public companies. The goal of the Comp Talks series is to provide practical information to help you:

  • make compensation decisions that motivate your employees, consultants and directors to achieve your business goals,
  • confidently explain those decisions to employees, directors, stockholders and proxy advisory firms, and 
  • administer your programs effectively.

Our programs, conducted by Cooley practitioners and industry experts, are designed to give you the information and tools you need to keep up with current compensation trends so you can balance the legal, tax and disclosure requirements and "best practices" with your practical business needs.

Qualified employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs) allow employees to purchase shares of the company’s stock at a discount and postpone recognition of tax until the shares are sold, with potential for additional tax benefits depending on how long the shares are held, which is a valuable benefit for employees. However, it can be challenging to administer an ESPP in compliance with Internal Revenue Code requirements necessary to preserve the tax benefit. It can also be unexpectedly difficult to communicate the terms of the ESPP in a manner that allows employees to fully appreciate the benefits of participation. Our November 15 webcast will explore qualified ESPP plan design alternatives and trends, compliance tips and traps, correction of common errors and tips for effective employee communications.

Specific Topics Include

  • Requirements for ESPP Qualified Tax Treatment
  • Plan Design Alternatives
  • Compliance Tips and Traps
  • Common Errors (and How to Correct Them)
  • Tips for Effective Employee Communications
  • ESPP Design Trends

Confirmed Panelists

Garry Devine – Senior Manager, Accounting; Global Equity Plan Administrator, Horizon Pharma

Michelle Lara – Special Counsel, Cooley

Amy Wood – Cooley (moderator)

Register to access recorded webcast

Related Contacts
Amy M. Wood Partner, San Diego
Michelle Lara Special Counsel, San Diego
Related Practices & Industries

Compensation & Benefits