Hi, I’m Geoff, founder of Equity Abacus.
I’ve been in Executive Compensation for more than 20 years – with Merrill Lynch, PwC, and Lincoln Financial, and I’ve helped some of the world’s top companies address the strategic, operational, and governance aspects of their stock plans. But it wasn’t until I went in-house to lead the Compensation function at Lincoln Financial that I understood what it took to manage those plans.
My team was on the hook to get our compensation and governance programs “done” – designed, implemented, and reported in the proxy – year after year. Normally, we turned to leading vendor technologies to support these kinds of operational challenges, as we did for our LTIP and SERP. But when it came to tracking and communicating compliance with our share ownership guidelines?
The market had nothing to offer us.
Like any good corporate citizen, we wouldn’t let that deter us, and we leaned on the mighty Excel spreadsheet to fill the void. And yet, despite the efforts of an incredible team and the sophisticated, macro-laden spreadsheet at their disposal…the compliance process was simply broken.
It took up countless hours right in the middle of Comp season when we could least afford it. Errors occurred because that’s what happens with complex manual processes. And we struggled to drive participant engagement and understanding with the limited tools available to us.
This unbelievably high performing team was being asked to do the impossible.
I had two thoughts:
- This is karma for all the Exec Comp advice I’ve dished out over the years where I didn’t have to oversee compliance.
- There has got to be a better way!
When I returned to the consulting world, I started asking around. Over and over, I found people in the same boat, spending hundreds of hours on the same processes, year after year after year. Even “small” programs were a beast.
So I rallied a team and we built software that would simplify share ownership tracking once and for all.
Today, Equity Abacus is on a mission to help the Fortune 500 (and their HR and Legal teams) simplify share ownership tracking, increase participant engagement, and feel confident in their compliance. If you’ve ever wanted to tear your hair out during Comp/Proxy season, I know you’ll be interested in what we’re doing at Equity Abacus.