Putting The “Long-Term” Back Into Long-Term Incentives

There has always been tension between making long-term incentives both motivational and competitive, while at the same time aligning pay design with the longer-term interests of shareholders. Thus is the case with performance and vesting periods. Shorter periods are considered to be good for the talent (motivational and competitive), while longer periods are considered to be good for investors (alignment). The equilibrium for performance and vesting periods has seemed to settle on an average of three years – just short enough to provide line of sight and a reasonable time frame for goal-setting, and just long enough to demonstrate a track record for sustainable shareholder return

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