Community Corner

Plan Sponsors Rate Equity Compensation Plan Administration Service Providers in Group Five Study

6 February 2009

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct 17, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ ----Group Five, a corporate services research company, today announced results of its annual study of plan sponsor opinions of services provided by equity compensation plan administrators and commercial plan administration systems. The study had 472 plan sponsors participating -- representing 1,310 equity compensation plans including stock options, restricted stock, stock purchase, performance shares, and stock appreciation rights. The study is the only independent forum for corporate clients to make their opinions and priorities known to service providers. The study included the largest providers of out-sourced plan administration services and commercial systems for in-house plan administration. The highest rated plan administrator was Smith Barney Global Stock Plan Services with an overall satisfaction rate of 68% and the highest rated commercial system was Transcentive's Express Options also with a 68% favorable rating.

"Plan sponsors have very little objective market information at their disposal when making decisions about service providers for equity compensation plan administration," said Jack Sunday, chief executive officer, Group Five. "It is and always has been our role at Group Five to provide critical real-world information to assist plan sponsors in effectively managing their equity compensation plans, including the evaluation and selection of service providers. Without information like this plan sponsors can be at a serious disadvantage when contracting for equity compensation plan administration services."

"Given that Smith Barney has the largest, most diverse client base in the stock plan business, we are especially gratified to learn that for the second year in a row, the Group Five research results have rated us the highest in the industry for Overall Client Satisfaction. We believe our success is directly attributable to the commitment Smith Barney has made to invest in technology and its people," commented Julian Clark, Managing Director of Smith Barney Global Stock Plan Services.

"Our most important assets, our clients and their feedback, do not change regardless of the economic climate," said Joe Potenza, President, Transcentive. "Our sole focus is to serve the equity compensation program administration needs of our clients, whether as the gold standard in technology or in crucial advisory services to ensure data accuracy and process efficiency. We do this one way: We listen to our clients. To be recognized by our clients as successfully fulfilling their needs inspires us to continue delivering more of the same."

Group Five is a consulting and customer research firm located in Princeton, New Jersey. The firm is best known for its consulting and research expertise in equity compensation plan administration and transfer agent services.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of Group Five, Inc.

SOURCE Group Five
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