Community Corner

Corporate Stock Plan Sponsors Rate Stock Plan Administration Service Providers



GROUP FIVE, a corporate services research company, today announced results of its annual study of corporate stock plan sponsor opinions of services provided by commercial stock plan administrators and commercial stock plan administration systems. The study is the largest ever of its kind with 657 plan sponsors participating -- representing 1,857 stock plans including stock options, restricted stock, stock purchase, performance shares, and stock appreciation rights. The study is the only independent forum for corporate stock plan sponsors to make their opinions and priorities known to service providers. The annual study includes the largest providers of full and partial outsourced plan administration services and commercial systems for internal plan administration. The highest rated stock plan administrator is AST Equity Plan Solutions with an overall satisfaction rating of 91% favorable for fully outsourced service plan administration. E*TRADE received the highest satisfaction and loyalty ratings among broker plan administrators with a 90% favorable rating for satisfaction and an 87% for loyalty for fully and partially outsourced plan administration services. Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues their position as a top-rated plan administrator with an overall satisfaction rating of 84% favorable. E*TRADE's Equity Edge is the highest rated commercial system with a 94% favorable rating.

"Satisfaction with service in the industry continues to improve. Both account support and technology have been shown to be the most critical elements of success for plan administrators. Plan sponsors find account support to be a strength of the industry, but they are still looking for technology that supports their unique plan designs and is easy to use. Plan administrators continue to be faced with the challenge of providing a solution where one size does not fit all or even most," said Kathy Huston, managing partner, Group Five.

Ramona Hanes, President, AST Equity Plans Solutions noted, "We are honored that our clients have recognized the significant efforts put forth by our team and we look forward to continuing to build upon and improve our customer relationships."

"Corporate plan sponsors continue to look to Group Five for objective and reliable information on Stock Plan Administration services," said Nicole Papadimos, research director, Group Five. "This is our 10th Stock Plan Administration Study with the highest participation of plan sponsors ever. Plan sponsors clearly place value on this research."

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 stock plan administration and transfer agent services.



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