Community Corner

Firms Announce Changes to Equity Compensation, ESPP Platforms

UBS Wealth Management USA announced enhancements to its equity compensation plan services and digital platform.

UBS equity compensation plan clients and their employees now benefit from:

An experience that brings their equity awards and personal finances together in one place, irrespective of where those accounts are held;

Flat trading commissions as low as $0 for U.S. equity trades completed on its equity compensation plan platform;
Personal finance tools to track what they spend, where they save, as well as the ability to set and monitor budgets; and
UBS’s digital advice platform which combines UBS’s research with intelligent technology to provide guidance on fine-tuning investments, as well as the ability to set and monitor near and long-term goals.

This platform is offered to equity plan participants alongside access to tailored advice provided by a UBS financial adviser.

“As the workplace continues to evolve, we know the demand for simplicity and affordability is top of mind. Combining our next generation digital participant platform and lower trading fees with advice from our financial advisers aims to enable employees to manage equity awards as part of their overall lives, helping them better value their awards and make more informed financial decisions,” says Michael Barry, head of UBS Workplace Wealth Services.

A Fidelity survey found equity compensation is increasingly used for participants’ financial wellness and retirement.

Carver Edison, a New York City-based financial technology firm, announced that its Cashless Participation technology is now available to all public companies who use E*TRADE Corporate Services to manage their employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs). The firm says this reflects a major advancement in helping employees nationwide access company-sponsored stock plans.

Cashless Participation will be supported by E*TRADE’s platform Equity Edge Online, allowing administrators to seamlessly reconcile and process purchases for ESPPs with Cashless Participation. Carver Edison’s technology can now also be offered globally.

Cashless Participation is an enhancement to ESPPs that allows employees to maximize their ESPP contributions with limited payroll deductions. Essentially, Carver Edison issues an interest-free loan to employees who elect to participate in their ESPP. With that loan, their ESPP administrator purchases additional shares on their behalf at the end of the offering period. The loan is then repaid instantly (this all happens on the backend) and the employee gets a net benefit.

Participating employees own more shares than they would otherwise have been able to afford without seeing their paychecks shrink. 

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