Valuing Executive Stock Options: Performance Hurdles, Early Exercise and Stochastic Volatility
27 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2008
Date Written: 2007-10-05
Accounting standards require companies to assess the fair value of any stock options granted to executives and employees. We develop a model for accurately valuing executive and employee stock options, focusing on performance hurdles, early exercise and uncertain volatility. We apply the model in two case studies and show that properly computed fair values can be significantly lower than traditional BlackScholes values. We then explore the implications for pay-for-performance sensitivity and the design of effective share-based incentive schemes. We find that performance hurdles can require a much greater fraction of total compensation to be a fixed salary, if pre-existing incentive levels are to be maintained.
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