If you’re being offered a position as an executive, you’re probably thinking about how is this going to work? What’s the reality? How do I make sure that the stock or other incentives I’m getting in a privately held company, are actually of value to me? How can they actually help me? How can they get me to where I need to be?

I work with executives looking at their compensation packages, particularly when there’s stock or options involved. I want to make sure that my clients are laying the foundation to make sure, regardless of what happens in the future, that that stock or incentives are of value. I’m looking for gotchas and situations which might come up in the executive compensation process. Will the executive get caught in the middle of a shareholder dispute? Would their ownership interests cause them to be in a very unique position where they might be the deciding vote? Is this a role the executive wants to take?

What if the executive leaves the business? What if you go a different direction? I look for processes and procedures to make sure that you get paid properly in the event you leave and that you’re not stuck holding liquid stock in a privately held company for the rest of your life. I also look for other issues in contracts and agreements to make sure that the executive is protected and that they don’t leave a job that they enjoy and join a company only to be let go in a short period of time and not get properly compensated for that risk and loss.

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