Consider the Alternatives to Your In-House Equity Administration Solution

February 13, 2020 Sara Pinkus

For many companies, their equity plan starts from humble beginnings.  Perhaps it began with a few employees and minimal activity, so tracking with an in-house solution made sense. However, many companies find that growth (at any speed), can often bump quickly against the limits of their internal equity management solution.

At Shareworks by Morgan Stanley, we understand the needs of plan managers at companies of all sizes.  This experience has guided our development of Shareworks, our online equity plan management solution. Because we work with companies at every stage of growth, from small start-ups to global enterprise organizations, we’ve created a dynamic yet effective tool.

Your company should select a service provider who can assist you with the complexities that an equity plan may present, so read on to learn why Shareworks is the right service provider to help you do just that.

Shareworks Grows With You

As a software-as-a-service solution, Shareworks is deployed on a secure web site, and can be scaled to match any growth trajectory your company takes. Even if you aren’t focused on expansion, Shareworks functionality is always evolving, helping you support a broad range of award types and plan configurations in an easy way (with a straightforward user interface to boot!).

Thinking about your equity plan participants? Shareworks also has a comprehensive participant-facing portal, including live trading support, as well as an intuitive mobile app that you can activate if you prefer.  

Top-Notch Security

A password-protected spreadsheet may not provide you with much security. Shareworks is designed to protect the confidentiality and integrity of your data at rest and in transit. This includes layered encryption in transfer with high-grade TLS and multi-layered encryption at rest with 256-bit AES. Shareworks supports two-factor authentication and is subject to an annual third-party SOC 2 Type 2 audit.  

Customizable User Profiles

If you have more than one person responsible for aspects of your plan management (e.g., an HR resource, a Finance resource), you don’t have to worry about shared drives and granting access any longer. Shareworks provides individual user login that attach to a specific access profile so you can grant or restrict permissions to reflect each person’s role and security level.  For example, you can restrict a specific user from viewing any identifying demographic details that’s not an important function of their role. This centralizes work relating to your equity plan, without compromising vital security of important details.

Financial Reporting When You Need It, How You Need it

Anything you can do in a spreadsheet, you can do in Shareworks.  All system reporting is on-demand and up-to-date, with a collection of standard reports you can run at will (or tweak to your preferences), in addition to a full custom reporting tool that gives you incredible analytical power to your equity data. This includes a newly updated financial reporting module, access to details at the tranche level, and auditor calculation tables. Don’t wait for a busy colleague to create and send you a report, run it yourself and get access to the data instantly.

Hands-Off System Maintenance

Tired of worrying about data redundancy and worrying about having an appropriate cadence for record back-ups?  The Shareworks team takes care of this, so you don’t have to. Get ready for a life where all you need to manage your plans is a compatible web browser (and your secure login information, of course).

Continued Feature Development

The Shareworks product team is focused on one thing: continuing to help Shareworks solve more problems for our clients. This continued product investment means a more streamlined experience for you as the user.  Even if you think you don’t need all the bells and whistles, the core of the plan management function is so smooth, it won’t feel like work.

Easy Onboarding

It doesn’t have to be a bumpy transition! Shareworks by Morgan Stanley has an entire team devoted to getting new clients ready on Shareworks, including data transfer and reconciliation, profile and award set-up, and customizing the site to your specifications. The calculation of time spent vs. time saved will quickly work in your favor!  Additionally, there’s a dedicated customer support team who are there to help with your ongoing use of the tool, as well as Shareworks Academy – a library of interactive learning materials for your on-demand access.

Regardless of where you are in your company’s lifecycle or your equity plan, it never hurts to take a look at the alternatives to see what boxes they check for you (or problems they solve). Explore Shareworks today, and see what it can do for you.

About the Author

Sara Pinkus

Sara is a content marketing manager at Shareworks by Morgan Stanley, with over five years of experience in the equity compensation space. She helped redesign the Shareworks Certification program in 2016, and is excited to help share the organization's knowledge expertise with the industry.

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Shareworks by Morgan Stanley services for public companies are provided by Solium Financial Services LLC and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, members SIPC, and their affiliates, all wholly-owned subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley. Shareworks by Morgan Stanley fund transfer services for private companies are provided by Solium Financial Services LLC.

CRC 2903165 (02/2020)