Press Releases

Employees Swapping Underwater Stock Options Get Help From Innovative "Break-Even" Tool Developed By

Brookline, MA, August 19, 2009 -, the leading online resource on stock compensation, has developed a flexible interactive tool for companies that lets employees and executives with underwater stock options immediately see the benefits of participating in a company stock option exchange. The Break-Even Tool dynamically illustrates the stock-price increase and the appreciation that must occur for the value of each old grant to equal the value of each new grant.

"The needed appreciation above the current stock price is usually so high that employees instantly understand the advantages of electing to exchange underwater options for new options at the current exercise price, or for restricted stock," points out Bruce Brumberg, the editor-in-chief of

Easy For Employees To Use

The easy-to-use Break-Even Tool involves four figures:

  1. The number of underwater stock options
  2. The exercise price for each grant
  3. Either the exchange ratio or the number of new options/restricted stock shares
  4. The current stock price

Employees can enter these numbers themselves, or companies can customize the tool to import the data automatically. Employees can also edit their tax rates to see the after-tax gains at the break-even point.

"The general economic malaise has depressed many company stock prices and pushed a lot of employee stock options underwater," explains Mr. Brumberg. "Companies addressing this problem with an option exchange can make the best of a bad situation by using the tool to encourage employees to participate. Once rescued from underwater status, rejuvenated stock options regain their power to retain and motivate valuable employees, who may help lift the company to new heights after the downturn."

Companies Can Evaluate The Tool Before Licensing

Companies interested in evaluating the Break-Even Tool for their employees should contact at 617-734-1979 or The Break-Even Tool for underwater stock options can be part of a company's communications effort even before the official tender offer period begins, or also as part of the tender offer and the filing of SEC Schedule TO.

General Corporate Licensing Available

All content and tools published by are ideally suited for licensing by companies and stock plan providers for participants. The site has an extensive collection of articles and FAQs on underwater stock options. A customized version of the website's award-winning content and/or tools can be seamlessly woven into companies' HR, benefits, and/or compensation portals. Accessible through any internet browser, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, licensed content from lets stock plan participants answer their own questions about their stock grants whenever they need to learn more—saving time for the stock plan staff and costs for the company. For more information, visit, email, or call 617-734-1979.


With exclusive articles, 700+ FAQs, the Tax Center, Global Tax Guide, an extensive glossary, and interactive tools, is the premier online resource of educational content and tools on stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units, performance shares, stock appreciation rights, and employee stock purchase plans. is written and managed by leading experts in equity compensation, and is produced by a company with a long history of successful publications explaining complex legal and financial subjects in plain English.

The influential consumer magazine PC World ranks among "the most useful sites ever" that "deliver top-notch information, support, and services." The accounting journal CPA Wealth Provider selected among companies "that have taken the lead through innovation, efficiency, initiative, or growth in the financial-planning area." The Specialized Information Publishers' Foundation honored MSO Pro with one of its Editorial Excellence Awards in the category of Best Interactive Content among niche publishers. has also received extensive favorable coverage in major publications, including BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Boston Globe, and on CNN, National Public Radio, PBS,, and

For more information, please contact Bruce Brumberg and Matt Simon at or 617-734-1979.

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