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Golden Handcuffs

An informal expression denoting the vesting features of stock options and restricted stock/RSUs grants, as the vesting requirement is what retains employees.

The expression is also sometimes used by employees in a private company to mean the time they must wait before a liquidity event, such as an IPO or acquisition. Private company employees cannot trade their stock until a liquidity event occurs, so to cash in on their equity awards they need to stay at the company until it happens.

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