The leading association for the stock and executive compensation profession
Join a professional community 6,000+ members strong
Continue your investment in your professional development and community
Our member care center is here to assist you
Country-specific guidance for stock plan design and administration
Connect with a chapter in your area
Learn more about and engage your peers
Attend an NASPP event for unbeatable professional development and networking
Ask, find and provide answers to burning industry questions
Professional development to keep you at the top of your game
Expert industry perspectives and guidance for your daily work
Enrich you career and discover new opportunities
Be there for the 27th annual event Sept. 16-19, 2019 in New Orleans!
We’re living in an era of digital disruption that affects most (if not all) industries, where technology evolves so quickly that we barely have time to figure out the status quo before something new rolls along. One area on the watch list for significant strides in the near term is that of voice activated technology, including the way digital assistants (Amazon’s Alexa, anyone?) are changing communication. A recent Forbes article “Five Ways Communication Will Drive Business Innovation in 2019” (Alex Goryachev, January 24, 2019) projects that “Voice technology will propel new business models and markets, and move us to a more transparent and interactive society.”
I know what you’re thinking right now: “Jenn, that all sounds nifty. I love Alexa, but what’s the relevance to stock plans?” I’d probably be asking the same question of myself if I hadn’t noticed that TD Ameritrade recently rolled out the ability to place stock trades using Amazon’s Alexa. No phone call to a broker, no need to login to the website. Just – “Alexa: Buy 100 shares of XYZ stock!” There are nuances to making such a purchase via a digital assistant. As an Investor’s Business Daily post (“TD Ameritrade Gets A New Alexa Skill: Voice-Activated Stock Trades” – Aparna Narayanan, October 24, 2018) points out, “TD Ameritrade customers wouldn't want their kids asking Alexa to ‘buy Domino's Pizza (DPZ)’ and get a slice of the company. Clients must download the Alexa app and enable the ‘TD Ameritrade skill’ to set up a voice code for trading, the brokerage said.”
To the best of my knowledge, the ability for TD Ameritrade clients to place stock trades using Alexa affects mainstream stock trades and is not currently a stock plan option. However, as we’ve seen with other technology that has morphed over the years (online trading and digital grant agreements to name a couple) – my prediction is that it won’t be long before the use of voice activated digital assistants goes mainstream for stock trades, with stock plans to follow. As with other digital and online functions that impact stock plans, there are bound to be considerations that are more complex, including data privacy and a participant’s ability to access to a voice activated digital assistant.
The one thing I’ve learned about new technology is that it comes so fast that we sometimes find ourselves catching up when it comes to policies and administration practices. Although your attempts to direct stock plan trades through a digital assistant won’t get you far just yet (though you can certainly have fun stumping Alexa with phrases like “Alexa: Sell my ESPP shares!”) it’s time to put voice activated technology on the watch list for what’s next in the methods of executing trades of stock plan shares.
Excel Tips to Change Your Life: Index/Match
We are excited to announce that Elizabeth Dodge of Equity Plan Solutions has agreed to author a series of occasional blog entries on Excel, accounting, and other stock plan administration&nb...Read More
How Much Are Stock Plan Administrators Paid?
Members occasionally ask me for salary or compensation benchmark data for stock plan administrator roles. For today’s blog entry, I thought I’d summarize some sources for this d...Read More
Beneficiary Blunders: Aligning Participant Intent with Plan Technicalities
The arrival of a new year signifies several things – for some it’s a time of resolutions and goal setting. For others, it’s more of an “out with the old, in with the new&rdq...Read More
A Government Shutdown Doesn’t Shut Down Your Stock Plan
We are now entering the third week of the government shutdown, just as work in corporate America is getting back into full swing after the holidays. You might be wondering how this will impact v...Read More
Five Things About Your ESPP to Report to Management
If your company offers an employee stock purchase plan, chances are you prepare a report for your management team after each purchase, to summarize the purchase and the status of the plan. ...Read More